|So I Wrote About TRON For An Animation Class . . .|
on Thursday, November, 21, 2013 2:55 PM
. . . I wondered if anybody wanted to read it.
I had to write about artists that had inspired me in choosing my career. Naturally I wanted to discuss Syd Mead and Jean "Giraud" Moebius.
It's a little nostalgia driven, but I wondered if anybody felt the same.
I also feel like it explains why I like TRON in a rather intelligent way, although the teacher was okay with me writing this in a more "conversational" way (she's awesome like that).
" . . . Another great influence for me was the movie “Tron”, from 1982. When I first saw the movie, I was stunned. It was like the filmmakers had opened my brain and turned my imagination into a movie. Let me explain: As a kid, I remember watching my dad work on the inside of our home computer. I used to like holding the circuit boards and studying them very closely. I could imagine the circuits being roads and paths. The little bits and pieces of plastic and metal became buildings and towers. For some reason I loved the idea of a world under your nose, always there, but undiscovered. Seeing Tron was a lot like a miracle. I hadn’t had the most original idea in the world, but the fact that someone shared my perception was a tremendous boon for me, and the fact that it was so inventive and full of color and imagination just made it perfect. Watching Tron was when I realized that art, special effects, and animation were less about recreating reality and more about making it. It was about convincing people that your world was real, instead of worrying about how realistic it was. Tron was a moment of clarity for me creatively. As a kid, you want to be exactly like the art teacher or the masters, because you’re convinced that there is a right way. Tron taught me to let go of reality, that the only important part was that you and the audience could believe in the idea and often the idea could stand on its own. For me, Tron remains forever laced with both nostalgia and ideas for the future.
Watching the special features, I learned about the two major concept artists that helped design the world of Tron, Syd Mead and Jean “Moebius” Giraud. Without realizing it, I had seen some of their other designs in some of my other favorite live action features, Blade Runner, The Fifth Element, etc. I admire these artists immensely, they made entire worlds, making sure each one felt fresh and worked with the overall concept, all while retaining something that was indescribably their own sense of design. I’m obsessed with the cyberpunk aesthetic and sprawling underworld-cities because of these two artists. Without necessarily attempting to, they have given us the popular vision of “cyberspace”, a literary concept that was created only a short time before by novelist William Gibson, another great influence for me. Although they are very different from one another, they both manage to hit a core, the same spark of ingenuity. Mead and Moebius can make worlds with just one or two images, it’s uncanny. A single panel of a Moebius comic, or a Mead painting, has you seeing a fraction of a new place. This is something I try to do, even with very minimal designs. I want people to see one of my characters and be able to start envisioning things, letting their mind wander. Without completely spelling it out, I want the viewer to become immediately invested, the same way I become engrossed in Syd Mead and Moebius artworks . . ."