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Interview With Bobs Gannaway and Ferrell Barron From Planes: Fire and Rescue #FireandRescueEvent

Bobs Gannaway and Ferrell Barron

As part of my adventure in LA, I had the chance to learn all about Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue.  I’ve shared all about how they do their research and how the characters come to life.  Today, you’ll get to learn more from the two men who are responsible, along with the help of so many others, for this movie going from concept to reality.   Having the chance to sit down with director, Bobs Gannaway, and producer, Ferrell Barron, was a lot of fun! Check out some of what we learned during our Question and Answer Session with them!

Dusty

Q: How much time did you spend at National Parks Institute?

FB: A lot of time, yeah. Yellowstone and Yosemite are the two Parks. You can see there are a lot of Monuments in there that are taken from both. We met with a lot of Park Rangers who toured us around and Old Faithful Inn, our Lodge is based on the Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone. So we got to take a quick trip and didn’t have enough time.

BG: There’s research, that informs everything from gag reels to feature moments. Even little things like in the lodge, for instance, there’s Rocking Chairs in front of the Fire places. The Old Jammer, I’m sure you’re familiar with it, are the Tour buses that are still used today in Glacier National Park, in Yellowstone. They’re called Jammers because they would jam the gears, they’re not Standard anymore. So, Jammers name is based on a historical vehicle and someone might pick up on that. Boat Reynolds appears there. That came from research. We were driving through Yellowstone and there was a sign that said Boat Rentals. And I went, “Oh Look, Boat Rental, Boat Reynolds.” So, just the littlest tiny thing will inform, big choices. It always works its way in where you’re sort of the Curator of all of these wonderful things that you get to kind of put together and it’s so much fun.

Smoke Jumpers

Q : Are National Parks or places reaching out to you to help with PSAs to speak to children about Fire Safety?

FB: We’ve actually done that very thing tied in with Smokey the Bear. So, we have some PSAs working with him right now, which is fantastic.

BG: Fire Safety, the first 5 they go and put out, were the result of an unattended Camp Fire. You can hear her say that. That was something that the National Parks asked if we would put in there. We were more than happy to. Our big Fire starts with lightning, because I didn’t want it to become a Crime Film. Although most mini-Fires, are caused by Humans, mostly unattended Camp Fires. So we’re working with the Parks to tell you how to put a Camp Fire out properly and things like. They were very happy with it.

Windlifter

Q : What kind of research did you do to get the fire to look so realistic? Did you just watch Videos of a Fire? Did you actually see a fire?

FB: Years and years. It just takes. I mean, we didn’t jump into a fire. Cal Fire provided us with a lot of great footage to study. This was probably the biggest undertaking we’ve ever tried here to Disney Studios, was this FX Movie. 53% of our Movie I had Visual Effects and the joy of that is Fire, Smoke, and Water. So, when Bobs first pitched this to John Lasseter and he saw that first image, they knew we had to get on a call with Research and Development right away on the fire. Because it’s essentially a Character. So you want to be sure you’re developing this Character that looks real. He was very specific, he wanted it to look real and not fake. So, that was our first thing.

In the Effects world, Fire is a fluid simulation. It’s one of the most difficult things you can do. It takes a lot of time to get it right and then it can also bog things down because it’s so heavy. I mean, you’re dealing with zeros and ones, it’s all Computer generated, and it’s very heavy. We had to first build a fire that looked real, but it had to be a fire that was also sustainable through the course of Production and wouldn’t lock us down. So, that was two tasks. It had to look right and be sure that we could actually produce it for over 600 shots. It’s a lot of efficiencies we had to come up with behind the scenes, the technology side of things just to be able to produce the Film.

BG: The shots become very dense. There’s about 2 and a half million trees populating the Park. You know, your shots get really dense and you light them all on fire, and it becomes a very complicated thing to do all of the things that you have to do to get it on the screen.
We looked at mostly real Fire footage and some elements that go in the movie are loosely based on the 1988 Yellowstone Fires. So yeah, but from a Fire standpoint, trying to make it like real fire, is so challenging. We had a Library Fire System, so we can place fires and run them through a cycle for distant fires, for closer fires, etc. It might be interacting with the ground. It has a certain thing we want the embers to do, so you sort of work on levels like that and weight fires away, it’s randomized throughout. Foreground fires are all customized and things like that. It’s ridiculously complicated.

It was so interesting to sit with the director and producer. To see the passion they have for Planes: Fire and Rescue, made me love the movie that much more. July 18, head to theaters to see Disney Planes: Fire and Rescue!

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Toni is a professional lifestyle blogger living on the sunny Florida Gulf Coast. She has a passion for Disney, Travel, Fashion, Cooking, Tech, Family Fun Ideas, Reviews, Giveaways and loves being able to share that with her readers!
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