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Update on the site.

 
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admin
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Joined: 28 Jul 2007
Posts: 381

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:08 am    Post subject: Update on the site. Reply with quote

Hey everyone -

This is just an update for you all. A long time ago we told you that we were working on going "wiki" allowing you guys, the fans and professionals of Imagineering to update and edit our site. We're still working hard on it and hope to have that for you soon. We'd like for you to be able to add and edit pages, to expand and improve upon content and really help make this the best theme park attraction site around. I'd like to have a place where we can post ride videos such that we can have a complete archive of theme park experiences as well. If any of you are interested in helping make that happen, please let me know.

We've also got another fabulous interview with the famous ex Disney Imagineer, Eddie Sotto in the works as well. So stay tuned! Great things are in the works!

Nate
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Loric



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oo, nifty.

Tell Eddie I said "Hi" and I still tell people the "Dumbo story" whenever people tell me that Disney attractions have to have a story.
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admin
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the Dumbo story again? I know I should know this.... but it's late.

Nate
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Loric



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just about how Dumbo is more about the fantasy of flight and the whimsical element of an elephant flying, rather then a plot-based or story-based attraction.

You can build an attraction on an idea rather then a story - story is merely one way to convey an idea. It opened my mind to new ways to present information, that it doesn't have to be "then something suddenly goes wrong" and that there is always another way to look at things. That sometimes you have to step back and remember what the big picture/idea is rather then what rules or norms you're trying to impose on it. Also the purity of simplicity.

It might sound silly, but it's honestly one of the most influential moments in my design career.
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admin
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's interesting about Dumbo is how they improved upon it. At Islands of Adventure the One Fish, Two Fish ride is the same concept, only now it does have a story. I think it actually makes it more fun than Dumbo. It's interactive, it is appealing to both children and adults alike, and it's got a catchy tune! What do you think? Is this an improvement to add a story?

Nate
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Loric



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasn't really aware it added a story, as in plot, but rather it added an interactive purpose.

I mean, i dont think there's any motive or reason for the events that occur. They just sort of occur.

Maybe we're mincing words...? What do you mean when you refer to the story of One Fish Two Fish? Maybe i just didn't notice it or get it.

I got instructions - kind of like how a computer manual is not a novel, ya know? Both are written, both have authors, one is not a novel.

On the same note, my fave spinner is Astro Orbitor at Magic Kingdom. Not to be confused with its sister at Disneyland, which i think is a poor ecuse sitting on the ground. Being up in the air at the level is an integral part of the experience. Goes back to idea of it all being about an experience not relying on the normal conventions (plot is a convention to convey an idea - a norm or rule which is readily readable by a mass audience) but rather a unique idea or experience. Not to mention ot pulls a few G's.
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Loric



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also - i will admit right now that I do not feel interactivity is the way of the future.

My studies of theater and its history have shown that throughout the ages people have time and again tried to make the show experience interactive (i firmly believe that theme parks and rides are a type of show and extension of theater)... and it has never taken of and has always been a passing fad.

I feel interactivity is a fad now, it's being tried again, like trying to reinvent the wheel, using even some of the same techniques. It's like the scratch and sniff movies and TV-shows and such. Actors coming into the audience and confronting the people face to face to engage them. even putting buzzers in the seats, it's all been done before - none of it lasts.

There was the creation of the idea of the reflective distance, a space at which you can view a piece and not be so emotionally involved as not to think logically about it. That's where I prefer to stay with my work. I never want people's brains to shut down. I do want things of great beauty. I do want carnal experiences, I do want to move people, but I want them to think. Even if it's after they leave and it sinks in - if they can only remember it as "oh, too funny and cute" they'll get nothing out of it. It needs to be deeper, it can be humerous, but it needs depth, ya know?
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MartinJ



Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 93
Location: Flint, MI

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think sometimes the confusion is between interactive and immersing. People really want rides that completely draw you in. They don't necessarily want to have to do stuff. That reminds people of work.
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Loric



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, if we were to discuss theatrical styles in a very academic manner, the reflective distance was a move away from being "drawn in" and all encompassing - because there the audience lost he ability to think for itself and rather was moved along with the show but sort of mindlessly.

