We’ve got more Tron: Legacy interviews to give you a little more info about the film. It seems as if they’ve been promoting this thing forever! I think we’re all about ready for it to finally hit theaters later this year. Once again the gang stopped by Comic-Con for a chat with the press, much like we saw last year. Check out our video interview below with with director Joe Kosinski, producers Sean Bailey, Jeff Silver, Justin Springer, Steven Lisberger, writers Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis, and cast members Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen and Bruce Boxleitner are also in the house!
Check out the videos below…
And more details from the rest of the press conference…
For the actors new to the Tron franchise, what was your first exposure to the original?
Sheen: I remember when I first saw Tron back in 1943. You were too young to see it.
Wilde: I was. It came out two years before I was born but it’s always part of the culture. I was aware of it because of video games. It was kind of this cool retro thing that I was aware of. It was just part of the zeitgeist. I don’t know but I just always knew it was cool and now we made it cooler.
Sheen: I was 11 when it first came out. Garrett was sitting next to me. ??? I went to a cinema. My uncle Russell was there with me, ??? and it was that weird – - and apart from the phenomenonal acting, I forget who the actors were [joking], it was just that look. That kind of both futuristic and historical kind of cybermovie ??? and this weird thing called CGE? ??/
Hedlund: I never saw the original until about 2003. I saw it on my laptop oversees somewhere. A pal had shown me, “You’ve never seen the original Tron? You have to see Tron.” ??? I sat back and watched and just thought it was a trip. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. At that point, it being 20 years old, still played so well.
It’s great to see a Tron sequel with Flynn and Alan Bradley. Why did you not want to bring back the Yori/Lora character?
Kosinski: Well, you know, our story is a father/son story, a story of Sam Flynn in search of his father who disappeared into the Encom mainframe 20 years before. When you make a movie, you have to kind of make difficult choices in what you’re going to focus on. For this story, we chose to focus on the story of Sam and Kevin Flynn as well as the kind of instrumental role of Tron and Alan Bradley in that story. The character played by Cindy Morgan is in the Tron universe, however just not in this particular story…
How hard was it to maintain the look and atmosphere of Tron and how was it working with 3D?
Kosinski:Well, the work that Steven [Lisberger] did with Syd Mead and Moebius is just phenomenal design work. For me, and I have a design background, I feel like that’s one of the reasons the film, you can still sit down and watch it today. Even though the computer graphics are simple compared to what we’re able to do now, the design work is so strong, the imagination is so vivid and vibrant, it just transcends time. So it was quite a task to sit down and start to look at what group of designers I could assemble that I felt were going to kind of be the next generation of those amazing designers. And I had a great time assembling people from the automotive industry, the world of architecture, people outside the film world who all came in to collaborate on this project. There’s such a great foundation for us to build on with a lot of time evolving those designs and making it feel more photo-realistic, more visceral. I wanted it to fell like we had been pulled into the computer and we shot it with motion picture cameras on the inside.
As far as 3D goes, this film seems perfectly suited to it. We used the new generation of the 3-D camera system developed my James Cameron. We used a newer generation of camera than the camera used on Avatar. We got Sony F35 and it just creates such a beautiful image. I’m really happy with the decision to go with 3-D because it is a lot more work. It does cost more, especially when you do it the way we’re doing it, a true 3-D movie shot with two cameras. All the visual effects were done for both eyes. It’s a really huge process that I think paid off in the end.
What was your reaction when this first came across your path?
Bridges: Well, I had heard rumors that there was going to be a sequel for many years, and I kind of gave up on it. And then all of a sudden this script showed up and Disney kind of had it on the back burners and they were not satisfied with the script, so they waited. And I’m so happy they did because we got a good script and also they held out and found the right guy to be at the helm and with Joe I really think they found a terrific leader because he was coming from architecture. It’s always interesting where a director comes from, whether he’s a writer or an actor. To have an architect at the helm of this one was terrific. He was really up to date with all of the modern techniques we had in special effects, so he was a great leader, and he was terrific with actors. When we got that whole package together and there presented it, I said this sounds like something I’d love to do. And also, just like the first one it tickled the kid in me – you know, to be sucked inside a computer – and playing with all of the new toys that we had available to us, the cutting edge, to be involved with the cutting edge was very exciting.
The internet wasn’t out with the original Tron. Now we kind of live online. How do you impress that public with Tron?
Lisberger: That’s not going to be a problem. You’ll find out what we’re going to do. The look of Tron is unique. It’s one of the strongest things about it and there is a sense, now that we’ve moved into the next generation, that it really is sort of a founding myth for an entire generation. It’s almost like it’s been held back and now when it came back, you can feel all the energy in the mist of the last 25 years.
Bridges: You know, Michael was talking about CGI but we didn’t do CGI.
Lisberger: Oh yeah we did. We called it CG and then it became CGI. In the first film, it felt like we were doing 3-D. We came from a world of 2-D filmmaking, 2-D animation and we did the light cycles and grid and world of the first film. It was the first time we realized we were going to have to render this stuff inside the computer in 3-D. And I was thinking wow, we’re doing all this work that people aren’t going to see. They can’t see the other side is actually there. So that was the beginning of 3-D back then.
After the technology, what else will be for this generation of fans?b
Lisberger: The difference was when we made the first film, all we had to do was dream about what the technology might do but we didn’t really get involved in what the technology would do. As time went by, we’ve now reached the point where Sean and Joe and their generation had to make this real. Technology is all about bringing people together supposedly. Now there’s a sense that technology may have a dark side where it keeps us from connecting with each other. I think this film examines that problem.
Congratulations to The Dude for his Oscar. When will the original Tron be on Blu Ray and what do you have planned for the Legacy DVD?
Bailey: The original movie, we’re certainly looking into doing something special with the original movie. No date has yet has been determined. Certainly for Tron: Legacy, as far as the DVD and Blu-ray go, there will be some very cool materials on it and I also think we’ll be taking a hard look at 3D on that front as well because we can get greater penetration of 3-D TVs in the home. So certainly we’ll try to be as forward-leaning as we can when it comes to both of those, and certainly I think you can expect to see the original film in an exciting format sometime soon.
Adam and Eddie, do you write the script for the visual effects?
Kitsis: Through fear.
Horowitz: Luckily when we’re writing we’re doing absolutely no visual effects work.
Kitsis: For us we’re very lucky because Sean and Joe and everyone is very collaborative in the process, and we come from TV so we’re used to just kind of sitting around a table with a bunch of people saying, “hey, wouldn’t it be cool if?” We were very lucky really that these guys were collaborative with us through the whole process. But one of my favorite things was when we were talking about the disc games, that day I got a call from Joe and he said, “undulating platforms,” and he sends an email with the coolest looking design ever that he’d just sketched. That made it easier for us.
Horowitz: Right. and everything we did was always focused on character first, just writing from a character perspective, and the father-son story, and I think it kind of grew out of that.
Jeff, did you do any photography on the set of this film and give everyone a copy?
Bridges: No, I didn’t take too many pictures on this film, mainly because the cameras that I use are wide lights. They require quite a bit of light and our movie required very little light. The suits and so forth, so it was quite dim so I didn’t take too many pictures. I have a few and they may pop up on the web site again.
How did you put together the viral campaign?
Bailey: I think one of the things when we all made the decision to do kind of a standalone sequel, that we’d accept that the events of 1982 had narratively occurred, one of the things with Eddie and Adam and Joe all did was we mapped the mythology from ’82 to 2010. That gave us, number one, hopefully a really good foundation for the story we wanted to tell in 2010, but also gave us all of those intervening years, so there was a lot of history and back story we thought there were interesting ways to express. So some of that is coming across with the ERG and the viral [marketing], some of that is going to come across in other platforms, with the video game and our publishing efforts, and it has been really fun watching the community evolve and build and seemingly enjoy what is going on. Bruce dealt with conditions on the ground in San Francisco so it’s been fun.
How did you get Daft Punk involved with the score?
