In May 2009, I visited California for the first time. As is the custom, I also visited the Universal Studios park. I always liked theme parks, but what I experienced there really blew my mind. I loved the attention the rides paid to every detail and the way how the creators managed to make the films on which the rides were based come alive again: An Idea for an article was born.
I pitched the article to my editors at epd film and they agreed to let me work on it. I looked for interview partners in the states and I travelled to Munich’s Bavaria Filmpark to investigate how the Germans do it. Thomas Zauner and Nico Rössler from Scanline and Bavaria Filmstadt were very generous with their time, as were Barry Upson, formerly of Universal Studios Recreation Group, and Craig Hanna, CCO of Thinkwell.
The article came together while I visited Disneyland Paris for the first time in October. However, by that time, the season for theme parks in Europe had already passed and the editors decided to postpone the article until this summer. Now, it has finally appeared in print.
For my American interviewees, I translated the article into English. I will post this article, as well as the unabridged versions of the interviews I did with Craig and Barry, in this blog. Please enjoy.