Essentially it was the shift away from naturalism in theater. It shifted too far away and things became very abstract though and distant.

We go afterward to what's known as epic theater, where you pretty much assault the senses. Big spectaculars.

My idea is to walk the line, get people's attention but allow them to be thinking. The attractions I find myself enjoying the most are the ones which dont pretend to not be attractions. You know, those that aren't pretending it's really a movie backlot, really a safari, etc..

I rather enjoy the attractions like pirates, haunted mansion, and many of the Epcot rides where you're obviously being presented something. It's a reminder you're in an attraction - it's a show. That's the reflective distance. You can see, you can understand, but you think about it, knowing it's a show. There's no forced pretense that it's reality or natural.

Now, if i wanted to really be true to the style i'd need to go much further to remind the audience of the theatrical nature, but i think the ideas behind it are a good starting point. Kinda like saying i've learned that hand gestures can relate immense emotion because of Noh theater - not saying i want to do a show in Noh style.
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DancinBelle



Joined: 30 Jul 2007
Posts: 165
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You wouldn't believe how long it took for me to find the link to the boards... Embarassed lol
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Holly
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Joined: 06 Aug 2007
Posts: 229
Location: Orlando, FL

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm... If I think about it, for me the best example of reflective distance was the old "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride"... It was interesting because it was like a joke that both the creators and guests were in on... It wasn't meant to tell the story of the Wind in the Willows, and it had a unique visual style of its own... The bump doors and flat scenery elements were part of the show. It put the guest in an interesting position of not quite being a spectator, but not being in control either... Especially in the room where the two ride cars met and swerved from each other and them veered into a train tunnel... It had a great sense of humor to it. Rather than trying to *be* the story of the Wind in the Willows, it was its own stand-alone experience...

I think that both reality and playfulness have their place... The fans of Harry Potter and going to love the new attraction that transports them to a very realistic rendition of that world... However, a park that was all realism might end up feeling a bit too serious for most people. It's nice to have both. I like to watch movies that have some reflective distance like "Moulin Rogue", "Big Fish" or "The Prestige" (more of a show than realism) but other days I like the complete, realistic worlds of films like "Legends of the Fall", "The Last Samurai" or "Sense and Sensibility". It depends on the day... my mood... life experiences... etc. as to whether I will watch one or the other. I think it is good that there are a variety of styles of experience in theme parks to appeal to different people... But I agree, there are some things that I would rather design than others. I think that's part of being an artist Very Happy

P.S. Yeah... I had to search for the forum link too... It disappeared from its usual spot!
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wokcreative



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 197
Location: ProgressLand

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMO, theater, film... (entertainment) is escapism - taking you away to someplace else; not having to think about it, or making it too real; depending on mood at times - how you may want to feel and where you want to go; doing something you normally wouldn't or couldn't do ---> experiential and immersiveness do that most effectively - the purpose of going from two dimensional movies to a three dimensional theme park.

<O><O><O><O><O><O><O><O><O><O><O><O><O><O>

back to the first topic:
I think the "wiki" thing will be great. This site just keeps on getting better all the time.
(it did take me a minute to find the forum link, too, but found some other new things on the home page in the mean time!)

<O><O><O><O><O>

And why the minor soaking on 1 fish, 2 fish --- why do you have to get wet on every uni ride? what's that all about? javascript:emoticon('Rolling Eyes')
Rolling Eyes
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MartinJ



Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 93
Location: Flint, MI

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote]why do you have to get wet on every uni ride?[/quote]

'Cuz it's so friggin hot most of the time.
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admin
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob -

Would you mind defining reflective distance, natural theater and NOH theater? I've been out of school for too long...

If you don't like interactive, do you prefer immersive attractions? Is immersive the same as reflective distance?

