Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rare Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark Making-Of

I found a fantastic video for you, a rare making-of of Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark!
this making-of was a PBS special back in the 80's and include many rare footage never seen before. And it's fascinating to watch Spielberg directing one of the best adventure movie of all time!

Below, two others original posters for Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Pictures and video: copyright Paramount Pictures

Friday, November 29, 2013

Star Wars Episode 7 ? No, Star Wars Downunder !

Can't wait till 2015 for Star Wars Episode 7? I've got something for you which should make it with this new Star Wars film fan called "Star Wars Downunder".  Not only this 30 min movie directed by Michael Cox is fun and having fun of the Aussie love for cold beer but what will really stun you are the amazing visual effects, just as good ( okay, or almost ) as in a real Star Wars movie. No kidding.

Go ahead, have a look at this "epic tale of the good, the bad and the thirsty"!

Picture and video: copyright MBM Studio

Thursday, November 28, 2013


It's Black Friday tomorrow so tomorrow Friday 29 and Saturday 30 i'm doing a Black friday sale on the DLP book! You have prices on the Ad below AND each buyer who will place his order during these two days will receive an additional awesome surprise gift! Prices on the picture above include worldwide shipping. 

Orders must be sent with your shipping address by email at: 

Paypal payments can be sent directly to the same email address. 
Payment by Bank Transfer are also possible, send me an email to get the bank infos. French buyers ( only ) can also pay by Bank Check ( contact me by email ). 

Don't miss this Black friday sale!

Note: Do not use during these two days the Paypal button on the right bar as it is not programmed with these prices, thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving to All D&M American Readers !

It's Thanksgiving today in the U.S, and i wish a happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers wherever you are!

Picture: copyright Disney - Inspired by Norman Rockwell

Dubai Will Host EXPO 2020

Yesterday, the sky above Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, was illuminated by fireworks as Dubai was named host city of the Expo 2020. It's always a big boost for the country which host the Expo and for theme park fans this might have some collateral effects.

As we know ( remember the NY Expo in 1963 in which WED created several exhibits including It's a Small World and Carousel of Progress? ) these "world exhibits" are immensely popular, seen by million of visitors and last six months. So i wouldn't be surprised if this announcement also boost theme park projects for Dubai which were put on hold, to have them ready for 2020 or even before... Don't expect anything from Disney but a Dreamworks or Universal theme parks were in the plans before being put on hold, so it will be interesting to see what will happen now that Dubai will be the host city for EXPO 2020.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Amazing Infrared "Dream" Pictures of Disneyland Paris - Photos by Neil Massey

God knows that since seven years i've posted hundreds of pictures of Disneyland Paris on literally every angle and showing the park during any season. And it becomes difficult to find new pictures showing the park in a different way. So, you'll understand why i was happy when Neil Massey sent me this amazing Infrared pictures of DLP. The Infrared process makes DLP Magic Kingdom look unreal, just like if you were in a dream, i think that Neil did an great job, and that's why i'm happy to post them here on Disney and more. Hope you'll like them too!

But first, what are Infrared pictures? According to what Neil posted on his site HERE where you can see additional pictures: "Infrared photography (IR) is a unique subset of imagery mainly for landscape photography. Using an infrared camera, i am able to take images from the infrared spectrum. This is sometimes called near-infrared photography so not to be confused with thermal imaging which is called far-infrared.

An infrared camera needs two things; for the cameras sensor to be exposed and an infrared passing filter to be fitted so that to block the visible light spectrum. With this it allows you to see a landscape like nothing you have seen before. This dream like effect is called the ‘wood effect’ named after Robert W. Wood who was a leading pioneer in infrared and ultraviolet photography". 

Knowing all this, let's start this "Infrared tour" of DLP like you have never seen it before, and click on each picture to enjoy them in bigger size!

You can see more Infrared pictures on Neil's website HERE and can even order some special prints if you wish!

