A special thank you goes out to Disney for providing me with travel, accommodations, and this exclusive interview with Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof. Opinions expressed are that of my own.
What do you get when you take the creative mind behind The Incredibles, and add it to the amazing writing behind LOST? You get a positive outlook, and a RETRO FUTURISTIC Disney film!
Thanks to Disney, myself and 24 other bloggers were given an exclusive opportunity to Interview Director/ Producer/ Writer Brad Bird and Producer/ Writer Damon Lindelof in order to gain insight and details into upcoming film called TOMORROWLAND.
Just to give you an idea of the atmosphere, I knew this was going to be a great interview because these 2 Gentleman entered with Brad joking, “We get to warm up for George, we’re very excited. It’s all downhill from here.” and with Damon adding, “He’s pretty awesome.”
Thank you MomStart.com for providing these interview photos of Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof.
To start off our questions we asked, How did the information from the Disney Archives help you to bring TOMORROWLAND to life on the big screen?
Damon shared, “I think that we are both fascinated with Imagineering and particularly Walt’s futurism. A lot of that stuff was rampant in the early days of designing the Parks itself. In “Tomorrowland” obviously he came up with the concept in the 50’s and 60’s, but I think that this is a treasure trove of roads not taken. The part that Brad and I particularly zeroed in on was the 1964 World’s Fair, where there were a number of attractions like Mr. Lincoln and The Carousel Progress.” Brad then mentioned, “Magic Skyway. Small World.” Damon continued, “It would be really great to see those on the big screen re-creating that feeling.”
Brad added, “World’s Fairs in and of themselves were a thing where people would bring together their brightest minds and talk about the future. They were a semi regular event where people came together from all over the world and traded ideas. We were talking about what happened to the idea of a positive future and started to notice that that great future disappeared around the time that the World’s Fairs disappeared.”
He continued, “The world went through World Wars and had plenty of strife, but people clung to the idea that things in the future will be better. That idea seems to have been retired … now we are thinking we’re all just on this bus that we have no control over the destination. We were looking at each other going, “Why did that change? and When did it change? How do we get back to it?”.”
Find out more about the 1964-65 Worlds Fair in Journey Through The Walt Disney Archives!
We then asked, What do you do creativity to help tell these stories?
Brad jokingly said, “Coffee.” Damon then explained, “We watch a lot of TV. We go and see a lot of movies. We tell our wives and children that’s work…I do feel for me in particular and I think that Brad shares this, is we grew up in that culture and the idea of saying, I want to do this one day.
Explaining further, “Almost every time we get together, we say “Did you see this? Did you read this? What do you think about that?” We are so steeped, we are fans of this material ourselves. I think the minute that you start to seal yourself off and say, “I’m just going to become completely introverted and write my own stuff”, you close the gates to everything that surrounds you…”
That question was followed up with, What part of technology would you like to have today from the ones that we saw in the movie?
Brad shared, “Well, I would love to be able to travel somewhere without having to actually get on a plane. I love the idea of walking through a doorway and being somewhere else. I think that would probably change the planet in wonderful and nightmarish ways. There are a lot of dream concepts in this movie and that was one of the things that attracted me, getting a chance to glimpse those things…”
We then inquired, Did you write in collaboration?
Brad filled us in, “Damon had been developing this idea with Jeff Jensen for about six months. I was an admirer of Damon’s work on Lost and my family and I were totally into the show. Any time the episode credited Damon on the script, I would say to my wife, “This is going to be good“.”
He then explained, “On Mission Impossible at the very end when the movie was basically shot, there were a couple of things that weren’t right. There wasn’t very much wiggle room, and Damon came on for about a month and helped us fix it. It was like brain surgery kind of writing, where it had to fit into here and there and he did a wonderful job. Then we were just hanging out and I said, “What are you doing next?” He mentioned this idea that he’d been developing with Jeff and it just sounded amazing to me. That’s when I jumped on board.”
Damon added to this saying, “I think just in terms of the writing process, Brad was really wonderful because he would come down to LA. We’d hold up in a hotel room for a couple of nights and just flip our laptops open and sit and talk. Every time that I write in collaboration I write in a different way, but I don’t like writing alone. I really enjoy that process…”
(Joking around again), “…and Brad makes the perfect English muffins I have to say…I started writing very slow just so I could get more English muffins.”
Candypolooza took this excellent photo of The 1952 Box, see what she had to say here.
Something of great interest to our group was the 1952 Box. We asked, Can you tell us more about the discovery of this box and how that inspired you in the movie?
Damon then educated us, “The more that we look into what the origins of the box are, where it came from, and who found it, the less defined answers that we get. Suffice to say we became fairly convinced looking through it, that we didn’t know exactly what it was… The items that were interesting to us felt like, what if we were kids in third grade and someone put this box in front of us and said, tell us a story about the things that you find in this box. How would they all connect? ”
Damon continued, “Then we said, “What if Walt Disney was a member of this secret group of geniuses Plus Ultra and TOMORROWLAND itself was actually a cover for a real place that they built in an alternate dimension?” Then we were kind of off to the races and the box became a part of the myth.”
This then lead into, What do you think people will learn or take away from watching this film?
Brad explained, “I think we are hesitant to make it like broccoli, although I like broccoli, and say go see this movie because it’s good for you. That’s the sure way to have sagebrush blowing through the theater. Our goal first and foremost is to make a great time at the movies… That being said, my favorite rides in terms of movies are rides where I still think about them later. There’s a lot of very loud, very fast, very disposable entertainment right now … and you know that you heard a lot of loud sounds and saw some flashy movement, but there’s not a lot to take away. I don’t think those two things need to be mutually exclusive.”
He continued, “I loved ET and on the face of it, it’s a movie about a rubber alien puppet, but it absolutely swept you away and got you emotionally involved. I think we would like to be that and we would like people to come away thinking I have a hand in the future. I’m not a passenger on this bus I can be the driver. That we collectively are in charge of where we want, what we want the future to be. That it’s a malleable thing that’s changing every day and being created by what people do today.”
Damon then added, “We have a young woman in the movie that you guys are well aware of and she is being barraged with the polar ice caps are melting, things are going to be much worse in the future. She asks the only relevant question which is, “Can we fix it?” We hope that you walk out of the movie at the end saying, you can but you have to do something. You can’t just sit around, the future isn’t something that happens to us, it’s something that we make happen.”
Stay tuned for the upcoming review of the film TOMORROWLAND!
TOMORROWLAND is a riveting mystery adventure starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney. It tells the story of former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, who are bound by a shared destiny and embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.”
What they must do there, changes the world—and them—forever.
Featuring a screenplay by “Lost” writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen, “Tomorrowland” promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.
The film also stars Hugh Laurie as brilliant scientist David Nix, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Robinson.
TOMORROWLAND is in theaters everywhere on May 22nd! For more information visit the official website at Disney.com/Tomorrowland.
After reading this interview with Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof are you excited about this new film? Who in your family will you be taking to the movie?
For additional details be sure to follow myself and other bloggers during the event via the Hashtag #TomorrowlandEvent. Plus, check out the film on Facebook at facebook.com/DisneyTomorrowland and Twitter at @DisneyPictures.