Nate
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Loric



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Reflective distance" i think is my own variation of the term more commonly known as "contemplative distance" in most books (i think) and is based on Brecht's Epic Theatre idea - but without all the extreme.

A link: http://hulasurf.wordpress.com/

And a quote from that link..

---
Bertolt Brecht essentially advocated for theatre to fulfill its role as a didactic form of entertainment. You may ask how theatre can function as didactic and as entertainment simultaneously. Brecht’s Epic Smoking Theatre was the model for which he based his theories. “This smoke-filled alcoholic environment would promote the attitude of detachment that is integral” to this type of theatre, allowing for the audience to benefit from the importance of entertainment. (Gerould, 445). Brecht touches on two types of theatre in order to illustrate the two essential roles that theatre plays in order to simultaneously produce the result of didactic entertainment: Epic Theatre and Dramatic Theatre. He believed in the audience being able to be entertained, however he also expected that the spectators get something more substantial out of the experience. In Epic theatre, the audience members are consciously aware that they are experiencing theatre; they make decisions about it, react to it and perhaps even discuss it and pass judgement regarding the action while sitting in front of it. He stated that “the modern theatre is the epic theatre,” (Gerould, 449). The observer stands outside and studies it. In Dramatic theatre, you feel more. (Sensations). You share the experience with the players.
---

Natural theatre refers to naturalism - the attempt to recreate things precisely, even moreso then "realism" (realism has theatrical conventions - like blue light for night - which are not "real" or "natural") by means of things like having an actor actually cooking with a working stove on stage, actually washing dishes, cutting up potatoes - and all of the props and set pieces are real/natural, not fabricated for the stage.

Noh theatre is a major form of classical Japanese musical drama. It's very stylized and uses masks, also its in a very simplistic setting. The movements are very symbolic - taking a long journey is a series of steps in a circle for example. The audience is trained to identify the movements and see then as a visual language, it's tradition. The extensive use of masks inhibits or prevents the facial expression of emotion, thus the way a mask if worn/tilted in the light and hand gestures are used to convey emotion.
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Loric



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, the "didactic" is very important - in my humble opinion of course Wink

The didactic is the idea of evoking thought through conflict or stress. It provokes the mind to think and contemplate what is being shown. A simple triangle painted on a piece of paper centered in the middle is not didactic, however, shift the triangle in any direction and you create visual stress - interest.

"What on earth is he talking about and what does it have to do with attractions?" you ask.

Back to nate's question of if I like immersive attractions.. Not always. If an attraction merely "recreates", striving for naturalism or being overly realistic then the mind is not forced to think or contemplate. The mind can tune out and float on through. I think it's why I find many of the painfully recreated vistas found in some parks to be dull. It's not evoking thought, it's merely presenting.

I do want it be well formed and thematicly whole though! If you create a theme, and you create the rules of your universe - you darn well better stick to them. All aspects should lend to the conveyance of the idea. Incongruity of theme is distracting - not creating a space or distance to reflect on the subject but rather leading the audience away from focusing on the subject.
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Sfan00



Joined: 15 Jan 2008
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Update on the site. Reply with quote

[quote="admin"]Hey everyone -

This is just an update for you all. A long time ago we told you that we were working on going "wiki" allowing you guys, the fans and professionals of Imagineering to update and edit our site. We're still working hard on it and hope to have that for you soon. We'd like for you to be able to add and edit pages, to expand and improve upon content and really help make this the best theme park attraction site around. I'd like to have a place where we can post ride videos such that we can have a complete archive of theme park experiences as well. If any of you are interested in helping make that happen, please let me know.

We've also got another fabulous interview with the famous ex Disney Imagineer, Eddie Sotto in the works as well. So stay tuned! Great things are in the works!

Nate[/quote]

Nate in relation to the Wiki, can I make a formal request for a space for
a virtual park? I have a number of ideas I'd like to bounce of people and would like space to do it Smile
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