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Jake Carpenter

CGAA Unit 2

Introduction... pg. 3 Main body... pg. 3 Conclusion... pg. 6 Illustrations... pg.7 References... pg.7

Tron: Legacy, a film directed by Joseph Kosinski and released in 2010, has eye-raising visuals that have a familiar yet distant style. A sequel to the 1982 film Tron, Tron: Legacy reinvents the existing virtual world into an expansive metropolis. This essay investigates the importance of differentiating the real world to the fictional world in order to maintain it's appeal. The main sources used within this essay are Tron: Legacy (2010), Steven Lisberger's original Tron (1982), Tron: Betrayal (2010) and Wachowski brothers The Matrix: Revolutions (2003). The assignment begins by explaining the basis of production design and visual concepts, then explores how these elements play a key part in Tron: Legacy's distinctive style. In conclusion, the essay will seek to summarise the importance of differentiating the fictional world to an imitation of the real world.

Main body
The key part, and most defining, about the franchise Tron, is it's unique art style and visuals. Tron: Legacy's motivation is it's strong contrasting cool blue and firery red visuals, which bolsters the narrative of the film. Director Joseph Kosinski's message was that he was portraying the good and bad side of technology, thus explaining the familiarity and similarity to the real world. He said, Technology can be a very powerful thing, it can take us to the world of Pandora, it can take us to the grid, it can allow us to communicate with one another when we are on opposite sides of the world (Kosinski, 2010), relating a real issue to a fictional production. The visual style has been adamant in the creation of Tron. The curvature in the design of, the light cycle (figure 1) for example, is a constant theme in many productions, distancing away from past technological designs. The mono colour scheme is one that brings the idea of equality to mind, an Fig. 1. Concept art of the Light Cycle ideal state for society. The integration between man and machine is a yet another futuristic

concept, with the progression of technology foretelling that future technology will be becoming more compact and versatile. The mainstream currents are a visual indicator for the power lifespan, with blue and white showing pure data whilst red is a substitute for corrupt data that acts like a virus. The characters within Tron, the programmes, are lifeless beings that possess a human-like personality. The programmes differentiate in style like humans would, with some characters appearing as if they were from a video game, a Massive Multiplayer Online game by Tron's scale. As well as costume designers improving upon the designs of the original,
Fig. 2. Jeff Bridges and CG CLU

CLU, Kevin Flynn's personal 'perfect' re-creation of himself, is implemented through CG (as seen in figure 2). There are two sides to that, one point being that Jeff Bridges cannot look like himself twenty years ago, with the other suggesting that the CG model compliments the visual effect that Tron is trying to employ. Since CLU is a computer program that is an imitation of Kevin Flynn, it is fitting that the CG model is a 'perfect' imitation of Jeff Bridges. There is also a connection between these characters, one that the director of the original, Steven Lisberger, pointed out from the sequel, saying, there's something spiritual and mythic about a relationship when one part of that relationship looks up at the other one and thinks they're greater than they really are. Like the Programs did to the Users, and like a son or daughter does to a parent (Lisberger, 2010). Reality is the template of the scenery and plot. The structure of the city is similar to that of the real world, with many fantasy objects and technology distorting the perception of that world. Tron is situated around video games, jumping scene to scene and doesn't essentially have a key
Fig. 3. Flynn kneeling in his re-constructed tower

hub, whereas Tron: Legacy has a widely expansive metropolis with a rocky, virtual landscape in-between the large structural mass and a lone, secretive tower. The virtual

world contains elements from the outside world as the creator, Kevin Flynn, is piecing together past knowledge, memories and events to recreate the world as he wishes it. Though, he is no longer in control of this world, it becomes very generalised and organised to fit CLU's objective. The lone tower (figure 3) is an example of Flynn's creativity, with a very pristine appearance, reminiscent to a medical ward, the mini-sized bar collection of drinks, a dining table from a restaurant, a fire place mounted opposite a lone bed with a plentiful view of the virtual world on the balcony. Among one of the side bedrooms, lies a vast collection of books, hand-picked by Flynn, all varied but situated to a single subject, that Flynn feels is the perfect collection. Yet another familiar sight of objects and items, but when combined in such a space alters the perspective to an extent where it now feels alienated. Inception also uses this concept of similarity and alienation, and Cobb, who is portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, says, never recreate places from your memory. Always imagine new places (DiCaprio, 2010), also saying, building a dream from
Fig. 4. Neo and Ex Machina

your memory is the easiest way to lose your grasp on what's real and what is a dream (DiCaprio, 2010). However, the difference between Inception and Tron: Legacy, is that in Tron: Legacy, Kevin Flynn has created a world to get lost into. The idea of programs and users is also present in The Matrix: Revolutions. The concepts of both, The Matrix and Tron, are quite similar, and both use existing environments to create another and put it into a different context. Inception and The Matrix, thrive from deceit and deception. They edge on the border of reality and fiction, disguising elements of reality with fantasy and have do so in such a way that the films leave with a multiple outcome. There is also a down fall to this concept. The down fall being the misinterpretation or miscommunication, thus providing a misunderstanding of the film's concept. That is due to a falsely interpreted event, in which too much or too little motion took place and caused a confusion with it's signs or signals. However, this is also a good thing. The open ended possibilities strikes controversy and gives another point of view when watched again.

Tron: Legacy has a strong artistic style, one that which acts as the fundamental structure and is a key motivating factor. The style is what gave the production design team direction, and all other points ensued behind. The visuals are so strong, that it has detained all of the other departments. Some key points in the story telling fell flat, but were washed away by the inevitable scenes to follow. The film seems incomplete, with not enough character development and plot, that it seems to be more of a technical demonstration. As such, this seems to be the suggested intentions of the director as he said that, in response to the story short comings, while youre making the film its important to just keep your eye on the ball and make the best movie you can, and then realize that its out of your control (Kosinski, 2010).

Figure 1. Concept art of the Light Cycle. At:

http://uk.movies.ign.com/dor/objects/34401/tron-legacy/images/tronlegacy-20100929004840567.html?page=mediaFull (Accessed on: 1/12/11)

Figure 2. Jeff Bridges and CG CLU. At:

http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2010/09/26/flynn-clusidebyside_610x292.png (Accessed on: 1/12/11)

Figure 3. Flynn kneeling in his re-constructed tower. At:

http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/18200000/Kevin-Flynn-tronlegacy-18220477-852-356.jpg (Accessed on: 2/12/11)

Figure 4. Neo and Ex Machina. At: http://www.fernbyfilms.com/wp-

content/uploads/2011/05/matrix-revolutions-55.jpg (Accessed on: 2/12/11)

Kosinski, J (2010) Screenrant. At: http://screenrant.com/tron-legacy-director-josephkosinski-interview-rothc-92394/all/1/ (Accessed on: 1/12/11) Lisberger, S (2010) Den Of Geek. At: http://www.denofgeek.com/Tron/848854/steven_lisberger_interview_the_legacy_of_tron.ht ml (Accessed on: 1/12/11) DiCaprio, L (2010) IMDB. At: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1375666/quotes (Accessed on: 2/12/11) Tron: Legacy. (2010) Directed by Joseph Kosinski [DVD] USA: Walt Disney Pictures Tron. (1982) Directed by Steven Lisberger [DVD] USA: Walt Disney Pictures

Nitz, Jai (2010) Tron: Betrayal. Marvel Comics Inception. (2010) Directed by Christopher Nolan [DVD] USA: Warner Bros.

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