September 21st, 2016

bigBrian, DisneyWorld, WDW, Walt

Inspired by Retro Disney World Podcast Episode 7 - Souvenirs

Recently I’ve began listening to a podcast that focuses on the History of Walt Disney World, the Retro Disney World Podcast. I love it! I am going back and listening from the start, and I find myself wanting to add things to the conversation. However, since I am often listening while at work, most of these things seem to slip away from me before I get home and in front of my computer in the evening. One thing they mentioned, in Episode 7, on Souvenirs was the way WDW photography has changed over the years, how it is often more posed and less candid than it was in the early days. They also talked about how some views got used over and over for MANY years sometimes this is for obvious reasons, for instance some attractions are very difficult to take good photographs in, so it is no wonder that there was one very good image of Space Mountain with folks on the attraction that was used OVER and OVER for many years, it was really cool that they knew the names of many of the cast members seen in that iconic shot:

I thought a bit about some of the forces that have led to more staged shots, in a couple of ways some of this is probably due to the company becoming bigger, in the early days I could imagine that many of the photos might have been taken by someone who might have been taking photos in addition to their primary job responsibilities, but with growth and photographers put on staff for instance when a staff photographer is given an assignment by someone who has a very specific shot they want for use, the photographer being constrained to such a narrow task might naturally set up the shot, the more specific the details asked for in the request the more likely it would require the shot being staged. Also even in early postcards as with that space Mountain card the folks in the shot were quite often cast members, and beyond that I figure other folks who have their faces visible in shots might have been asked to sign releases, but on early postcards there might be less easily identifiable members of a crowd in a shot, that I suspect were not asked, each individually for a release,

Anyhow combining those two subjects, postcard view that were reprinted over the years, and folks being in the shot who might have been cast members, for whom releases had been gathered, is this odd pair of cards made from the same image below:

The earlier shot has the faces showing, it was first published on a postcard in the 1980s, The more recent one has curly hair photoshopped over some those faces (including a balding man from the original shot), or where the original hair placement was changed just a bit (via photoshop) to make it appear that the guests are looking away , this one was released in the 2000’s. Perhaps the faces of many of the folks in the boat were a bit too prominent, I mean these folks might have had signed releases, but with the postcards issued 20 years apart, it might be hard to find that paperwork nowadays.

The more recent reissue was part of an “accordion style” postcard folder:

Anyhow I hope to listen to may more episodes of the Retro Disney World Podcast