SDCC: Joe Kosinski talks Tron: Legacy

Tron: Legacy director Joe Kosinski talks story.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

SDCC: Joe Kosinski talks Tron: Legacy

Tron: Legacy had a major presence at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. It wasn’t just showing some new footage and bringing the cast out to Hall H. They expanded Flynn’s Arcade to a full End of the Line club. The cast was around all weekend working events. At one of their press conferences, director Joe Kosinski answered a few questions to preview the new Tron.

Q: It’s great to see a Tron sequel with Flynn and Alan Bradley. Why did you not want to bring back the Yori/Lora character?

Joe Kosinski: Well, you know, our story is a father/son story, a story of Sam Flynn in search of his father who disappeared into the Encom mainframe 20 years before. When you make a movie, you have to kind of make difficult choices in what you’re going to focus on. For this story, we chose to focus on the story of Sam and Kevin Flynn as well as the kind of instrumental role of Tron and Alan Bradley in that story. The character played by Cindy Morgan is in the Tron universe, however just not in this particular story.


Q: How hard was it to maintain the look and atmosphere of Tron, keeping it retro without staying too retro?

Joe Kosinski: Well, the work that Steven [Lisberger] did with Syd Mead and Moebius is just phenomenal design work. For me, and I have a design background, I feel like that’s one of the reasons the film, you can still sit down and watch it today. Even though the computer graphics are simple compared to what we’re able to do now, the design work is so strong, the imagination is so vivid and vibrant, it just transcends time. So it was quite a task to sit down and start to look at what group of designers I could assemble that I felt were going to kind of be the next generation of those amazing designers. And I had a great time assembling people from the automotive industry, the world of architecture, people outside the film world who all came in to collaborate on this project. There’s such a great foundation for us to build on with a lot of time evolving those designs and making it feel more photo-realistic, more visceral. I wanted it to fell like we had been pulled into the computer and we shot it with motion picture cameras on the inside.


Q: Then how hard was it to do that in 3-D?

Joe Kosinski: As far as 3D goes, this film seems perfectly suited to it. We used the new generation of the 3-D camera system developed my James Cameron. We used a newer generation of camera than the camera used on Avatar. We got Sony F35 and it just creates such a beautiful image. I’m really happy with the decision to go with 3-D because it is a lot more work. It does cost more, especially when you do it the way we’re doing it, a true 3-D movie shot with two cameras. All the visual effects were done for both eyes. It’s a really huge process that I think paid off in the end.


Q: How did you get Daft Punk involved with the score? 

Joe Kosinski: I hooked up with Daft Punk very early in the process, before even doing the VFX test piece. Sean and I went down to the 101 Café and met them for a pancake breakfast and discussed their passion for Tron and how serious they took it and how big of an inspiration it was to them, which I think is pretty obvious if any of you have seen their live shows. So we talked about it for a long time and then got started on the music very early. We were doing music before we even started shooting, and they continued to work on it for almost two years now. They’re in the studio as we speak putting the finishing touches on their score, and it’s a really incredible blend of electronic music, orchestral music, and really blurs the line between sound design and music in a really interesting way. It’s a new direction for them that they’re really excited about and it’s so tied to the film because we developed it all together. It’s really just an amazing fusion of music and picture that I’m really happy about.