June 2007

Are you ready for your Close-up?

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I didn't wake up quite as early this morning, the previous day had been a wonderful but long day, and this was probably just due to that, I already had a rough idea that I'd be visiting 3 parks this day, visiting first the studios with two things in mind.

  1. visiting the Art of Disney store
  2. Catching some Streetmosphere

After that I figured I'd head back to Epcot via the walkway giving me a chance to visit the Boardwalk, although there would not be any Boardwalk entertainment this early in the day i know I could at least count on getting some photos of the Friendships, then I figured i record a few more sets in Epcot and possibly take the Monorail over to the Magic Kingdom early enough in the afternoon to catch a set by the Toontown Tuners, still this was a flexible schedule and I also considered the possibility of satying in Epcot until the Boardwalk was active and going back out there.

Photos above and Below: after being in an air conditioned room and air conditioned car I had a bit of condesation on the lens this morning, I was trying to capture how the look of the bag check area echos the pre-existing ticket and gate areas. One thing I think they did NOT have here are those seperate little tables just AFTER the bag check area that only Animal Kingdom seems to have that give you the opportunity to zip everything back up without holding up the line.
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Above: Hollywoods newest leading man Hubert Hayseed

I got into the park about 15 minutes before 10 and headed straight back to the Art of Disney Store that is at the exit of the Animation Tour it turned out that it was not opening until 10 am but it was only a few minutes til by that point so I hung out, it opened and I got a few cards including one only sold at this store, a Lilo and Stitch related art card that was reprinted from before they added those matted borders to the Art of Disney card the printer who made this card made SOME attept to do a similar style but one look at this card shows it's not quite the same as the others in those series.

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After exiting the store I started to look around for some streetmosphere it had been some years since I had taken any of this in and I was really looking forward to it. I saw a few entertainers who seemed to be finishing thier sets up before running into some streetmosphere performers doing an act on Hollywood Boulevard. I got to see Hubert Hayseed fresh off the bus, first day in Hollywood trying with talent scout Leroy Small (small in name big in talent!) to be the new face of Hershey's. I only caught the end (5 min or so) of this set.

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Below: The guy on the center of the Bench is talent scout Leroy Small (small in name big in talent!)

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I started to look around and realized the Streetmosphere performes sets must have all ended about the same time I didn't have a schedule for the Streetmosphere but decided to stick it out anyways in hopes of capturing some audio of at least one complete set. Not knowing when or where streetmosphere performers would appear I wandered back and forth a bit up and down Hollywood Boulevard and even took a seat on one of the benches on Sunset for a bit, I didn't want to sit for long though just in case the performers came out back on Hollywood Boulevard. It was during this period that I saw Doobie and Rebecca Mosely of Laughing Place.com and the LP podcast, I did stop them breifly more or less just to say hi. It ended up being about 40 minutes total until the next Streetmosphere act appeared about 11:00 AM, and by the time I saw a group coming out the crowds were beggining to gather along Hollywood Boulevard in preperation for the Star Wars Parade later.

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Above: My first glimmer of a Streetmosphere group coming out

One thing I had done the previous day after all the failed video attempts I had during the trip was to purchase a set of Lithium batteries which advertise on the package last up to seven times as long. Taking video with my camera has long been one of it's weakest points, but it's really not designed for it so I'm not really complaining, just trying to find ways to maximise it's perfomance, for instance I bought a new 4 GB SD memory card before the trip and also had to update the firmware to accept the new card, the addition of the lithium batteries may have been as good an upgrade as those. When I saw the streetmosphere performace beggining I decided I'd try to take a movie of at least part of it, it does give me warning (a red countdown timer comes on in the viefinder and counts down to zero) if the battery is going dead, so I could still save some portion of it if the batteries were getting weak. It ended up being the logest movie I have ever taken with my camera by almost a factor of 3. I ended up with a 21 minute Streetmosphere performance that only ended when I CHOOSE to turn off the camera THAT ROCKS! Now at first I was slightly dissapointed by one thing, I had heard audio of the same streetmosphere set on a podcast before and I was thinking I might have preferred to have filmed something else that had not been played before, but after viewing this I am FAR from dissapointed by that and in the future may even try to film some of this stuff at a higher quality video setting. But you can decide for yourself if you like it, here, thanks to the magic of Google Video is the 1947 Funniest Citezen of Hollywood contest! I love Victoriaaaaaaa Throckmorton's close up at the end.

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Above: I console Kitty Calico a bit after the contest ended.

Extremly pleased with my goodies (both of the purchased and recorded variety) in this park. I purchased a few snacks at starring rolls and began the trek to Epcot. I decided to walk the path beside the canal from the Studios to Epcot to maximise the opportunities for getting photos of all of the Friendships on duty.

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Below: years ago the planter here used to feature a side view Mickey much like the planter in the front of the Main Street Train station features a Classic mickey in flowers, but it was always at a lower angle and so it was difficult to view and it seemed only a small percentage of guests knew it was there.

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