TRON Production Information
"TR0N" is a futuristic adventure set in a world never before seen on the motion picture screen. Walt Disney Productions is combining computer-generated imagery with special techniques in live-action photography that will mark a milestone in optical and light effects. "TRON" brings to life a world where energy lives and breathes, where laws of logic are defied, where an electronic civilization thrives.
Starring in "TR0N" are Jeff Bridges, David Warner, Bruce Boxleitner, Cindy Morgan and Barnard Hughes. Steven Lisberger makes his feature directorial debut on the film, which he scripted and developed with producer Donald Kushner.
Futuristic industrial designer Syd Mead, comic artist Jean "Moebius" Giraud -- whose work is a prime inspiration for the magazine Heavy Metal -- and high-tech commercial artist Peter Lloyd served as special visual consultants. Harrison Ellenshaw is associate producer. Special effects are supervised by Ellenshaw and Richard Taylor. Bruce Logan is director of photography.
Characters in "TRON" are set in landscapes that could not physically exist in the real world, a world where terrains and vehicles are created by computers. "TR0N" is the first motion picture to make such extensive use of computer imagery.
"TRON" completed principal photography in July, 1981. Post-production continues through the spring of 1982 for a surmier 1982 release by Buena Vista, in color by Technicolor. Filmed in Super Panavisiom 70.
THE SETTING/THE STORY
"TRON" is set in two worlds: the real world, the land of flesh and blood, where a vast computer system in a communications conglomerate is controlled by a single program; and the electronic world, whose electric-and-light beings want to overthrow the program which controls their lives.
The electronic world was shot on sound stages at Walt Disney Studio in Burbank. Photography for the real world took place at locations around Los Angeles, and at the U.S. Government's futuristic Lawrence Livermore Laboratory outside Oakland, California.
COMPUTER GENERATED IMAGERY
Computer graphics were first applied to aerospace and scientific research in the mid-1960s, when methods of simulating objects digitally in their dimensions proved as effective as building models. The technology has since been diverted into the entertainment field. Information International Inc. (Triple-I) and Robert Abel & Associates of Los Angeles, and the Mathematic Applications Group Inc. (MAGI) and Digital Effects of New York -- four of the nation's foremost computer graphics houses -- produced the computer imagery for "TRON"
Computer-generated landscapes, buildings and vehicles provide settings for live-action characters in the film's electronic world. Though computer imagery has been previously seen as an effect in motion pictures ("Star Wars," "Looker" and "West World" are a few examples) "TRON" is the first film to use the technique to create a three-dimensional world.
MAGI, the single largest contributor of computer imagery, speeded the process of supplying its work to Disney Studios in Burbank by a trans-continental computer hook-up. Before each scene was finalized in MAGI's lab in Elmsford, N.Y., it was previewed on a computer monitor at Disney. Corrections could then be made in the scene immediately. Previously, the only way of previewing the scene was to film it, ship it to Burbank, get corrections made, ship it back to Elmsford.... and continue this ping-ponging until the scene was correct. The computer link cut between two-and-a-half to five days from the creation of each scene.
Richard Taylor, director of Information International's Digital Scene Simulation division, oversees construction of "TRON's" computerized environments. He is assisted by Larry Elm, head of MAGI's computer graphics division, and by optical effects artist John Scheele.
A feature of "TRON's" electronic world is the game grid, where weaponed gladiators of video arcade games come to