Kosinski: I hooked up with Daft Punk very early in the process, before even doing the VFX test piece. Sean and I went down to the 101 Café and met them for a pancake breakfast and discussed their passion for Tron and how serious they took it and how big of an inspiration it was to them, which I think is pretty obvious if any of you have seen their live shows. So we talked about it for a long time and then got started on the music very early. We were doing music before we even started shooting, and they continued to work on it for almost two years now. They’re in the studio as we speak putting the finishing touches on their score, and it’s a really incredible blend of electronic music, orchestral music, and really blurs the line between sound design and music in a really interesting way. It’s a new direction for them that they’re really excited about and it’s so tied to the film because we developed it all together. It’s really just an amazing fusion of music and picture that I’m really happy about.
Didn’t they base their look on Tron?
Kosinski: Absolutely, absolutely.
Wilde: And it was also amazing while we were shooting because they would come to where we were shooting because sometimes if you really needed to find the tone of a scene, we would listen to a Daft track and you’d really understand where you are with the scene. I thought that was really helpful and really inspiring so we were lucky about that.
Jeff, do you think 3-D is here to stay?
Bridges: As far as 3-D goes, I don’t know if that will stay very long because things are moving so rapidly. We’re constantly as filmmakers always looking for something to bring the audience deeper into the reality of the story you’re telling. There’s a film process called Show Scan that Douglas Trumbull developed that never really got, didn’t take off. That was running the film 60 frames instead of 24 frames and projected that way. It made everything look sharp and almost a 3-D effect. So I guess isn’t 3D without glasses coming out in the next 10? That would be a hologram. ??? Or maybe you’d just take a pill. ‘TRON: The Pill.’
Mr. Sheen, how is it being at your first Comic Con? Is that why you did this film?
Sheen: The entire reason I did this film. It’s all come together, almost like it was planned. I was offered to come for a few years, I think with Underworld and I wasn’t able to. Also I wanted to grow a really big head of steam. Thanks fans.
For the actors wearing the electronic suits, what was it like?
Wilde: It was amazing.
Sheen: It was amazing–to watch Olivia in the suit.
Wilde: (laughing) It was totally revolutionary. This had never been done before. We were wearing electro-luminescent lamps woven through layers of neoprene and all these other amazing materials. It was an honor to be able to wear something like that that was changing the way that every other department was working on the film. It would change the way the scene was lit and opening up to all these possibilities. It was really beautiful. We would get really excited every time the suits would turn on because you’d look around and just kind of gosh, this is really amazing. Then it made this really sound which the sound department loved.
Hedlund: At the beginning, they’ve got this process that they do. First, you’ve got to train immensely for the suit and they do this thing called Cyber-Scan where they create this suit out of every curve and definition of your body so it’s completely exact and fits like a glove. Then the greatest thing is, you go into a dark room room and the one of producer has their kids around, you light it up and they just go “Aaaaaahhhh!” So I think that’s the most satisfying.
Sheen: There was a great moment before every take where they’d say “sound’s rolling, camera” and, just before they’d say action, they’d say, “Light them up! And—action!” In the scenes that I was in, there were a lot of people in the scenes so just before they said “action… light ‘em up” suddenly the whole room would go “Bing” and you’d forget to act for a little bit, it’s so cool.
Boxleitner: You know, and all we had was spandex tights with magic marker. The first male thong. We didn’t plug them in. You guys go on and on about it all you want.
Bridges: When I sat down this morning in my seat, there’s something here I want to show you. My father years ago had sort of a prototype of the Tron suit in Sea Hunt.
Lisberger: I just want to say the key moments in getting this film made I think had to be first with Jeff because when we came up with the idea that Jeff had been lost up the data stream all these years like Col. Kurtz in cyberspace, it was just too good for the thought of revisiting Jeff this way. That had a lot to do with getting this film made. He had a lot to do with getting it made. Then the opportunity that was given to Joe by Sean pulling the whole team together, he made the most out of it.
Be sure to also check out our post on Tron and its 3D Innovation.