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Film Studies 101
Feature
Tron: The Beginner's Guide
What you need to know before seeing Tron Legacy this week…

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Lisberger’s idea was originally for an animated film that was simply book-ended by live-action sequences. Given the hefty amount of computer visuals, the natural partner for the film seemed to be a technology company. Almost everyone he approached turned him down. But LA-based Information International Inc actively engaged with what the director was trying to do, and as he grew more confident and threw himself deeper into exploring just what digital technology could do, the concept evolved into what Tron finally became – a blend of live-action with the embryonic CG of the time. By now, he’d spent $300,000 developing the film and had around $4 million in independent financing, which was never quite enough to start getting the film made. Lisberger and business partner Donald Kushner eventually shoved all their (micro)chips in and got a meeting with Disney. The Mouse House was intrigued, but concerned about giving $10 million or more to an untested director and a shooting technique that was completely new. Still, the executives opened the studio’s wallet to create a test reel featuring a basic light disk sequence, which ultimately convinced them that it could work.

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