Tron, Blade Runner

16 04 2009


Who has seen Tron?

The influence that movie has on lightpainting is obvious.  The backgrounds, and the lightbikes, and the amazing amazing amazing costume design is called to mind whenever Michelle and I, or any lightpainters for that matter, are doing what we do.  As a film though, what a strange yet fitting movie for the time.  The computer, and video games were MASSIVE cultural movements when the movie came out in 1982 (The same year the computer was Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year”), so the film could be considered somewhat of a cash-in.  It would be like making a movie now about Twitter or making one of those “How Scaaaary the internet can be!!” movies (cough…The Net…cough).  But Tron was different, it didn’t really preach about what the computer was doing to our society, it just used the computer and video games as a setting for a pretty standard fantasy flick.   Wisecracking hero enters a strange, oppressed world, fights with strength, cunning and magic to liberate the place.  Its basically Conan the Barbarian with lightbikes.  It also has Jeff Bridges in his most “Dude”-y role that isn’t The Big Lebowski (Fisher King notwithstanding).

Why do I even talk about this movie?  Well, we are doing a futuristic, lightpainting-based photo shoot for a really amazing clothing company this weekend and we watched it as research.  It was inspiring enough, but after only experiencing the movie through random clips and Family Guy references, I was glad I got to experience it in all its insane glory.  It’s insane because, being a Disney movie, it was marketed to KIDS.  Its a gorgeous movie, but I would never expect my kid to understand anything about the plot of the movie, unless my kid was some super genius turbo nerd computer programmer with robot legs…which he probably will be…in that case we will watch all the way to the bonus features and high five with laser hands.  My point is, that I can understand why Tron was considered a flop when it came out…it was too high minded for normal kids, and too weird for adults.  I’m glad it found an audience now though, because such daring, gorgeous ideas rarely see the light of day these days. Unless they come from Pixar.

Anyway, the shoot we are doing, we are going for a futuristic vibe.  Here are some references images that another famous fashion magazine did.  They’re amazing, but we hope we can take the next step.

MRI Lightpainting - Lightpainting Fashion Shoot Reference Image

MRI Lightpainting - Lightpainting Fashion Shoot Reference Image

MRI Lightpainting futuristic fashion shoot reference image 2

MRI Lightpainting futuristic fashion shoot reference image 2

We are also going to watch some Blade Runner, which is a whole ‘nother story.  I’ll spare you the ranting, but we think Blade Runner’s aesthetic will balance out the glossy Tron vibe with some gritty futurism.

Thanks for reading the rant and if you are a fan of lightpainting and haven’t seen Tron yet, check it out.  Stay tuned for images from the fashion shoot.

-Ryan  (M::R::I)




3 responses

17 04 2009

My cousin’s graphics company actually did the movie posters for Tron. He gave me one of the rejected ones, which was very cool at the time when I was 10.

18 04 2009

Isn’t there a bar in Scotland named after this very influential movie?

20 04 2009

HAHAH YES!! And we had it wrong the whole time….it was Jeff Bridges, not Dennis Quaid…wow. That place was still great…I think.

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