Monday, January 21, 2013

Better To Ask Disney For Forgiveness Than Permission

Better To Ask Disney For Forgiveness Than Permission

One of the bigger stories come out of Sundance is the story of a struggling screen writer with a film that was shot in the most unconventional way. Without one single ounce of permission to film where he did. That where is also extremely strange since it's one of the most watched places around with a crowd that would cause any normal production a slew of filming nightmares in itself.

Randy Moore films guerrilla style at Disney
PARK CITY, Utah -- About three years ago, Randy Moore, a struggling screenwriter living in Burbank, had an out-there idea: What if he took a tiny camera and, without asking permission, began shooting a narrative movie at Disney theme parks?

Moore had been visiting Disney World in Orlando, Fla., with his now-estranged father since he was a child, and he’d also begun taking his two children, then 1 and 3, to Disneyland. He thought that juxtaposing the all-American iconography of Mickey Mouse with a dark scripted tale would be cinematic gold, or at least deeply weird.

So with the help of an extremely small Canon camera and some very game actors and crew, the director began shooting a movie guerrilla-style.

The result of Moore’s quixotic dream is “Escape from Tomorrow,” a Surrealist, genre-defying black-and-white film that was shown for the first time at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday night and that was primarily shot across the vast expanses of Disney theme parks in Orlando and Anaheim. There is Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and Space Mountain, Tiki Room and teacups, princesses and a Main Street parade. At one point, Epcot Center blows up.

It is one of the strangest and most provocative movies this reporter has seen in eight years attending the Sundance Film Festival. And it may well never be viewed by a commercial audience.

Sitting at a Park City café shortly after the screening ended, Moore, 36, is trying to take deep breaths. The director has been living the last three years in a state of heightened tension, fearful that Disney would find out about his stealth project and try to quash it.

So he went from a struggling screenwriter. One who has a million bucks to blow on a film as well as graduated from Full Sail... Let that sink in for a second. I almost went to Full Sail and if ever a worthless degree mill has existed than Full Sail, I could not think of it. The place was utterly embarrassing in how bad they just wanted you to take out loans and then crank you out into an industry not paying shit to ever pay those loans back with.

But hey, he's got this very controversial premier at Sundance that will get his name out. I guess there really is no such thing as bad publicity... that is till he gets sued by Disney's all star legal team. You just have to ask yourself what this sucker looks like. Here's a little clip.

Which is thoroughly impressive in how he captured his film with no real control of lighting besides what the elements tossed at you. And while I know Florida isn't all that known for deviating weather besides sunny and humid, you'd be surprise how often it just up and suddenly rains on you, or the clouds decide to turn it dark for a brief while.

It's really strange at how this was made. Just look at the footage from the making of and post production work that was taken to South Korea.


 Again, this just shows how amazing this production was. But then you realize that he just made a movie about a father who was laid off, and on the final day of his family trip to Disney, he gets obsessed with under age women and follows them around the park.

Hmmm, I'm not a betting man, but I'm sure that I could make some easy money in saying that perhaps Disney wouldn't like to encourage dirty old men to stalk underage park patrons. So if there wasn't any other of the long list of reasons why this was going to get the full wrath of the lawyer department, it's for the sole purpose of the film's use of the theme park is a huge no-no. As well as promoting pedophilia in the parks is just not something the Disney company wants anything to do with.

And yet, this is probably the main reason, and the single most important reason why this film will be demanded and watched - Because they said I couldn't see it, so I just want to see it ten times more now.

But let's face the facts. This will never be bought by any distribution company. At best it will be circulated and screened, against the wishes of Disney as well as the wrath of their legal department, where ever it shows up. Taking it to Park City was pretty silly besides as a tool to get his name out there. He was, after all, a failed screen writer. So this sudden attention is going to be all the payment he needs. Mostly also because no one will touch this. It's virtually impossible to distribute and everyone knows this. The moment anyone buys it, Disney will slam them and slam them hard. 

There was one other instance like this that I have seen. A sort of found footage scary story short that revolved around the Haunted Mansion being mixed with Blair Witch Project/ Paranormal Activities type of story. You can see it right here;

But as you can see, that didn't go to any indie film circuits and was just distributed online. So who knows, besides it wasn't really that far from what Disney's narrative is. Having a pedo in the park.. yeah, not so great on the "to-do" list in allowing to see the light of day.

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