Escape From Tomorrow vs. Disneyland
You may have heard everyone and their mama recently talking about a feature film shot entirely guerrila-style at Disneyland. Everybody’s buzzing about it because the guy dared shoot within the walls of one of the richest and most litigious corporations to roam the planet. A corporation that we all pretty much know on a whim could grind any one of us into oblivion.
Admittedly, I have never been one to buy into this kind of hype. I am not a corporation-lover by any stretch of the imagination but I am the sort of person that has more respect for things done within appropriate guidelines. Call me squaresville or whatever hipster douchebags are calling nerds like me these days. I mean sure, rule-breakers and -benders are important. They challenge traditional modes of thinking and it’s definitely healthy for a society to be shaken up a little bit sometimes so we can re-examine whether the status quo is actually serving us. That said, why shouldn’t Disney be allowed to control what’s happening within it’s own walls? They make more money than God running those theme parks, but it is their business and we are the consumers shoveling money into their greedy pockets. They charge what the market bears for admission, cold pizza and stale churros. If you don’t like it don’t go, or at least bring some goddamn fruit and goldfish crackers. I freaking love an awesome day at Disneyland.
While we all still wait with baited breath for the great gloved hand to emerge from the heavens and shut this whole party down, so far Disney has been uncharacteristically quiet. The most they’ve mentioned about it is that they have heard of it, which is smart, of course. They know that what the distribution company wants more than anything is for Disney to bring in their big guns which in turn will keep this little film in the trades for as long as they can possibly keep it there. No one’s afraid of Disney coming in and stealing all their profits because… there is no reasonable expectation there would be any regardless. The truth is, as fascinating as these circumstances might be, this is not a very good film. It looks cool (just check out the trailer), but the reviews are in and according to the critics the most interesting thing about the film is the disbelief that they got it in the can in the first place. This film will never be a commercial success, but a springboard for the director’s career? Controversy = buzz = opportunity. I like projects that are really good, and it’s even better when they have fun quirks about them like they were shot entirely at Disneyland with no permission. I’m not a fan of “eh” projects who use a quirk like that as schtick to garner attention when I know of so many really fantastic indie films that will never get the appreciation they deserve.
I think I know of an even better response by the Disney company. If the world was awesome, instead of staying silent, Disney would quietly bootleg a copy of the film, and cut a beautiful promotional video for themselves. I bet a good editor could find at least enough to make a 3-minute promo video, cutting around the shots of their princesses acting as hookers, and the Epcot Center blowing up. And from there, a 30-second commercial on primetime broadcast. What would Moore do, sue? It would show a little sense of humor on their part and we’d all get a kick out of it. Maybe we could all be friends with Disney. We could invite them to happy hour and you could ask them to donate a buck or 5 million to your Kickstarter campaign. That’s probably where the party would end.
Get on it, Disney. What do you have to lose?