The Making Of Tron
December 24, 2022 9:39 PM   Subscribe

You can't imagine what this little company with big ambitions went through to create an iconic film that entirely flopped at the box office. The Making Of Tron [1h28m] is full if insights about process, computer imaging, business running, and basically everything about Tron, the cutting edge movie of its day.
posted by hippybear (16 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Back when Tron was in theaters I remember a moment from one of the movie review shows about it: the reviewer did a bit about how he didn't understand the Byzantine plot, kicking things of by saying "Tron spelled backwards is Nort. And....neither one makes much sense. And I discovered the movie itself makes as much sense backwards and forwards too...." And then he showed a brief 10-second clip, and then ran it backwards.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:21 PM on December 24, 2022 [1 favorite]

I loved Tron! I saw it when it first hit the theaters, and was bowled over. Mind you, purple microdot I took about a half hour before I went into the theater probably helped.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:17 AM on December 25, 2022 [2 favorites]

O, this looks fun!
posted by Going To Maine at 3:22 AM on December 25, 2022

I love both Trons and can't wait to find some time to dig into this. Thanks!
posted by phooky at 5:07 AM on December 25, 2022

That's almost as long as the move itself (1h36m).
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 6:43 AM on December 25, 2022

I liked Tron when it came out, but it really couldn’t compete with the trailer I’d seen a few months prior. That blew my young mind.
posted by GeorgeBickham at 6:45 AM on December 25, 2022

Back in the day, I watched the movie and played the arcade video game.

I remember the game.
posted by fairmettle at 8:23 AM on December 25, 2022 [4 favorites]

My friends and I were obsessed with Tron when it came out. We played a game that was just throwing frisbees at each. It was a great game until someone got a tooth knocked out.
posted by Eddie Mars at 9:18 AM on December 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

My favorite Tron post of all time ….
posted by thirdring at 9:49 AM on December 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

As seen at the 45:25 mark in the linked video, some scenes from Tron were shot at the LLNL Nova Laser, the precursor to the National Ignition Facility.
posted by FuturisticDragon at 11:46 AM on December 25, 2022

Whoa, Mickey and Goofy in Tron outfits, what pitch deck did those come from? (about 13:00)
posted by credulous at 1:33 PM on December 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

It's also weird to think about how if the US hadn't boycotted the Olympics, Lisberger might still have been working on Animalympics and missed the window for Tron, because the 1983 video game crash might have soured appetites for a video game-themed feature film.
posted by credulous at 1:45 PM on December 25, 2022

what pitch deck did those come from?

That might have come closer to the Tron 2.0 release, this documentary was done as a spin-up to the release of the second film.

There is a Mickey in the first movie, though.

Disney had a hard time figuring out how to market this movie, and there was a section of EPCOT slated to be Tron-themed but it never panned out.

If you haven't been following all this AI artwork stuff over the last few months, you should see these (fake) images of a Tron reboot designed by Alejandro Jodorowsky. (using Imgur gallery to avoid Facebook linking) Because I'd pay good money to see that, microdot or no.
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:40 PM on December 25, 2022 [4 favorites]

I met with Lisberger when he was parceling out the computer graphics work for Tron. I was at the NYIT Computer Graphics Lab. We were in Las Vegas for NAB, so afterwards we drove down to Disney in Burbank and met there. I remember the soundstage (a huge space) was totally black except for a rickety wooden staircase.

He asked us to do the transition-to-inside-the-computer part. I figured out that if we did no other work, we could get it done in about two years, most of the time spent rendering frames. The transition was to be all full-screen-size renders, and renders were painfully slow. We were doing ads and selling graphics systems and other stuff. So I said no to the project. It was finally done by someone else (it's in the video) but mostly with vector drawings.

CG was a small community then, and Tron used about all that was available. I did get some grief for opting out of the first CG feature film.
posted by hexatron at 4:23 PM on December 25, 2022 [11 favorites]

The Tron Mickey appears again at 38m48s on Steve's birthday cake, while Steve is pictured wearing a Space Invaders shirt.
posted by credulous at 4:43 PM on December 25, 2022

I love that when there were any visual artifacts or glitches in brightness, they just slapped a sound effect on it.
posted by credulous at 8:20 PM on December 25, 2022 [5 favorites]

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