An ode to the Imagineers.....
At the start of the year I worked with Emily & Curtis to create an alternative reality story based around Walt Disney's theme parks and the Imagineers who designed and created them. We imagined a past where Walt had been secretly planning a UK based Disneyland using the name 'The Simonsound Transit Authority'. In our fantasy world, the project recently came to light when a suitcase of Walt's was found in the attic of a man who used to work in lost property at the Dorchester Hotel (where Walt and his family would stay on visits to Europe) in London in the '60s.
The case was full of tantalizing clues about the proposed project. A miniature reel to reel tape machine contained a diary entry by Walt (voiced by actor Paul Whetstone), and a mysterious reel labeled 'Data Tape' which was full of bursts of electronic noise, bleeps and tones. Correspondence between Walt and his Imagineering staff on old paper stock with letterpress printed letterheads gave further hints about their plans, and an old map contained colour dots hinting at possible locations for the park. There was even some light reading in the form of R. Thurston Hopkins' Ghosts Over England, with an inscription from Imagineer Rolly Crump, included as Walt had been working with him on the legendary Haunted Mansion ride at the time and took great interest in Britain's spooky past. Photographic slides and a photo of a model created by the Mini Paper Pavilion Club added further visual clues.
Finally a copy of The Simonsound 'The Beam' Pilot Pack was included as a sort of mock up of the proposed park created by Marty Sklar and his team. Initially this record was the motivation behind the project as I wanted to send a copy to Damon Lindeloff the film director who is currently making a movie called Tomorrowland, which is based around the Imagineers and the same kind of science fantasy that inspired 'The Beam'. It was Curtis and Emily who suggested doing something more elaborate and the project grew into much more than a fun way to deliver something and became a lovely story in its own right with the kind of attention to detail that I hope the Imagineers would be proud of.