My family had a pretty early personal computer, but I never used it for anything more sophisticated than word processing, and my mean parents would NEVER let us get Nintendo, so our home was pretty much videogame-free. As a result, it didn't even register with me when Tron came out in 1982. In fact, I didn't see it until years later as a senior in high school and, though I love it now, what I get the biggest kick out of is the dated special effects, and how silly and simple they now seem.

It's fascinating, then, to read the massive article at Tom's Hardware Guide about the movie's development, and how revolutionary it truly was. For example, though Tron only needed about 10 minutes of CGI, the movie with the most computer work to that point was Westworld, which featured only a single minute of such footage. Additionally, at the time there were only a handful of computer that were even capable of doing the sort of work the creators of Tron envisioned - to use one of them, they had to go in at night, when the company that owned it was closed and the computer was available.

If you've got any interest in either Tron or CGI in general, the piece is certainly worth 30 minutes on a lazy Saturday - I know I'll never look at the movie the same way again. (And, while I can't promise that I'll be able to stop calling it silly, I really will try.)
categories Movies, Cinematical