****I received an all expense paid trip thanks to Disney and ABC studios. All my opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources.** When I found out who we were going to interview at the Tomorrowland Event, I was so excited but the one person I was literally bouncing out of my seat to meet was Damon Lindelof! If you know me, you know that I was a HUGE Lost fan and even visited Hawaii just to do the 8 hour Lost tour. Damon Lindelof was the co-creater of this mega hit, so I just could not contain my excitement. Along with Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird is a household name that any movie fan knows and loves! His extraordinary works include The Incredibles, The Iron Giant, Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol, and the adorable Ratatouille. In Tomorrowland, Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird joined forces to make this amazing movie, Tomorrowland, which opens this coming Friday! Yes this Friday…like 3 days from now! Brad Bird is the director, producer, and writer for Tomorrowland, along with Damon Lindelof, who is also a producer and writer. Together they created this futuristic movie that will take you all on a ride of your life when it opens this weekend. Trust me with their talents and the rest of the cast, this is one movie you do not want to miss!
When they first came into the room, both of these talented producers were so gracious and were interested in answering any questions we may have had. Coming off seeing this movie, we were all interested in knowing so much and their answers were all fantastic! Our first question for them was how did the information from the Disney archives help them bring Tomorrowland to life on the big screen? After seeing the Archives, I was interested in hearing their answer because the Archives had so many fun artifacts and research from the World Fair and the original Tomorrowland.
“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. And in Tomorrowland obviously he came up with the concept in the 50s and 60s but I think that this sort of 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 Carousel Progress and Mr. Lincoln and Small World.”- Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof on some information he used.
When they were coming up with concept, they thought about world’s fairs and how it would bring together people and allow them to talk about the future. World’s fairs in those days were semi regular events where people talked about their visions and ideas of the future. They then noticed when the world’s fairs started disappearing, that is the time when the positive visions for the future sort of diminished. They wanted to change that way of thinking and so Tomorrowland was created! Interesting, right?! I love the concept of looking positively towards the future. I think we all need that!
After this, we were all interested in how they come up with their creativity and what feeds it? Brad Bird went on to joke that it is coffee that gets them started. I am sure that does help!
Then he went on to say: “I think we all watch a lot of TV. We go and see a lot of movies. And we tell our wives and children that’s work. But it is the idea of constantly sort of surrounding yourself. I do feel for me in particular and I think that Brad shares this is we sort of grew up in that culture and the idea of saying like, I want to do this one day. But where we start almost every time that we get together is oh, did you see this? Did you read this? What do you think about that? And I think that we are so steeped, we are fans of this material ourselves. The fact that we get to make it. And 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 and you close the gates to everything that surrounds you. I think in a lot of ways this movie as Brad was just saying is a little bit of a response to these others you know, to the sort of apocalyptic storytelling that we’ve been kind of barraged with.” -Damon Lindelof In Tomorrowland, there is a ton of great technology and ways to get to the future. It is a futuristic movie and their props were truly second to none. We were interested to hear which of the technological advances in the movie, would they love to see getting implemented today?
“Well, I would love to be able to travel somewhere without having to actually get on a plane. I mean I love the idea of walking through a doorway and being somewhere else. I think that that would probably change the planet in wonderful and nightmarish ways. But I think that there are a lot of sort of dream concepts in this movie. And that was one of the things that attracted me was getting a chance to glimpse those things.”-Brad Bird
We were then interested to see if they start with a story and know their way to the end or do they develop the story as they go? They told us they definitely know which direction their going but things can change along the way. They told us they can start with ideas that are central to the story and then sometimes their favorites don’t fit in the story, so they either need to save this or dismiss the idea.
“I think that when I get engaged in a story there is a fair amount of sort of mystery involved in it. I love the idea of the unknown and sort of like what is that? Especially when we go to movies these days and you see the trailers before the movies. And it sort of feels like, oh in two minutes they just told me the entire movie. And so we were engaged by this idea of Tomorrowland because you hear that title and you go, it feels familiar, it creates an emotional idea in me but I don’t exactly know what it’s about. And the same is true of Lost. At the same time you can’t write unless you know where you’re headed.” “And how it was going to end. Where it goes from here, there are a number of different possibilities. But we didn’t want it to feel like this movie is a cliffhanger or were setting up a franchise or there’s nine different characters coming in at the end. And now we’re setting up our own Tomorrowland universe. We sort of felt like if this is the only movie that we get to make we wanted to feel like it’s complete which is a much different storytelling mechanism than TV where every episode is designed to get you to watch the next episode” -Damon Lindelof
They then told us the whole collaboration story. Damon Lindelof was on board with Tomorrowland and the original story, along with Jeff Jensen. We found out that Brad Bird was also a huge follower of Lost and him many other works, and knew he needed Damien Lindelof on board for Tomorrowland. That led to their collaboration and the wonderful joint work to make this incredible movie!
“We’d just flip our laptops open and just sort of sit and talk. Every time that I write in collaboration I write in a different way but I don’t like writing alone. And I really enjoy that process. And Brad makes it great. And I have to say like, I started writing very slow just so I could get more English muffins. Brad makes the perfect English muffins I have to say. That’s really what it was all about..”- Damon Lindelof
Our next question was for them to tell us more about the discovery of the 1952 box and how that inspired you in the movie? You will see that this is an important facet in Tomorrowland!
“I will say that the more that we look into what the origins of the box are and 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. 80% of them were completely and totally uninteresting. But the ones 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? And we took some things like the design for it’s a small world ride and Flushing Meadows in 64. And this weird kind of like disk that might have been an animation that Orson Welles might have had some interest in. And we sort of 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? And then we were kind of off to the races.”-Damon Lindelof
For our second to last question, we wanted to know what they thought people will learn or take away from watching this film? Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof said their first and foremost goal to make people have fun at the movies and develop an outstanding movie. They want to make a movie where people will walk away talking about it and just good ole’ fashion entertainment. Their main motto that you will see over and over again in this movie (along with a truly incredible take home message) is that we are all collectively in charge of where we want to go and what the future will hold. The future is up to us and what we want to make out of it. It is being created by what we do on an everyday basis. After seeing this movie and hearing them talk, I truly believe in this! Do not forget that Tomorrowland hits theaters this coming Friday! I will tell you first hand, that you are in for a real adventure and a real treat for the whole entire family. It is rated PG so bring the entire family!