The day after the world learned of Michael Jackson’s death, I found myself in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada revisiting my 1980’s childhood. Its not what it sounds like. I was on the set of a sequel to a film I had first seen 27 years prior. If you had told me as a kid that I would someday have a chance to enter the world of Tron, I wouldn’t have believed you.
But standing in a giant lounge called the “End of Line” club, consisting of glass floors and black and white lights, I watched Jeff Bridges reprise his role as Kevin Flynn. And while it wasn’t filmed on the top floor of the highest building in the evolved world inside the computer, you certainly wouldn’t know it walking around the giant and elaborate set. And that was a surprise — a big surprise.
When I received the invitation to visit the set of Tron Legacy (at the time still stupidly titled TR2N), I had assumed that most of the production was to be filmed on green screen stages using performance capture and tennis balls on sticks. I could not have been more wrong. While on set I witnessed dozens of extras, all wearing real, glowing, rubber suits. An action scene took place with actors wielding real-life glowing light discs, which look just like you would imagine them to look if they actually existed.
I’m still not quite sure what happened in the action scene that played out, but I knew one thing – it looked cool. And not the fake, manufactured, trying too hard to be cool, but instead — authentically cool. And not only that, I could see it in front of me, without the help of computer generated magic. And better yet, I watched it 3D. Wearing special 3D glasses, I watched playback on the big flat screen monitors on set.
I wish I could tell you about all the cool things I saw over the course of that night back in June 2009. I wish I could give you the details. I even recorded a 40-minute set visit video blog with Frosty from Collider which I would love to show you, but I can’t. Disney doesn’t want to give away everything just yet. And rightfully so — the film won’t hit theaters until December.
They have instead asked us to provide a preview piece, detailing our first impressions about the productions, and describing our experience on set. The extended video blog will come another day, sometime further down the line. But for now you can watch the preview video Frosty and I recorded earlier today in Las Vegas. Also, throughout the week I’ll be posting transcripts from some of the on set roundtable interviews we conducted.
[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/tronpreview.flv 520 224]Cool Posts From Around the Web: