Film makers and cast of TRON: LEGACY gathered at Digital Domain in Santa Monica to discuss the technology behind the making of the film which opens in IMAX 3D in theaters December 17th.
The original TRON film was a display in break-through technology used in film making. Director and Writer of TRON as well as producer of TRON: LEGACY, Steven Lisberger said that in 1982 people were threatened by TRON. “Even Disney Studios when we said we want to do computer generation, Disney acted like we were coming from Hell. As much as that generation rejected it, the new generation embraces it.”
Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) video game writer and software engineer reprises his role in TRON: LEGACY. Flynn’s hide-away is a bright hide-out in the middle of dead rock. His house is a source of energy.
The tower, seven stories tall, is where most of the story takes place.
Christine Bieselin Clark (Costume Designer) explains that “part of the goal in this movie was to make the tech as innovative as the tech was in its (TRON) day.” Costumes were put onto the actors’ bodies in the computer with 3D design.
The costume design pattern consists of hexagons. Hexagons are the DNA of TRON: LEGACY. It was all about the square in the first one.
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For over two years director of TRON: LEGACY, Joseph Kosinski worked on this continuation of TRON, which is also an updated version technically. The film was mostly shot on blue screen. Conceptually, it’s similar to AVATAR capturing body maneuvers. With actor Bridges he was on-set for body movements. Film makers shot with four cameras. With this technique, any work on the face could be seen with two cameras. In AVATAR, they used one camera.
Bridges stated that by being in the computer now through the technology used in TRON: LEGACY, “I may not have to work again…I can lease myself out.”
TRON: LEGACY was shot seven to eight months before AVATAR came out. Kosinski says, “All of our work came from our work on “Benjamin Button”, which was opposite in what they did with Bridge’s character. Instead of age progression, Bridges was put through age regression. “We didn’t know what AVATAR was doing. There was no shared technology,” stated Kosinski. He also said, “We were able to do on this movie what we couldn’t do on ‘Button. We could go full CG. We went fully CG on “Clu 2.0″ -Flynn’s Icon in the first TRON, and the antagonist in this one.
Co-Producer, Justin Springer stated that TRON couldn’t be nominated for Special Effects in 1982. The film industry thought that using computers was cheating. “The tech enabled us to tell a story that was different and hopefully did something that was unprecedented.”
Kosinski said “I want people to look at TRON: LEGACY and say that looks like TRON.”