Home Hollywood Why the Groundbreaking ‘Tron’ Terrified Hollywood

Why the Groundbreaking ‘Tron’ Terrified Hollywood


create It marked a key shift in the ever-changing filmmaking landscape — even if experts didn’t realize it at the time.

“You know, everyone was doing backlit animation in the ’70s. That’s what disco was like,” filmmaker and writer/director Steven Lisberg told Geek House. “We thought, ‘ What if we had a character from the Neon series? That’s our Tron warrior – the electronic Tron. What happened is, I saw [the video game] ping pong, I said, well, that’s his stage. “

Lisberg is wrapping the 1980 animated TV movie Animal Olympicshe also began to create. The basic premise is to follow a computer programmer drawn to the world of video games.

“A lot of studios turned us down,” Lisberger’s business partner, producer Donald Kushner, told us. type. The only studio that has shown interest is Disney. “People today don’t know what Disney Studios was like back then,” Lisberg added. “It’s a sleepy, forgotten studio.”

Disney was battling an identity crisis in the late ’70s and early ’80s, a far cry from the powerful studio it would become.animated home movies, such as rescue team (1978) and fox and hound (1981) continued to be profitable, but Disney had mixed results for its live-action films. cat from outer space (1978), UFO ball (1979) and Midnight Madness (1980) has been a box office dud.The few live-action films owned by the studio – eg love bug herbie Series – Caters to a young audience. An adult-focused blow puts them off.

“People had this misconception that during Disney’s heyday they were pretty sure of where they were going, but that wasn’t the case,” Lisberg told Geekhome. create “It’s highly experimental, and I think that spirit of the studio is enough – but Tom Wilheit, who green-lighted the film, was 29 years old and had just become head of the studio, and I He was 29 at the time. And years later, Tom told me, ‘It’s a good thing, I don’t know more, because if I knew, I wouldn’t be doing this.'”

Watch the trailer for “Tron”

Focus, animator Bill Kroyer told type, is about “doing nothing that Walter hasn’t done. They used to say, ‘We do what we do best,’ which is a cover-up of saying, “We don’t want to do anything we haven’t done yet.” ‘”

create Very different from anything Disney or anyone else has done. The project blends live-action and animation techniques. Perhaps most notably, the film incorporates CGI in a way that has never been seen in a movie so far.

“It’s hard to imagine how we actually make CG these days,” Lisberger told type“There’s no motion; the computer can only generate individual frames. There’s no way to put them on film digitally, so you actually set up a movie camera in front of a computer screen and shoot frame by frame. Some of these frames take hours to put together. generate.”

Revolutionary influence is used to bring create Life. Some, such as light sources on actors’ costumes or shooting in reverse negative black and white, are extensions of already established techniques.Nonetheless, there are many others who are specifically create.

“We didn’t use existing technology to make this film,” said Crowyer, who choreographed the computer graphics. create“We came up with this movie, and we said, ‘We believe we can make technology when we make a movie.’ That’s literally what it means for successful people to jump off cliffs and build wings on the downhill.”

For many who do this work create, sailing into new technological fields is exhilarating.Jeff Bridges, who played programmer Kevin Flynn in the movie, even admitted that he took the role because createof ambition. “This has never been done before,” he told type“That’s why I got interested.”

Watch the ‘Tron’ light cycle scene

Not everyone is on board. Specifically, members of Disney’s old-school animated guards were uncomfortable with the use of technology.

“They were never used to computer animation,” Lisberger told Den of Geek. “At the time, that was the devil. I can’t tell you how much people used to be afraid of computers.”

Published July 9, 1982, create Received generally positive reviews.This Seattle Times Praises its “eye-popping ingenuity” and calls it the “computer age” alice in wonderland. ” at the same time, san francisco chronicle Described the film as “eye-opening in every way.”

others claim create Value style over substance. “Where was it written, to accommodate the burst of new effects, no matter how revolutionary, we agreed to give up character, subtlety, a well-told story, clear and understandable action, and even — God forbid We—humor?” asked los angeles times Critic Sheila Benson.

“Walt Disney Studios, the factory that has been working for years to realize the most whimsical and human expressions of the human imagination, has joined the automaton parade with a film that glorifies and supports the video game craze sweeping America,” Scott Sublett added.This washington times.

Despite its revolutionary filmmaking brand, create eclipsed at the box office. The summer of ’82 included several great commercial successes, including Rocky III, Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan and haunted. The biggest movie of the year, ET Alien, grossed $360 million at the domestic box office. by comparison, create Only made $33 million.

“The thing in the air is that it’s not enough that the movie does business or that they even pay for themselves,” Lisberg told type. “What happened was alien out, and it raises the bar. “

Watch the climactic final battle of ‘Tron’

create It was nominated for two Oscars for Best Costume Design and Best Sound, but was shockingly excluded from the Best Visual Effects category. “The academy thinks we cheat by using computers,” Lisberg told SFGate.

Decades later, create Seems to finally be getting what it deserves.The film enjoyed years of cult status before returning to the mainstream with its 2010 sequel Creation: Legacy. Thanks in large part to its groundbreaking visual technology, the original film is now considered a landmark release.

“It’s hard to stress enough people’s fear of computers and technology, especially Hollywood,” Lisberg told type. “This threat create What it represents is that computers will be involved in filmmaking in some way, and they will be involved in our lives. “

Of course, in hindsight, this seminal film opened the door for generations of CGI layered films.In simpler words, former Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter: “No createwill not have Toy Story. “

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