Pictures: copyright Neil Massey

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Big Mistake

Don't miss today's Mice Chat update HERE as very unfortunately there is VERY bad news about almost every awaited attractions, including the Star Wars lands, Monsters Inc mini-land, and many more. And why? Because of the failure of Next Gen and the Magic band, etc... Or to be more precise: because of the cost of the whole thing. I have to say that when i heard the cost of it - more or less $1Billion - i thought it was insane. We know why they were doing this Next Gen but one thing which i always thought was a mistake - and it's not even the current problem which is a technical one if i understood it well - is the idea that WDW or DL guests will enjoy this plus of technology, thanks to the Magic Band, etc...

Although people can undeniably enjoy new techs as smart phones and others iPad success told us it's not a reason to think they can enjoy it all the time. It always seems to me that when we go at Disneyland it's precisely to "change of world" and i'm pretty sure that most of the guests are happy to leave behind them during their day at DL all this technology which at the same time makes life more simple and in which we're all trapped. A Magic Band needed for a better enjoyment of the Magic Kingdoms? Really? What were they thinking?

Edited: But some may have a different opinion than me. Have a read to Kevin Yee's article also on Mice Chat who was quite happy with his Magic Band experience.

Picture: copyright Disney

Will Shanghaî Disneyland Pirates of Caribbean Ride Use This New "Omnimover Boat Ride" Technology ?

This week-end a member of WDWMagic forum has posted the complete list of the names of all Shanghaî Disneyland rides, shows, shops, restaurants, etc... everything. You can have a look at all this HERE and among the list is the title of the awaited SDL Pirates of Caribbean ride: "Battle for the Sunken Treasure". It is rumored since a long time that the SDL POTC ride will be a brand new version, not using that many audio-animatronics but a lot of projection effects probably with the same technology currently used in the Disney Hollywood Studios POTC show. 

There is also a strong rumor saying that the ride technology will be different than usual, may be using a new patent showing a different kind of boat with a kind of "simulation" system located under the boat which might allow the boat to move or shake suddenly depending of what's happening in the scenes. I already talked about this one and you can read my previous article and see patent images HERE.

But another WDI patent was discovered recently and this one is showing an "Omnimover boat ride" technology. As you know the Omnimover is the technology used for instance in the Haunted Mansion with cars all linked one to another by a hidden track moving at a constant speed. As the cars never stop it allows to have a huge ride capacity per hour and so far it has been a pretty reliable technology since it was introduced by WED in the late 60's.

This new patent describes the same principle, applied to boats, all linked together as you can see on the patent drawing above, and "not guided by and do not contact nearby sidewalls" at least for a part of the ride. The patent description mentions too a wave machine which could be used to propel the boats. Also mentioned in the description: "in the open bay or free-floating portion, the boats or vehicles may even be caused to traverse overland or out of water by placing ramps in the path of boats and providing pads or rollers/wheels on the bottom of the boat hulls/bodies", which for sure could make a very unique boat ride like you've never seen before.  

But will WDI use this "Omnimover boat ride" technology for POTC "Battle for the Sunken Treasure"? Even if you can see on the patent sketch above a sunken galleon it doesn't mean necessarily that it will be the case. Also, something else that we don't know is if this Omnimover boat ride will allow to have a boat slide during the ride. And a POTC ride without any slide would be really disappointing, wouldn't it? But if the boats are not really attached all together then it might be possible... As for the answer i'm afraid that we'll have to wait till 2015 to know which boat ride technology will be used in this awaited SDL POTC ride. 

Pictures: copyright Disney Enterprises

Monday, November 25, 2013

Gary Goddard Update

It's with a great, great pleasure that I welcome today Gary Goddard, CEO and founder of the Goddard Group (GGE), and before GGE, of Landmark Entertainment. Gary Goddard began his career at The Walt Disney Company in 1974, as the co-director (with Larry Billman) of the original WDW College Workshop production of The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Walt Disney World Resort's Fort Wilderness. When the college workshop cast members returned to their respective Universities at summer’s end, Gary was asked to stay on and cast, direct, and produced the “Professional Cast” version of the show, which he did. He was soon hired by Marc Davis and became a Show Designer at Walt Disney Imagineering, where he worked directly with Marc and with other Disney Legends including Herb Ryman, John Hench, Collin Cambell, X Atentio, Bill Justice, Al Bertino and many others -- developing concepts for EPCOT, The World Showcase,Tokyo Disneyland, and River Country, among others. 

Gary Goddard Productions, Goddard's first company, was formed in 1980, which became Landmark Entertainment Group in 1985. Goddard exited Landmark Entertainment Group in 2002 to start his new company, Gary Goddard Entertainment (now "The Goddard Group"). Thanks to Gary Goddard and his team we enjoyed among the years fantastic attractions whether it is Jurassic Park The Ride or Terminator 2/3D at Universal Studios, or the exceptionally great Amazing Adventures of Spiderman ride at Islands of Adventure, or the incredible Star Trek: The Experience at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas.
Gary kindly agreed to be a regular contributor for Disney and more with new updates each month (and maybe even more frequent) in which Gary will talk not only about the development of current projects of the Goddard Group but also about unrealized attractions, all this with gorgeous artworks, and God knows how much we love great artworks here at DIsney and more, don't we? Gary Goddard's Group also have a Facebook page where you can follow him HERE.

And now, I hand over to Gary who will start by a great new project that was created and designed by Goddard Group and which is currently being built in China! 

I am pleased to provide some artwork and insight into the design process for followers of this fantastic site. That being said, Alain Littaye asked me to provide “various projects” to start, so I have pulled together a few recent and past projects in no particular order. 
The first one, as noted above, is in China. This project is called "Shanghaî Bund Movie Studio & Movie Park" and is now being built in Hengdian, China as part of the larger Hengdian Studios, a very successful movie studio. The first thing to know is this is a working movie studio, where films will be shot throughout the year. The studio’s largest standing set is based on the famous waterfront district in Shanghai called "The Bund". Despite the immense demand to film period movies and television shows on the real Bund, it has only been fully shut down once- for Steven Spielberg's 1987 film, Empire of the Sun. Because of this, Hengdian Film World engaged us to create an exact recreation of the Bund as it existed between in the years prior to 1950. While the Bund is the largest single standing set here, there are many other areas include “Old Shanghai”, and “Nanjing Road” and many more such areas. But in addition to the backlot and shooting sets, the new project will function both seamlessly as a theme park and as a working studio, allowing production to take place while simultaneously visitors enjoy the park. Within some of the large sound stages will be exciting and dynamic attractions that are based upon the history and part films of and about Shanghai.

Here's a first look at one of the signature attractions in our upcoming SHANGHAI BUND theme park coming to Hengdian, China. The SHANGHAI TROLLEY will take guests on a behind-the-scenes tour of the working studio, as well as of the public backlot. Interspersed throughout the experience are several special effect experiences, including the typhoon sequence depicted here.

Shanghaî Bund will also include incredible rides like the "Shanghaî Triad Chase". The ride, inspired by the movies based upon the infamous chinese triads will take guests in a wild adventure through Shanghaî's dark underworld".  

I'd like now to showcase one of Goddard Group's great artists, Christopher Smith. Chris joined the Goddard team in 2011 after over 15 years of service as a Principal Concept Designer at Walt Disney Imagineering where he helped craft many of the company's most beloved projects. Prior to working for Disney, Chris also worked at Goddard’s first company, Landmark Entertainment. The illustration below was done for the SIX FLAGS DUBAILAND project. Because of the region's extreme heat, the Welcome Center (Ticketing & Guest Services) was to have been fully-enclosed within this grand pavilion. Behind the ticketing desks, giant panoramic windows looked out into the park, and the REVOLUTION roller coaster would have careened through a heartline roll right above the turnstiles. While this concept never came to fruition, the idea for an upscale ticketing zone lived on, and is under construction right now at South Korea's Lotte World.

