Disney is at the top in the entertainment world, always thinking about how to entertain their audiences. Disney’s Hollywood Studios has the same mindset and continually places small elements of entertainment just about anywhere someone could possibly get bored.
In the Tower of Terror, just after exiting the library, there are fuse boxes on the sidewall with handles. While most people will just pass by, thinking they are for atmosphere, a few brave souls will pull the handle and get an entertaining, or should I say shocking surprise.
On a behind the scenes street some might notice that a streetlamp on the corner has an umbrella attached, just like Gene Kelly’s moment in Singing in the Rain. If a brave soul decides to stand on the black pad and pull the umbrella handle, a smile is sure to form on their face.
Those who are less bold, but still courageous, can climb on the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground. And, if by chance the person sticks their arm inside of the dog’s nose, they are sure to be surprised by the dog’s reaction.
Entertainers want to delight audiences before, during and after their show. Disney always felt that the wait needed to prepare a person for the fun they were about to experience. It needed to warm them up to the world they were about to enter. He used preshow to set the tone and mood that would heighten the show itself.
Memorabilia quickly became part of Disney’s post show experience, as he wanted kids of all ages to find reminders of the wonderful experiences they had during the show. With the object comes the memory of a message worth holding onto that was promoted within the show.
Few independent filmmakers think through what activities might be a part of the preshow and post show entertainment value, but those who do, find greater success in the marketplace. Those who focus solely on the film’s message, create a weaker atmosphere that tends to allow the message to dissipate before the audience returns home.
By considering the preshow as the beginning of the story process and the post show as the end, a storyteller can encompass a broader story than his initial three act structure will allow. This gives him the ability to warm the audience up to his story and to help them remember it long after they’ve seen it.
All entertainment is about using story to make a point, while entertaining the soul. Anything short of this story structure reduces the entertainment takeaway value for the audience. Disney figured it out and always takes time for the details related to story.
Copyright © 2014 by CJ Powers