In 1982 special effects were quite different than today’s methods. Do you guys even remember the early 80’s? We barely had computer for imaging and could not really use them in a 1,000,000 capacity of today’s smart phone. Yet, somehow, Steven Lisberger, Director of Tron, is able to captivate and grab a hold of a generation cult following based on a slightly smaller scale to Star Wars. Tron began a legacy that would not be really seen for nearly 30 years. Some video games and merchandise has surfaced over the last 30 years, but nothing like today’s marketing. Yes, people love Tron, but rarely talk about it until Disney produced Tron: Legacy. The new version, named a sequel, stars most of the original cast. But that will be a later post, lets focus on the original.
The concept? A computer software designer and hacker is attempting to breach security on a computer mainframe that “zaps” him into a digital copy of himself in the system. It forces him to play Gladiator like games in order to escape and prove himself. Jeff Bridges plays a great role in this film and has gone on to major fame since. His character, Kevin, Flynn, is like many computer guys in the late 1970’s; Learning in exponential numbers the computer programs and hacking ability. Keep in mind, this is when computers began a new era into film and special effects. It was untapped territory before this. I think that is why Tron had such an effect on it’s viewers. It is kind of like the first time you see the Matrix. You really do not believe it or think it could be possible, but by the end of it, you really do believe it is possible.
Walt Disney Pictures actually had to shoot the film with a special 65mm film to be used for computer imaging to be added later on with a computer generated world. The computer graphics were used with one of the highest computing systems of it’s day. A system called the PDP-10, one of the worlds super computers created in the 1960’s.
Tron was also named a “flop” when created because the culture of the day simply thought it could not connect with viewers on a personal “human” level of contact. To make that statement simpler, it was too out there! Come on guys, what do you think of the original Tron? Let us know the truth about it and then we’ll move on to Legacy!