Archive for October, 2008

The Camera Guy Takes a Plunge at the USC Football Practice

The Camera Guy Takes a Plunge at the USC Football Practice

I found this extremely comical, especially since it involved the camera tower! At the USC practice yesterday the players were wrapping up when they heard a yell from the camera tower, looking up they see a guy jumping from the lift forty feet in the air. (That is where I film from). The players looked in horror as the man plummeted to the ground, many having a queasy feeling.

Will Farrell saves the Day

Will Farrell saves the Day

He didn’t hit the ground however as Will Ferrell aka: Captain Compete, was there to save him!

Then Will spoke with the team a few minutes before a burning man emerged from behind the goal posts and Will threw a Gatorade container at him before running off into the sunset. How great is that!

Website: http://usc.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=870541

A Man on Fire emerges from behind the Goal Posts

A Man on Fire emerges from behind the Goal Posts

 

Pulling out the Winter Gear

Pulling out the Winter Gear

T-Shirts and Shorts were the clothing of choice at last weeks practices, however today quickly brought out my entire arsenal of winter clothing. Granted the temperatures weren’t terrible (around 40), but the winds forty feet up in the air don’t mix well with colder temperatures! So today I pulled out all of my “Arctic” gear and remained pretty warm during practice. The only thing that suffered was my “filming hand” aka the hand that zooms, pans, tilts and most importantly hits record. I’m only able to get a skin tight glove on that hand so I can still operate the camera. A few more layers are still in the reserve for the coming weeks as it only gets colder from here!

Mountain Dew Christmas Tree

Mountain Dew Christmas Tree

Forget the pines of old, even forget the plastic assembly trees of “new”, my house Christmas tree this year is going to be a heaping pile of aluminum clevearly configured into a tree of awesomeness [sic]! That’s right, the new tree that will grace the Blake house, ok maybe not this year due to space limitations, but in the near future will be a tree of Mountain Dew cans topped with a glorious 2-Liter bottle. You can all help by donating Mountain Dew cans in the coming years. (Thanks to Mom, Morgan and PK for sharing this!)

**Update– The Creators of this Wonderful Tree sent me a link to their site (See comments section). So go check out the process! http://mdewtree.com/)****

 

Mountain Dew Tree Close Up

Mountain Dew Tree Close Up

Me (Blake Adams) at the Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Game 2008

Me (Blake Adams) at the Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Game 2008

This weekend was Homecoming at Georgia Tech and our eighth game of the season. My parents FINALLY made it back in for another game this weekend and I was able to go to Mellow Mushroom Pizza with them afterwards. Not a lot to say about the game this weekend, unfortunately we were not able to pull out a win which really hurt our standings and rankings… hey, four more games to try and reconcile! Here are a few pictures from the game. Next week we host Florida State University and then the next weekend we travel to North Carolina. 

Oh, I also changed perspective this week for the panorama by moving down into the stands during half time to photograph it. Maybe next week I’ll take some from the field… be on the lookout!

 

Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Panorama

Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Panorama

 

The Georgia Tech Band, Celebrating 100 years, does their traditional pre-game show

The Georgia Tech Band, Celebrating 100 years, does their traditional pre-game show

 

Georgia Tech "Buzzvision" Production Truck

Georgia Tech "Buzzvision" Production Truck

In this edition of the Disney Design Posts I’d like to let you in on a little trick that Disney uses to make things seem “larger than life”. Does that castle look massive from the train station? Do those shops lining main street seem several stories tall? When you enter the park does it look like the castle is much further away than it really is?

Cinderella Castle from the Train Station

Cinderella Castle from the Train Station

These are just some of the many forced perspective tricks that Disney World uses to increase the magic of the Magic Kingdom (The Magic Kingdom at Disney uses Forced Perspective much less than Disneyland California. Disneyland California has much less room and therefor needs to make things look larger. It is still used at the Magic Kingdom however). The first, and often most noted instance of Forced Perspective is the Castle itself. Standing in front of it the spire seems to tower over the whole park. The actual height is only 189 feet (Which, as with most Disney buildings, is under the height limit that would require them to place the red flashing airplane light on top. Disney feels that this would take away from the magic so most attractions are under this height)
Some of the tricks Disney uses in the castle include making the “bricks” much smaller at the top than they are at the bottom, designing the top spire so that it is half the size it should be to make it appear twice the distance away, as well as scaling down several other features of the castle as you climb higher.

The next area of forced perspective is Main Street itself. Upon entering the park Main Street seems to stretch forever leading the castle in the distance.

Forced Perspective makes Main Street USA in Disney World appear much larger than it really is!

Forced Perspective at Main Street Disney

However, upon leaving the park you will observe that Main Street seems much shorter walking back toward the train station. The reason they do this is because in the morning your anticipation is building as you slowly approach the castle, however in the evening you are ready to head out and don’t want to walk forever! So how does Disney achieve this? First of all look at the main street building’s themselves. Most appear to be three or more stories tall, however upon closer examination you will find that the windows, signs and accessories at the upper levels are much smaller than the ground level! In most cases two “stories” of windows actually only equals one real level! Also, the buildings angle slightly inwards toward the castle making it seem much further away. On the reverse trip quite the opposite is true. Disney uses reversed perspective on the train station at the beginning of Main Street to make it appear closer, and making it seem you don’t have to walk as far as you did in the morning!

