TRON: Celebrating 1982

We’ve been a little slow on these, but we are celebrating the year 1982 with some of the best movies produced. This time around is TRON.

TRON was one of the most cutting-edge movies ever made at the time. Computer graphics were basic back then, but the director, Steve Lisberger, knew they could do more. He originally saw Pong in about 1976 but saw the potential of what computers could do.

He was working as an animator, specializing in backlit animation. He had the idea to make a movie, using that technique, along the lines of Alice in Wonderland, which was about a young girl in fantasy land, but in TRON, it would be a human in the cyber world.

Lisberger and Bonnie MacBrid worked on a script and made some initial test footage, they reached out to computer companies, looking for financing. A company called Information International. They then needed a movie studio to publish the actual movie.

Warner Brothers, MGM, and Columbia turned it down, but Disney was interested, since, at the time, they looked to make more daring projects.

In 1981, TRON went into production. The cast included Jeff Bridges, David Warner, Cindy Morgan, Bruce Boxleitner, Dan Shore, and Barnard Hughes.

The design of the movie meant that each frame had to be broken down into each component, painted, and then some of them backlit. Simple scenes had about 7 layers, and the more complex ones, had over 200 layers.

The computers working on the movie had about 2Mb RAM and 330Mb hard disk space, the average mobile phone has about 6Gb of RAM. Since the computer couldn’t handle animation, all of the frames had to be rendered individually, some of the more complex frames taking around 6 hours each to render.

When the movie was released in July 1982, it made about $50 mill worldwide, which made it one of Disney’s biggest live-action movies for 5 years.

There is loads more to talk about with TRON, but it’s all in the video. Hope you like it.

Make sure you check out the rest of our Movies from 1982 as well, since Yoda and myself have enjoyed making them and there are more on the way.

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