Also for the SIX FLAGS DUBAILAND project the illustrations below depict what visitors would have seen as they arrived at SIX FLAGS DUBAILAND, and as they left the park as well. The first illustration shows the view as guests depart the elevated ticketing zone discovering (from the higher level) a grand panoramic vista of the park and its signature coasters and attractions.  As a happy byproduct, as guests left in the evening, or later in the day, they wouldremain at ground level and pass straight under the ticketing building to discover the park's main merchandise venue which also forms the exit path from the park.

This next artwork is one of his stunning illustrations for the unrealized SIX FLAGS QATAR project. Set on the coast of the Persian Gulf, the resort would have featured an upscale theme park anchored by the "SIROCCO" launch coaster.

Also by Christopher Smith, here's a breathtaking illustration of the JOURNEY TO PARADISE 3D boat ride proposed for the Tropicana in Las Vegas. This was to be the world’s 3D/4D boat ride. Staged in an Omnimax-style dome, this vista was to have been the ride's first major 3D moment as guests left the real world behind and started their journey through a hyper-real tropical world. Completing the scene would have been water-spray and rumbling audio effects that would have truly immersed guests in the moment.

Let's have a look now to one of four unrealized attractions starting by this ride concept from 2007 when we were in the process of creating blue-sky concepts for Universal Studios Singapore.The GGE concept for the MADAGASCAR ride was very different from the boat ride that was ultimately created. Our concept was built around a trackless AGV dark ride system that would have taken guests on a PHOTO SAFARI, using onboard augmented reality cameras to snap images of the film's characters amidst the most iconic settings. At the end of the ride, guests would have been able to purchase a photo book with not only the photos they shot, but candid photos of themselves taken at several key moments in the attraction! 

On a separate project, this one for Six Flags again, back when Mark Shapiro was still at the helm of Six Flags, he realized they needed a big idea to fill the vacant stunt show theaters found at several of the chain's largest parks. Perhaps the most exciting concept developed was for that of a MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE action stunt spectacular. This concept would have seen the theaters enclosed in temporary canvas tent structures to allow for lighting control, and would have immersed the audience in the most special effects-intensive stunt show ever created.
One of the coolest things about the show would have been the marketing- as the new attraction would have been heralded by "self destructing" billboards(each with their own digital “countdown clock”) that would have been “self-destructed” on the date the message expired, revealing a new message behind the “exploded” billboard noting MISSION IMPOSSIBLE was now in operation.

Back to the mid-90's when I was still running Landmark, we were engaged by Andrew Lloyd Webber's REALLY USEFUL GROUP and a major Las Vegas casino operator to create a PHANTOM OF THE OPERA resort right on the Las Vegas Strip. We created something truly spectacular for the resort hotel itself, along with several very unique attractions.

With a facade inspired by Charles Granier's famous cross-section of the Paris Opera House, the resort would have contained a boat ride through the catacombs under the theatre, as well as a super-sized version of the world's most popular musical. (While the resort never moved beyond concept due to financial constraints, a scaled-down version of the mega Phantom production did eventually open at the Venetian in 2006.)  

In addition to bringing "the inside to the outside" you will note a Gondola Boat RIde that moves beneath the main entrance (which as you can see, has the domed ceiling of the Paris Opera house acting as an immense Porte Cochere). The Boat Ride was an incredible telling of the tale of the love story but as seen from the point of view of the Phantom itself. The ride - created by The Phantom - was complete with clockwork "autumn figures" and "mechanical sets" as if the Phantom himself had created this life size music box tribute to the romance (as he saw it) between Christine and himself. The cool thing was that Andrew was going to score the entire ride based upon the themes of the incredible show. The world's first dark ride, based upon a great musical work, with an original score composed by the composer himself. It would have been world class.

We will end this first update by this stunning painting by renowned artist Dan Goozee. 
Back when the MGM GRAND was first being developed for Las Vegas, various show concepts were being explored- one of which was a TARZAN-themed concept, depicted here. On this one, Tony Christopher, my partner in Landmark, and I worked together on the show concept. Ultimately, they decided to go with another idea we developed for them, “EFX!” – a spectacular show which we created and which had a highly-successful 8-year run starting in 1995.

