Disney – the OG – re-establishes innovation foothold in SF

The Bay Area – and San Francisco, specifically – is no stranger to high-tech movie production with the likes of LucasArts, Pixar and Dreamworks churning out feature films that use massive computing power and performance. But a new musuem opening in SF’s Presidio (where LucasArts currently resides) in October will offer a glimpse into cutting-edge movie-making of the past – via Walt Disney’s mastermind – before the PC was used in the process.

The Walt Disney Family Museum was opened to media this week and the FT gives a report of the highlights:

…we were introduced to innovations such as the 13-feet-high Multiplane Camera and the optical printer. The camera rises through two floors of the museum… Its use was perfected in Snow White, allowing several layers of artwork to be moved past a camera… giving a 3D effect and also allowing different parts of the picture to move in and out of focus. The optical printer takes two films and combines them, allowing real-life pictures to be merged with animation, such as in Mary Poppins .

The FT also opines: “[The Museum] is likely to lead to a reassessment of [Walt Disney] as a great innovator and visionary than movie mogul.”

Here, here. Cool stuff. AND, seems like a huge opportunity for social media engagement. Whether Facebook applications and trivia or games, a Google Earth live tour of the museum, videos galore and Twitter updates on museum specials, guests, etc. (like the California Academy of Sciences in SF), this consumer-facing campaign could do very well. Will look forward to seeing what Disney rolls out as they get closer to launch!

Disney film reel

Disney film reel


3 Responses

  1. Among other things, this makes me miss living in San Francisco. It would be fun to see this technology in action. In a way this reminds me of the recent Post-it video — there’s seemingly limitless opportunity for cool, interactive promotional tools and tactics. Thanks for sharing, Jes!


  2. Thanks, Dave! I was trying to bring it back to implications for social media, which I think Mike did a great job with in the 3M post-it post! Eager for others’ thoughts, too!

  3. Sounds like an amazing collection, Jes. You’re right: given the content within the museum, social media channels are a perfect way to engage rabid Disney fans. I love some of the ideas you’ve laid out.

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