‘iSPEC,’Joseph Kosinski’s Commercial That Helped Him Get the Job to Direct ‘Tron Legacy’
Recently the New York Times posted an article detailing how much Disney had invested in the motion picture. Tron Legacy boasts a $170 million budget. state-of-the-art 3-D visual effects, a three-year $120 million dollar marketing campaign, an extensive line of related toys, clothes, jewelry and electronics , a spinoff television show and even Theme park tie-ins. That is a lot of pressure for first time director Joseph Kosinski.
The article went on to say, “Tron: Legacy, as evidenced by the Category 5 marketing storm that Walt Disney Studios has whipped up on its behalf, is not just any multiplex behemoth. The goal is a juggernaut franchise on the scale of Pirates of the Caribbean, a series that appeals squarely to boys but is mainstream enough to lure everyone else and hit a cultural nerve”.
So how did Joseph Kosinski get the job? The veteran in the commercial world created a speculative commercial for a future iPod-like device called iSPEC. Sean Bailey, a Disney producer who was trying to figure out how to reinvent Tron saw Kosinski’s ad (viewable on josephkosinski.com) and convinced Disney to give Mr. Kosinski some money to put together some test footage, essentially a three-minute ride into the world of Tron as Mr. Kosinski saw it. The plan was to show the footage at Comic-Con International and let the fans decide. Thankfully for both Disney and Kosinski, the fans ate up every second of footage revealed and Disney greenlit the prodction.
Below you can see the commercial for iSPEC created for a non-existent theoretical future iPod variation, essentially a virtual reality gizmo that lets users directly navigate through the settings of movies. Notice the recreation of the lobby of the Overlook Hotel from The Shining. Yes it is pretty impressive. Enjoy!