See you next week with a new great update!

All pictures: copyright Gary Goddard - Goddard Group

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Will George Lucas get the green light to build his Lucas Cultural Arts Museum at San Francisco's Presidium ?

The Lucas Cultural Arts Museum is the big project of George Lucas. The museum will be located at San Francisco's Presidium a few yards from the Walt Disney Family museum and will offer unprecedented educational opportunities for young people and families with a mission: to teach the history of storytelling. Here is how Georges Lucas himself presents the project:

"I'm a storyteller at heart, and I understand the power of a visual image to tell a story. I know how works of art can ignite children's imaginations and even change their lives. They changed mine.

Even before I could verbalize what I was feeling, I was drawn in by Norman Rockwell's ability to tell a complete story in a single image. And so much of that imagery captured American cultural truths and aspirations. It was then that I began to learn the art of visual storytelling. As my career as a filmmaker grew, so did my love of art and passion for collecting.

The Bay Area has always been home to forward-thinkers and artistic innovators-people who push to do things that haven't been done before. Men like Eadweard Muybridge, Philo Farnsworth and Steve Jobs. Companies like Pixar, Adobe, and Facebook. There's a history of invention here that's as exciting as it is infectious. That's one of the reasons why I'm here, why I raised my family here, and why I chose to start my own business here. It's also why I chose this remarkable region for a new museum.

I want to create a gathering place where children, parents, and grandparents can experience everything from the great illustrators such as Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish, to comic art and children's book illustrations along with exhibitions of fashion, cinematic arts, and digital art. The Bay Area was the birthplace of digital arts three decades ago.

The Lucas Cultural Arts Museum will be a center highlighting populist art from some of the great illustrators of the last 150 years through today's digital art used to create animated and live-action movies, visual effects, props and sketches. They're all united by their ability to capture our shared cultural story-from Rockwell's pencil sketches to computer generated moving images. More than just exhibiting illustration and technological innovation, this cross-section of art can help to describe and define our culture-its past, present, and future. It provides a unique way to see what's emotionally important to us as a society and how we communicate those feelings without words. The best way to truly understand art is to experience it."

The building itself would have a faux Beaux Arts style with an estimated $700-million price tag and here are some digital renderings of it showing it on different angles as well as the view that visitors will have on the Golden Gate bridge .

You can learn more about this big project, and what will be displayed in it, on the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum website HERE  as well as how, in addition to its permanent collection, the Museum will provide gallery space for such traveling exhibitions as "Star Wars Identities", but he main question seems to be currently: Will George Lucas get the green light to build his museum at San Francisco Presidium ? According to a L.A Times article "officials at the famous site are pushing back, having asked the "Star Wars" creator and other competing projects to rethink their designs before a decision is made... On Thursday, the board of directors of the Presidio Trust met to decide on proposals for developing an eight-acre site across from Crissy Field. Among the proposals vying for physical space is Lucas' art museum as well as  a proposed science-themed center and a mixed-use complex from the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. "In the interest of having the best project possible for the Presidio, we want to provide one more opportunity for teams to adjust their proposals before we make a selection," said the board in an announcement released on Thursday."

Although "The board didn't specifically mention Lucas' proposed art museum, which would be called the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum. But the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Presidio board Chairwoman Nancy Bechtle recently met with the newspaper's editorial board during which she expressed reservations about the museum's design. Bechtle described the design for the museum as "too big" and having an "inappropriate configuration."

So, we'll see what happen, but last September George Lucas made waves when he announced that Chicago could be "his kind of town" and that he would take the museum to Chicago if it were to be rejected in San Francisco...

In the meantime have a look at this video in which George describe the project. More videos, including one in which John Lasseter defends the project are available HERE.

Pictures and video: copyright  Lucas Cultural Arts Museum