Our latest film restoration is a trip backward and forward in time! We'll let How Bowers (who is also a voice on our podcast) explain:
So many visions of the future are so off the mark that they often end up being laughable—a trait put to good use in the "Looking Back at Tomorrow" segments in Epcot Center's Horizons pavilion. It's especially remarkable then that in 1975 Disney debuted a post-show for the RCA-sponsored Space Mountain attraction at Walt Disney World that predicted the household of today with uncanny accuracy.
Here's a short list of things the attraction got right:
- Huge wall-mounted widescreen flat panel televisions
- Curved flat panel televisions
- Laptop computers
- Video chat
- Online shopping
- Online learning
- Video games with motion controllers
- Baby and home security video monitors
- Movies on shiny discs
- The general acceptance of unnaturally colored hair
What it didn't quite get:
- No Internet
- No cordless or cell phones
- Streaming video (RCA could have foreseen this, but as one of the points of the attraction was to sell Select-A-Vision players, it's excusable
- Teens still being excited about Elvis
Besides the futurism, guests also got to see themselves displayed on television sets, which was quite a novelty at that time. They also got to hear a super-catchy Buddy Baker song, "Here's to the Future," with a repeated refrain that "RCA leads the way."
We're going to get to the bottom of the reasons, specific length lost, and other goodies as a quick followup segment in the next podcast.. However until then, sadly watch the speedway shrink before your very eyes..
But the content is not what is important here. My father filmed many events in our lives and I'm fortunate to have these memories preserved on film. The ability to see see my grandparents again is a gift I will treasure forever as they were the key inspiration for my fascination with WDW and now I want to share that gift with our followers.
As you spend time with the people you love, cherish the time you have with them. Remember the photos and videos you are taking aren't just capturing the present but creating memories that will last a lifetime for all.
I wish you and your family all the best during the holidays and a wonderful new year!
Introductions - The regular crew is all here, Todd, Brian, How & JT are all present and accounted for. How kicks off the podcast with the correct story behind the crying aligator gag in the Jungle Cruise from the last show.
Main Topic - The team starts by mentioning their favorite part of the Contemporary Resort, from there we dive into the overall design, the association with US Steel and how the rooms were constructed. JT gets to say "Like a chest of drawers" a few times while Brian imagines the construction view from Roy's Cabin. Todd struggles with the escalator size and continually gets lost in the Grand Canyon Concourse. We move on to the north & south wings and then ask "What would you pay to stay in a retro Contemporary Room?" Todd once again mixes up Shari Lewis and Phyllis Diller as we move up to the Top of the World. The commercial discussed during the show can be viewed here: US Steel Contemporary Resort Hotel Construction Commercial
Guest Star - We welcome Chad from wdwmap.com to the show to discuss his amazing reproduction Paul Hartley map of WDW that hung in the rooms at the Contemporary and Polylnesian Resorts.
Film Restoration - We watch and discuss a retro film that has been restored with Pixcel and Imageworks. Follow along with us as we add color commentary to this film: Contemporary Resort - 1970s Shag and Flair - Restored Home Movie HD
Be sure to check back with us very soon for Episode #3 when we pay a visit to Fort Wilderness
Until next time, "Do not pull down on the safety bar please...I will lower it for you..."
The first of the three is a silent 8mm film and we were impressed at the filming locations and the steadiness of the camera. There are many shots of the monorail gliding in and out of the resort - almost to the point of ad nauseam; fortunately we soon move inside and are treated to the area that has now become Chef Mickey's. Look at the lights! Look at the Orange Juice dispenser on the buffet table! Then, surprise, more monorails again! This time taken from the balcony off to the side of the resort - I must admit the shots obtained from this perspective are very unique, especially at the 2:18 mark - what a unique vantage point! Out to the concentric circle pool we go - this time more monorails and some nice exterior shots before monorail glides away from inside the hotel.
Our second film is also silent 8mm and comes in at 3:45 and is very short but features a long shot from a boat on the way over from Ft. Wilderness. Then Bob-A-Round boats at 4:14 !! Finally we end with some wing shots and the pool area.
The third film is Super8 with sound, although what sound was recorded is really just the din of the cavernous interior of the resort. We start off with a slow pan of Bay Lake. Another monorail pulls in, get a load of the carpet color and design - now that would be a great cell phone cover case! Interior shots of the Grand Canyon Concourse continue, and then the party begins at the top floor of the resort looking down. The pan shot that ends this film really shows how the north side of the concourse was laid out.
There comes a time when an eBay automated search turns up a diamond in the rough - this has surely got to be one of those times. Brian and I both found this film on the auction site and we immediately began to ensure that we would be able to secure it. We accidentally bid against each other, but no harm done, we got the film.