This post a part of the Disney Design Series

I’m thinking we need one of these around the Georgia Tech Video Office! It’s a Pizza Vending Machine. 

Here is the description from their site:

Wonder Pizza of Italy will place America ‘s most popular food source in places never before available.
The innovative machine holds, cooks and serves 9” whole pizza pies in just 2 minutes. There are 3 different pizzas available in each machine at one time. Delicious Connie’s Pizza of Chicago is featured in all WonderPizza Kiosks. 5 years and 6 million dollars of R&D went into this design and subsequent manufacture of WONDERPIZZA of Italy and the product is now beginning worldwide distribution.  

Yeah, that is definitely on next years budget!

 

Pizza Vending Machine

Pizza Vending Machine

Their Site

This is a part of the “Lunch Break” series. For more postings of humor, thoughts and funny pictures click Here 

The area around Disneyland California vs. Magic Kingdom in Disneyworld

The area around Disneyland California vs. Magic Kingdom in Disneyworld

At Disney World it is all about the “Show”. The employees are called “Cast Members”, the customers are called “Guests”, anytime a Cast Member is in front of a Guest they are considered “On Stage”. It is this unique difference that makes Disney a theme park on a whole other level than any other theme park in the world.  While Disneyland California, the original Disney Park, is a very unique place in and of itself, Walt was never able to control every aspect of a guests stay. As the story goes Walt would stand at the park exit and greet guests as they left the park for the night. No guest ever left before closing time, so on one occasion when he spoke with a family leaving early he inquired as to why. “We could see the interstate from the top of the ride and wanted to get out before the traffic hit!”. It was then that Walt decided he would build the Walt Disney World resort, where one could completely escape the “real” world. Where when you leave your car you are completely immersed in a land that he created (hence a guest traveling over a mile after parking their car to the Magic Kingdom). More to come on this history of the parks later, but today I look at the unique “opening act” of the Magic Kingdom.

Setting the Stage

The Train Depot acts as a Curtain for the Disney Show

The Train Depot acts as a Curtain for the Disney Show **Side Note- The Train is perfectly centered in front of the train station first thing in the morning. Makes for a great photo spot.

As mentioned earlier, all of Disney, especially the Magic Kingdom, is a stage and you are the guests. To portray this image when you first come upon the Magic Kingdom Walt and the Imagineers used several interesting techniques. The ticket area where you purchase your tickets for the day is, of course, the lobby area. From here you cannot see into the park or see the towering Cinderellas Castle. This is because of the Train Station which acts as a curtain for the park. When entering you walk under neath this station which is suppose to act like the curtain rising. In the tunnel below the train station you will find “coming attraction” posters like you would find in any theater. Take a few minutes to check these out, they are for the different rides and shows around the park. Also, popcorn is being continuously popped in this area and fills the tunnels with a movie theater popcorn smell. Exiting the other side of the train station you are now “on stage” and fully immersed in the Disney experience.

Walt Disney's Window Credit, Overlooking the Castle at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor

Walt Disney

Also, as you walk down main street USA pay close attention to the names listed on the second and third floors of the stores. These act as opening (and closing when you leave) credits for the parks. These are the names of the people who played key roles in the development of the park. With the last name on the list of course being the Director, Walt E. Disney. His name is placed above the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and is the only name overlooking the Castle.
Some of the key names are (So you’ll know next time):
Walt E. Disney- The man himself
Roy E. Disney- Walt’s Brother
Elias Disney- Walt’s Father
Diane and Ron Miller- Daughter of Walt, their children’s names are also listed on the window
Dick Nunis- One of Walt’s assistants who later held various roles such as the Chairman of the Parks and Resorts
X. Atencio- Designer of the Haunted Mansion
Marty Skylar- One of Walt’s assistants who now serves as a Director in Imagineering
Marc Davis- One of Walt’s original animators
Blane Gibson- Sculpted many of the figures in the parks

Disney's Tower of Terror

A new series I’m going to do here at the Blog of Blake Adams is a look at some interesting Design features of the Disney Parks. Some of them you will have heard of, others are more interesting and things even I have just discovered. It’s amazing the time and thought process that goes into designing anything from the trashcans (strategically placed 30 feet apart) to major attractions like the Tower of Terror at Disney.

Today I came across an interesting bit of information on the Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios. When designing it at the Walt Disney World complex the Imagineers (Disney Designers) knew that the tower would be visible from the World Showcase at Epcot (for those of you who don’t know, a Disney park a couple of miles away. The world showcase highlights several countries from around the world.)

Can you Spot the Tower of Terror in this picture of the Morocco Pavilion at Epcot?

Can you Spot the Tower of Terror in this picture of the Morocco Pavilion at Epcot?

You are able to see it from across the World Show Case Lagoon directly behind the Morocco Pavilion. The designers knew this and therefor made the back of the Tower of Terror to look Moroccan. When viewed from a certain angle it completely blends in with the architecture of the Morocco pavilion and seems to form one large castle.

The Tower of Terror and Morocco!
The Tower of Terror and Morocco!