I'm Jerry Rees, Director of "The Brave Little Toaster" - ask me anything.
Hi, I’m Jerry Rees, Director and Co-Writer of “The Brave Little Toaster”.
Proof it’s me : http://imgur.com/cHxVO
Me doing Toaster: http://www.jerryrees.com/page3/page3.html
More of me doing Toaster: http://www.jerryrees.com/page105/page105.html
Several years ago, fans who had grown up with the film started getting in touch with me. It was an awesome surprise to hear from the college crowd, who liked BLT as kids, then rediscovered it in their teens.
Various Producers started seeing potential in doing something fresh with the property. Thankfully, Tom Wilhite suggested to that if anyone was going to revive it, they should turn to the Director of the original – the only one of the three that stood the test of time. I truly appreciated it.
In 2009 I started developing a new story. Not a remake, but a proper sequel picking up right where the original left off. True to the spirit of the original, but comfortably nested in the present. And, my dream was to do a live-action CGI mix. Not because John Lasseter, a good friend, had hoped to do it in CGI, but because I was doing CGI long before all of that, as a Computer Graphics Choreographer on the original TRON. The TRON stuff had turned John and lots of other folks onto the potential of CGI.
Me on TRON: http://imgur.com/JHXsG
Some of my TRON Stuff: http://www.jerryrees.com/page20/page20.html
So I work the sequel story, and sink into the familiar characters, mixed with new characters and layers of substance and silliness.
A snag happens as it turns out people apparently holding the rights didn’t. Bankruptcy, Reorganized Debtor entities and cease & desist notes abound.
Industry Big Names became my allies, encouraging me to continue with the creative endeavor, helping to sort out the legal knot. Months pass. I’m told to get ready to announce to the fans – we’re almost there!
The bankruptcy group suddenly says a “mystery entity” outbid and walked away.
The Industry Big Names say “Don’t worry, whoever it is will get in touch with you. You were Writer/Director on the original!” But they don’t get in touch. The current announcement of a remake in fact attempts to delete my role from the original entirely. Can’t do that. Sorry, history is history.
What they did is totally legal. Anyone can buy anything and do to it what they will. But I cared about the original film and its characters dearly, and helped nurture them to life as the fans know them. I believe I could have brought them alive again in a genuine way that is beyond the understanding and capability of people simply making “product”.
I had planned to invite as many of the Original Team as would be willing to jump in again. Amazing people.
I had planned to invite the twenty-somethings in the industry, who had grown up with the film to join in.
And I had planned to use a web portal to allow fans from anywhere in the world to participate – actually trying their hand at animating, doing designs, throwing in storyboard ideas, etc.
It was a time for all of us to make Toaster together. By the way, I called the sequel “BLT, homemade.”
Okay, guess that’s enough preamble.
Ask me anything.
Good evening all - it's now past 2am and I'll be calling it a night. I plan to do a couple more sessions tomorrow for sure. I'll let you know when I'm here. Your questions and comments were fantastic! Thanks a million, and see you tomorrow, Jerry :-)