I attended a private screening of Tomorrowland Movie and interviewed Raffey Cassidy. The movie will be released in theaters nationwide today, May 22. The movie is about optimism and the future, Tomorrowland. In the movie, the premise that the futuristic city of Tomorrowland could actually exist pays homage to Walt Disney’s vision. The characters of the movie obtain a pin to jump-start their quest for Tomorrowland and use their courage, hope and determination to make a difference.
The movie provides a powerful and optimistic view into the future. It will have you thinking about the way you think about the future and the role you play in the outcome future. You will be entertained, but you will also have something to talk about.
Grab your pin and take me to Tomorrowland!
The film stars George Clooney (“Frank Walker”), Britt Robertson (“Casey Newton”), Tim McGraw (“Ed Newton”) and Raffey Cassidy (“Athena”). The film was written and produced by Brad Bird (Director / Producer / Writer), Damon Lindelof (Producer / Writer) and Jeff Jensen (Story By).
“Tomorrowland” features a screenplay by “Lost” writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen, and also stars Hugh Laurie.
When the concept of “Tomorrowland” was just percolating in writer/producer Damon Lindelof’s mind, Sean Bailey, president of production at Disney told him about a box that had been discovered in a closet at the studio. The “mystery box” contained all sorts of fascinating models and blueprints, photographs and letters seemingly related to the inception of Tomorrowland and the 1964 World’s Fair.
Lindelof imagined that these findings were a guide to a secret story that nobody knew about; a place called Tomorrowland.
- For the props department, creating props for the different time periods of the film—1964, 1984 and 2014—was a challenge. There are different influences and materials that affect the manufacture and design of the props for each era, so every prop needed to be carefully researched and analyzed to make sure the technology and materials they planned to use existed in the time period. Then the filmmakers had to try and find the real parts to make things authentic.
- Designed by illustrator Tim Flattery of “Men in Black” fame, the plasma ray guns used in the comic-book store scene feature interactive light that spills out into the environment, adding to their air of authenticity. The guns were built with a very small but powerful wireless battery pack that fits on the end. Upon the actor hitting the trigger, the gun throws interactive light out the front. When the “plasma” is empty, a red light goes on and, as the gun recharges, the lights turn blue again.
- Costume designer Jeffrey Kurland had to dress almost 400 extras in 1964-era attire for the Hall of Invention and Unisphere Plaza World’s Fair scenes.
- The 1964 jet pack designed for Young Frank (Thomas Robinson) was a feat of engineering and imagination. It has 40 different fasteners on the backpack frame and has mounts for Electrolux vacuum cleaners on the sides. Control cables operate the small shovels on the back. Cables run through the jet pack onto the handles so the actor can control it. The jet pack was fastened to a plate and could be easily removed from the frame so that Thomas did not have to walk around with 20 lbs. of jet pack on his back between takes.
- For the 1964 World’s Fair, the Walt Disney Company created three rides, the It’s a Small World ride being the one we remember most. Though quaint by today’s standards, back in 1964, Carousel of Progress and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln were revolutionary in how they used robotics and ride technology to create a thematically rich experience.
Exclusive Interview With Raffey Cassidy (Athena)
We also had the opportunity to interview Raffey Cassidy, a young and talented actress, who plays Athena, a robot child and hero of Tomorrowland alongside George Clooney. Raffey Cassidy underwent training in swimming, gymnastics, wirework and martial arts, which was the primary focus of her training as her character kicks some serious butt in the movie.
During the interview she shares some insight on what it is like to play the superhero, preparation for her mysterious character and hopes for the future:
What is the best part of playing a Athena?
Raffey Cassidy: Playing Athena was fun. She is very intelligent, smart and mysterious and doesn’t show emotions. The best part of the role was doing all her stunts and so many fight scenes. Scenes that went back and forth.
What was the most difficult part of playing role?
Raffey Cassidy: Athena has no background to go off of so I got to create it. Also, not showing emotions.
Favorite scene in the movie?
Raffey Cassidy: The Eiffel Tower scene was my favorite.
Raffey Cassidy: The Flip
What do you want people to take away from movie?
Raffey Cassidy: I would like people to think about the future and about the way they interact with each other and communicate with each other. We need to interact face to face more and less with technology.
Favorite Disneyland Ride in Tomorrowland?
Raffey Cassidy: Space Mountain
Favorite Disney ride of all time?
Raffey Cassidy: California Scream
Raffey Cassidy: I love creating special effects. scars on the face and arms. I create a lot of special effects.
See you at the movie!