[Updated to point to higher-res YouTube version.]

I made a Disney fan video back in 1992/1993. It's a home video of Disneyland's Fantasmic.

I shot it over a period of a year and a half. Editing it was hard - it was put together using home consumer VHS decks where you had to do a lot of tricky timing to get any kind of an edit at all. Basically you would roll one deck, let it get to 1 1/2 seconds before you wanted to edit, roll the second deck, and then hit the edit button and hope it was sync'd. The original source material was S-VHS but I edited it down to VHS. I finally have a gadget - the Plexor ConvertX - which does a good job of encoding video. Unfortunately I don't have a great VHS deck anymore (time marches on), so the encoding to DivX isn't perfect. There is a little bit of video sync weirdness. I'll try to fix that some day, maybe by borrowing a deck from someone.

I was lucky to get some video above the crowd from the Pirates Gallery Balcony, which I used as the master. Then I went back and got some great video from right up front. Then I went back a few more times and ran around filling in shots I was missing. I think it's the equivalent of a six camera shoot.

Of course, it was all hand-held, so it's not totally stable, but it's a lot more stable than most of the Disney fan video I've seen!

Watch it on YouTube:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4 (Finale - very cool)

I had a lot of fun editing it - although now 14 years later I wonder how I ever had the time. And of course it would be so much easier now to edit digitally on a PC.

One idea I had, after cutting all that together, was to work with Disney on a "Encyclopedia Fantasmica", which would be an interactive DVD that would let you click on any item in the show and then it would tell you about it - either where it came from, or the tech that was used to create it in the show, or whatever. I work in the games business but and I've even worked with Disney on some things but I never got around to 'pitching' my idea.

It would be cool if someone made it.

© 2006 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.