Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What unusual geek source provided the crowd noise for arena scenes in Tron: Legacy?

The redesigned Light cycle as featured in the ...Image via WikipediaTron: Legacy opens in US theaters today, and with it ends 25 years of computer geek anticipation of a sequel to the cult-hit 1982 cinema classic about a programmer being pulled into the metaverse of a computer mainframe. First word of the movie broke at Comic-Con in 2008, when Disney showed off test footage of lightcycle combat to an unsuspecting crowd. Grainy, cellphone-captured footage of the promo soon linked to the Internet, and the raucous and approving crowd reaction assured the filmmakers the project was worth pursuing.

Every subsequent press release about Tron: Legacy has seemed to be an act of escalating fan service. Techno-synth artists Daft Punk not only composed the movie score, but threw a rave on set during filming. Recognizer battleships, lightcyle races and disc wars have all been updated for 3D appearances in the new movie. Above all, Jeff Bridges reprises his role as Kevin Flynn.

But perhaps the most noteworthy, and apropos, bit of insider geekery surrounding Tron: Legacy involves the sound sourcing for those aforementioned updated gladiatorial arena scenes.

What unusual geek source provided the crowd noise for arena scenes in Tron: Legacy?

The editors from Skywalker Sound, who mixed all the audio for Tron: Legacy, got their crowd noise from the assembled fanboy hoards in Hall H at Comic-Con 2010. Tron: Legacy is the only movie ever to exhibit at 3 consecutive Comic-Cons, and when it made its third appearance, techs were on hand to lead the fans in chants of "Disc Wars!" and "De-Rez!" --  audio which was faithfully captured and used as the basis for similar crowd chants in the Disc Wars scenes in Tron: Legacy.

That's not just some audacious auditory architecture, it's a sonically shrewd sample of the Truly Trivial.

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