Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pinocchio Attraction

The Pinocchio attraction was also one of my responsibilities for Disneyland park, Paris. Again it needed a new ride vehicle and track layout, but when it came to the show far fewer changes were made. The drafting for the show was done by show set designer Cliff Welch. I supervised his work and provided art direction. I made a few minor changes to the characters on the loading area mural (to keep the characters true to model and correct perspective), but otherwise the show remained almost exactly as for Disneyland.

The scenery for this show was fabricated in California while Snow White and Peter Pan were built in Paris. I couldn’t be in both places at once so Cliff supervised the work in California while I was in Paris. For installation Cliff came to Paris to supervise all three of the shows.

This photo is from a completed black-light scene in Pinocchio. Both the models and full-scale show scenery had to be painted under black-light conditions. The black-light paint gives off an eerie luminescence that gives the illusion of depth on simple flat surfaces. In a black-light ride the entire set is flooded with the same level of ultra-violet light. Every shadow and lighting change on the set must actually be painted onto the surface. The post and corbel next to Pinocchio is entirely a two-dimensional set flat, as is the potbelly stove. The puppets behind Pinocchio are painted on the wall.

The trick with a black-light ride is to decide what needs to be dimensional and what can be flat. During fabrication there were times when even the painters had to touch something in order to figure out if it was 2-dimensional, or 3-dimensional.

The entire mood for a black-light scene is created from the artist paintbrush, just as it had been for Walt Disney’s animated classic features.

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