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Orange Bird Photo Hunt



Entries in Film (25)


EPCOT City Model [Part 1]

We bring you a behind-the-scenes preview of a unique little side project. We show you how this 16” model of Walt’s EPCOT got started.

The fan community excitedly awaits the 30th Anniversary of EPCOT Center this October. Today we go back some 46 years just before Walt Disney’s death when he shared his dream for EPCOT the city. It was to be an extremely efficient city with futuristic modes of transportation. It was to be built in the center of the Walt Disney World property.

Join me in this “making-of” video as I begin creating a scale replica of the city layout Walt presented in 1966:

The model-making process.

Purchase extra fine floral foam and a 16” round piece of wood from the local craft store.

Cut the foam to nicely fit on top of the round wood.

Draw the EPCOT roads in Adobe Illustrator or any vector-based drawing program. Send vector files to someone with a small to medium flat bed laser cutter. Cut design in 1/8” acrylic.

Gently press the delicate acrylic cutout into the surface of the foam.

Remove the acrylic cutout and paint the surface of the foam. Sprinkle fine green static grass flock onto fresh paint.

After paint dries, pour off excess grass and blow out the grooves using a drinking straw.

Prime and paint acrylic cutout.

Use scrap foam as test blocks.

Glue cutout into place. Landscape the rest of the model before adding architecure. Here we see the unfinished city center with pieces loosely placed.

A couple of Peoplemover tracks extend to the residential rings of the city. Monorail tracks will soon be placed.

You might remember the little robot standing in the background. 

The process continues with lots of little trees and bushes, walkways, and ponds. After that, parks, schools, churches, city buildings, and little tiny mid-century ranch-stlye houses!

To be continued.....


Related posts:

A Look at the Progress City Model- Then and Now
Buena Vista Street Model
Mars and Beyond Robot
Mechanizing a Miniature Main Street Electrical Parade
Swiss Family Treehouse Model
EPCOT Construction from the Air


Pirate Animatronic Behind-the-Scenes 

Today we go behind-the-scenes to look at the figure-finishing process of Pirates of the Caribbean animatronic figures.

Animatronic figures are maintained on the inside by Engineers in the Engineering Services department. On the outside they are maintained by Figure Finishers, Show Artists, members of the Artist Prep department, Creative Costumers, etc. Ultimately Walt Disney Imagineering is responsible for the show standards of all AA figures. Let’s look at the process.

A pirate is sent to the shop on a trailer, truck, palette, or golf cart to be stripped down. Less prominent figures can be removed from an attraction without being immediately replaced. In theory... the more important figures are not removed unless an identical spare takes its place. You’ll notice this isn’t always the case.

Grab the new headskin that you’ve already buttered up. Buttering is a technique where you trim and add detail to the rubber using metal tips of various shapes on the end of a torch. Notice the hand filled with a spray styrofoam.

Place the headskin in a mold so it keeps its form while working on the inside.

Snaps with rubber flaps are buttered to the inside.

Each snap corresponds to the snaps on the hard under shell.

Ask this guy for the eyes.

Add rubber eyelids and plastic eyelashes to the eye mechanism.

Paint layer upon layer to match the original head shown in documentation photos. Exaggerate the skin tones and other details in order to be more visible from a distance. Consider show lighting conditions.

Add facial hair and wig. Check out the Peter Pan crocodile head in the background!

Add the hat you got from the nice ladies at Creative Costuming.

Once he's back in the show, ride through to see your handy work and tell your friends, "I did that". This process is definitely what I miss most about by past creative career. There's just something about working with these materials then seeing them come to life, animated and speaking and such.


All above photos are from Disneyland Paris. Not all job titles and department names mentioned are consistent with all properties.

Watch this great little video called "Disneyland et ses secrets HD Reportage France 3" for more behind-the-action footage:


Related posts:

Pirates of the Caribbean Like You've Never Seen It
Little Box of Treasures
ABANDONED DISNEY: Haunted Mansion Hitchhiking Ghosts
Walt Disney Studios Post Production Behind-the-Scenes
EYE CANDY: National Geographic Aug '63
Recreating the Pirates Jail Scene in Miniature


Disney's "The Story Of Menstruation"

It's a boy! My wife gave birth to our first child this week. She and the baby are doing very well. While discussing various details of "changing bodies", my mother-in-law pulled up this gem and shared interesting memories of watching this Walt Disney Production in middle school.

Leave it to 1940s Disney to produce an educational film presented to over 50 million young girls... about periods. I want to know which notable male animators worked on this. Did they admit it to anyone?? Were they assigned to this project after messing up on a different project? What were Walt's notes to the Story Department?

Let's watch the film and learn about:

Feeling sorry for yourself; exercising (but not too much); keeping smiling and even-tempered; relieving cramps; showering in the correct water temperature; slumpy posture; ovaries; avoiding constipation; dancing with boys; increasing morale by applying makeup; nature’s eternal plan of passing on life; and Mother Nature controling many of our routine bodily processes through automatic control centers.

Keep in mind, this was my wife's idea. With the encouragement of my mother-in-law.

Belle's Baby Boy

My wife is wonderful. She puts up with this silly blog and everything that goes with it. She humors me when I tell her about discovering something super geeky about old EPCOT Center or when I cover the upstairs in old park maps. And when it comes to delivering a baby, she's a real trooper. Her part-time job as Belle and Cinderella at Walt Disney World is on hold for a while. But you just may spot her all princessed-up later this year.


Related posts:

Walt Disney Studios Post Production Behind-the-Scenes
Imagineering Sound Design Behind-the-Scenes
Original Visions of CalArts
Our Friend the 
Magic Highway U.S.A... It doesn't get much better than this.