Disney sent me on an all expense paid press trip to cover the Tomorrowland Movie preview. All opinions are 100% my own.
Last year, we had friends introduce us to the show Lost. My husband and I got SO sucked in to this show that we binge watched all the seasons in like 4 months. Honestly — I have not found a show like it ever again.
When I found out that during our press interviews we were going to get to chat with Brad Bird (who has made movies like Ratatouille, The Simpsons and the Incredibles) which was awesome, but THEN I also found out that Damon Lindelof was going to be there too.
Damon Lindelolf is the writer behind Lost.
I have NEVER in my life walked away from an interview SO inspired as a writer. These two together are the perfect combination of awesome.
We got to spend about 20 minutes with them talking about all the amazing talent and creative ideas behind the movie Tomorrowland.
Damon and Brad started off the interview laughing because they were the first in our lineup that day. Brad jokingly made a comment about warming the room up for George. He said –“It’s all downhill from here.”
Our first question really got the ball rolling. As you know, the day before the interviews we were all allowed to check out the Disney archives. As a group, we wanted to know how much of that inspired the scenes and movie script of Tomorrowland.
Brad of course, let Damon have the floor with this question —
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 that we just felt like it would be really great to see those on the big screen and kind of re-create that feeling.
Our initial ambition was a lot higher but again The World’s Fair as what they represented at the time, particularly in the 60s, the connection to Disneyland that was really the stuff that we kind of locked in on.
It was exciting to hear what both men had to say about the inspiration behind Tomorrowland. Brad shared his take on this question too —
But it’s also that World’s Fair in and of themselves were a thing where people would bring together their brightest minds and talk about the future. And they were semi regular events where people came together from all over the world and kind of traded ideas. And they had a utopian aspect.
When we were talking about what happened to the idea of a positive future we kind of started to notice that great future sort of disappeared around the time the world’s fairs disappeared.
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, and that idea seems to have been retired. Now everybody seems to be saying that the world — it’s going to suck.
Is there anything we can do about it? No. So we’re all just kind of on this bus that we have no control over the destination. And we were just kind of looking at each other going, why did that change, when did it change, and how do we get back to it?
So that was kind of trying to do sort of a fable around the idea of a negative world vs a positive one which was kind of what was on our minds.
I sat listening to them talk about the inspiration that fuels them — what inspires their creativity, and of course we all laughed when they suggested coffee has A LOT to do with their creative writing sessions.
They are my kind of people y’all!
Then Damon shared that he and Brad watch a lot of television and watch a lot of movies. When you write and produce movies, you get to consider this part of your work research — it must be nice!
When he and Brad get together to write and get creative, almost always their sessions start with discussing recent movies and shows that they have watched on television.
Damon went on to say —
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 other sorts of apocalyptic storytelling that we’ve been kind of barraged with.
And yes –we love The Hunger Games, and I want to see Mad Max, but I also think like there’s got to be a future that isn’t of people trying to kill each other in the desert or teenagers killing each other.
When we asked them what their favorite part of technology was from that movie that they wish we had today, they said it would be awesome to have a teleportal where you could just walk through a door and be exactly where you want to be.
We talked to them about how often they collaborated together on this movie and Brad shared with us about his love of Damon’s work.
He said —
I was an admirer of Damon’s work on Lost. Anytime our family was together, we watched Lost. We were totally into Lost. Any time the episode credited Damon as a screen credit on that script I would nudge my wife in her side and say “This is going to be good”.
Of course she would tell me to stop nudging her.
I was a fan of Damon’s work, and on Mission Impossible at the very end when the movie was basically finished, there were a couple of things that were not right, so there wasn’t very much wiggle room.
So we had Damon come on for about a month and help us fix some really very specific brain surgery kind of writing where it had to fit into here and there, and he did a wonderful job.
And we were just hanging out. And I said, what are you doing next? And he mentioned this idea that he’d been developing with Jeff. And it just sounded amazing to me. So that’s when I kind of jumped on board.
After talking to them about collaborating, we all wanted to know about the infamous 1952 box that was found. It was full of technology and futuristic items that you may remember from my post about the Tomorrowland item exhibit we got to see when we did the sneak peak of the film at Disneyland.
When they saw the box, they said they felt most of the items were not that interesting, but the ones that really piqued their interest caused their creative juices to flow.
They started thinking — “What if these items came from a real place called Tomorrowland, that was built in an alternate dimension? From that point, it was off to the races with creative ideas, storylines and more for these two writers and producers.
What do Brand and Damon hope that the movie goers get out of the film Tomorrowland?
Brad and Damon were pretty much in agreement with what they were hoping that viewers take away from this movie —
We don’t want to make a movie that people will watch and just a few minutes later they are already thinking about something else.
We wanted to create a movie that kept them thinking — days later — about the film and it’s theme, and we would like for people to hopefully 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 the future to be. That it’s a malleable thing that’s changing every day, and it’s being created by what people do today.
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, and she asks the only relevant question which is, can you know, 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 sort of sit around and the future isn’t something that happens to us — it’s something that we make happen.
Once the interview ended, we took a quick group photo and then Brad and Damon left. This interview left me sitting there with the question in my mind — What can I do to fix it? What is my part in the future.
So — if you are a dreamer who wants to change the future, take your family and friends to see this PG movie about dreamers, shakers, and a brighter tomorrow.
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.
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TOMORROWLAND opens in theaters everywhere on May 22nd!