Thursday, November 24, 2011

Video Recap: Floats

I thought it'd be nice to take a look back at the floats, in a nice, easy-to-view video format!

Personally, I love seeing the before and after with the pencils and the final colors for the floats. Weird to say, I know, because I'm responsible for the transformation. But I dunno...I always love seeing that sort of thing! It just goes to show how much life can be breathed into something just by adding a dash of color! ~The Wonderful World of Colooooor~!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Floats: Magical Memories/'Here & Now'

And last but most certainly not least is the "Magical Memories/ Here & Now" float!

Florida Project → Magic Kingdom → Epcot → MGM Studios → Animal Kingdom →Magical Memories

Okay, this one might be a lil' hard to explain, as it actually does something!

See, the float would be coming out with the cover facing forward. On each side, there are two cameras. Now, those just ain't for show- they actually take your picture! As the float crawls by the guests, a Mickey Mouse sound-bite ("Everybody all neat and pretty? Great! 1, 2, 3, SMILE!") plays, the camera flashes, and the guests that happened to be in that spot while the camera flashed show up...on the back of the float! Once the float passes by the guests, they can look to see if they showed up in the book! The pages of the photo album are actually one big LCD screen, where the photos would appear. For the illustration, I have mostly my own photos from my WDW internship, but that was just to fill up space.

Ideally, there'd be some tech' going into the photo-taking, where it would focus on at least two faces in each shot, so nobody would have to search frantically for themselves in a giant group shot. Think like Facebook-tagging tech, haha.

This idea would be playing along with the "Let the Memories Begin!" campaign, and be sorta like a day-time Magic, Memories, and You! show (which was truly a magical memory to actually show up in in Disneyland's, btw!). The other name for the float "Here & Now" takes its name from one of the lyrics of the theme song, and also fulfills the 'timeline' theme of the parade. 

Another detail to note is the filmstrip base. Hard to illustrate, but each strip is a mirror! So that's another way guests can find themselves on the float. Or at the very least, their feet!

Well folks, the only illustrations left to do for this project are the back-details of some of the floats (MGM and Epcot, mainly). After those are done, I begin on the physical aspects, such as the small scale-model of one of the floats and a constructed costume.

I have some of my dearest friends helping me out with the Creative Costuming part, which I am THRILLED about!

Float Count : 6/6

Monday, November 14, 2011

Floats: Animal Kingdom!

Not as insane to draw as the MGM one, but still a lot of work!

Florida Project → Magic Kingdom → Epcot → MGM Studios → Animal Kingdom

 Well, this is the last of the main floats, and I didn't wanna make it lackluster in comparison to the others. It still feels like it's missing something...

Right from the start, I wanted the carnotaurus skeleton and Everest to be on the float. The skeleton isn't exactly a landmark, but I dunno...something about dinosaur skeletons in general are always a striking image to me.

Originally, I wanted various animal prints to go around the base of the float, similar to some signage you see when entering the park. But after looking at the over-head signs that are at the ticket booths, I decided to go with those carvings. Yeah, those were fuuuunnn to draw....

Rafiki's there to represent his Planet Watch/Conservation Station. I thought about putting Simba at the top, but him and Pride Rock are always paired; Rafiki fit better with the tree. You can probably spot Flik easily at the base of the tree. I had to include him for myself because he's one of my favorite characters. Hooray, creative outcasts! *brofist*

For the back of the float, I really wasn't sure what to put there for the longest time. I thought about placing some key scenes from Kilimanjaro Safari there (like the 'upside-down' tree, the lions' rocks, the tusk-worn mud walls), but the Safari was already represented by the truck. Putting animals back there didn't make much sense, either, since they were already being represented by the base of the float.
Then I thought about Camp Minnie + Mickey, but that really isn't a great location or notable for anything other than the Festival of the Lion King, and being what *could* have been Beastly Kingdom. Hmm...Beastly Kingdom.... IDEA! *ping*
See, back when Animal Kingdom opened, I was SO excited for the park. There were tons of promotions going on for it, including the McDonald's Happy Meal toy-line. I got a few of them, but my favorite was definitely the dragon. You can see the dragon's silhouette on the park's logo and his head on one of the ticket booths before you enter the park. But a lot of people don't know that the dragon was supposed to represent a mythical creatures section of the park. Long-story short, the idea was abandoned and turned into a campground. The dragon is still hidden away in the park, unbeknownst to most guests. So I wanted to represent him somehow! I still wish Disney would pick up the blueprints again with this part of the park, but something tells me that's a big fat NO. Especially if they're working on this Avatar land (ugh).
I also like that now I have three genres of creatures represented on the float that don't exactly mesh with the ones on the base: the ones that existed (dinosaurs), the ones that may exist (the Yeti), and the ones that possibly could have existed (dragons, mythical creatures).

