Internship offers glimpse into production

Whether almost being run over by Owen Wilson on a golf cart or having to find a detour to class since your path is blocked by multicolor umbrellas and massive camera crews, nearly every student has been aware of the filming of The Internship on campus.

This upcoming comedy film, planned to be released some time in 2013, stars Vince Vaughn (who also wrote the movie) and Owen Wilson as two recently laid-off, middle-aged men who must work as interns at Google, surrounded by bosses and co-workers who are in their early twenties.

Although there have been numerous sightings on campus of the film production taking place—including at the Clough Commons, Klaus Computing Building and the Biotechnology Quad, to name a few—the crew has worked hard at maintaining their productivity amidst the whirlwind of activity surrounding the start of fall classes. Building entrances were occasionally blocked off, and students were often denied access to most of the behind-the-scenes action. However, as production on campus came to an end this past weekend, executive producer and first assistant director John McLaglen gave Tech students and Atlanta citizens a first-hand glimpse of the movie-making industry and behind-the scenes technology in the twenty-first century at the “Hollywood Comes to Tech” seminar.

“Tech was a no-brainer,” McLaglen said of the decision of the location for shooting. After settling on Atlanta due to the favorable tax breaks, the production crew looked for a setting which would encompass the “creative yet studious vibe” of the actual Google campus headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Tech’s combination of green space, inner-city diversity and opportunities, buildings with high ceilings and open area made the campus “even better” than the actual Google center.

After negotiating deals with Institute President G.P. “Bud” Peterson and various Atlanta officials, the cast and crew realized how ideal this college setting was for the film’s premise.

“[Choosing a location] is like a first date,” McLaglen said. “You’re not sure how it’s going to work out… but by the third or fourth date, we were in love.”

The remainder of the seminar addressed the specifics of film technology and the development of multimedia in today’s digital age. McLaglen and the movie’s art director, Tom Meyer, utilized scenes from 2011’s Real Steel—as well as their collaborations on Avatar, The Polar Express, Beowulf and even Titanic—to showcase how technology has evolved and is continuing to enhance the movie-viewing experience.

The presentation displayed the step-by-step process of modeling a robot after the boxing characteristics of Muhammad Ali and the way in which Zoe Saldana transformed into an outer space creature through in-camera effects. Live action animation scenes and realistic virtual realities from Real Steel were shown and discussed, and are made through the same high-powered 3-D technology used in brain surgery.

McLaglen also provided valuable insight into the future of the film industry.  Leading innovators such as James Cameron—director of the two highest grossing films of all time, Avatar and Titanic—are aiming to increase the frames per second capability in motion pictures, as well as improving the 3-D experience and working towards 4-D effects and holographic technology.

“The one thing that a movie does [which books cannot] is bring us all together.  To hear someone else in the theater laugh or cry…that’s what movie making is all about,” McLaglen said.