One float left! Then it's on to the back-details of the floats.
Float Count: 5/6

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Floats: MGM Studios!

I knew this one was gonna take awhile to draw/color. Annnnnd I was right.

Florida Project → Magic Kingdom → Epcot → MGM Studios

The first concept:
The back.

Looks more like Planet Hollywood, huh?

Well, I think I'm in the minority of people that actually likes this park! I'm a sucker for classic Hollywood. I mainly blame Who Framed Roger Rabbit for that love.

This one was very difficult to draft, as there really aren't easily identifiable 'areas' to MGM. Pixar Place and Animation Courtyard, sure. But the rest are just 'streets'.
I wanted to play around with the idea of Hollywood illusions, like the fake backdrops you can find in the park. So I made the main shops you see when you enter the park as cutouts. They're not in order- sorry, purists!

Again, I really didn't want to showcase every ride; more landmarks than anything else. Tower of Terror, while a ride, is a very notable 'landmark' for the park. You don't see that stupid hat from the top of Everest too well, now do ya?!

And yes, I called that hat 'stupid'. I dunno, maybe because I grew up with the water tower and the Chinese Theater being the 'icons' of the park for me, but I just don't like that hat. I do not like it with a bat, I do not like it with a cat. But!....I had to represent it somehow. Hence Sorcerer Mickey. He appears a few times in MGM, like at the top of the Animation building, and that epic finale of Fantasmic! (a show I regret seeing only once during my 4-month stay [I know, throw the tomatoes, I deserve it]).

Backlot Tour's shuttles were the obvious choice for the transportation. They play into the back of the float, with Catastrophe Canyon. Get it? Backlot Tour on the back of the float? Hahaha...ha...
We also have what I consider the official icon of the park, the water-tower! Had to put that thing somewhere!

I'd also like to make note of the base/signage. I tried it with the teal color scheme the turnstiles have, but it was just too much blue with the fake sky backdrop. So I reverted it to black and white, to echo those classic movie marquees, where they'd put the letters on by hand.

Float Count: 4/6

MGM Creative Costuming:
-Animation Courtyard
-Pixar Place

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Floats: Epcot!

Now that the costumes are done, time to resume working on the floats.

Florida Project → Magic Kingdom → Epcot

The rough:

The back.

Epcot is my favorite park, hands down. Everybody says, "I didn't appreciate Epcot until I was older." Well, yeah, that does ring true for me too, but I can't lie an say that I didn't enjoy the park when I was little! Wonders of Life was my favorite pavilion, mainly for the awesome 'power' milkshakes.
And these babies.
They see me rollin'...I'm really happy I worked in MK because I could always hop on the monorail after work and head to Epcot! Grab some Yakitori House, a yummy fried ice-cream (oh god i can still taste them), and, if this was the evening, I'd be walking around a totally-cleared World Showcase while everybody else was watching the fireworks. Interesting experience, actually!

...Oh right, the float....ahem. Well, I knew right away that the character that would be sitting atop our beloved Spaceship Earth was going to be DreamFinder and Figment. While I think I was too young to have met Dreamfinder, I certainly remember Figment. Had a stuffed animal of him, if I'm not mistaken! When Disney veterans are asked, "Who is the most notable character for Epcot?", I'm certain all of them would say this duo.

Keeping with the transportation theme going along the bottoms of the floats, the monorail was the obvious choice. I chose to go with the Teal one, in remembrance of the tragedy that occurred in July '09, a month exactly after I returned home. My friends and I had the privilege to sit in the front-car a few months prior- now nobody but the pilot can do that, ever since the accident.

I may go back and add Nemo or some fish in general to the Living Seas' splash. Needs something there....

The back of the float features the Fountain of Nations, which is something I always stop to watch. Especially when it plays the theme from Rescuers Down Under! It's also such a gorgeous sight to see at night. I didn't see any point in representing World Showcase on the back, since it already goes around the entire float.

Floats: 3/6