Shot completely in Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland without the actual permission or consent of Disney, the fantasy thriller film “Escape from Tomorrow” will be screened on Friday, Dec. 6, by Magic Lantern Films in IV Theater. Written and directed by Randy Moore as his debut film, the film depicts a father who, while on vacation with his wife and children after being fired from his job, loses his sense of reality and begins to have strange hallucinations and weird encounters at the theme park.
According to fourth-year film and media studies major Jake Aria, who is part of Magic Lantern Films and who led the charge on organizing the screening of “Escape from Tomorrow,” the film, characterized by its surrealistic footage, was shot “clandestinely”—as Aria aptly described it—in Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort with only the use of DSLR cameras and iPhones. The DSLR cameras were used for visuals, and the iPhones for audio. Crew members tried to appear “touristy” while filming, as the use of larger professional equipment such as boom microphones and large professional appearing crews would have prompted interest from park security and garnered unwanted attention from the visitors of the parks.
Aria described the film as, “very odd, but…with a very tight plot line. The film is playing on the ambivalence we have towards Disney: we all love Disney because it is our childhood…[Disney created] the many songs we grew up singing and the many characters we grew up loving, but…[Disney is also] this big corporation that sues everyone…[For example] if [a movie or show has] two big circles that are too close to each other on film, [Disney] will sue…[on the basis that] the circles resemble Mickey.” However, according to Aria, this film is being protected from being sued by Disney under fair use laws, which is how Magic Lantern Films was able organize the showing of this film on campus.
“It is going to be a great film,” said Aria. “I know it is not going to be a conventional, mainstream film, but it is going to be…something that no one will forget. It really looks like a great film, and it is getting good reviews from the few people who have already seen it. And, as one of our promotions, [there will be] free popcorn for anyone who dresses up like a Disney character at the screening!”
Randy Moore, the writer and director of the film, will be at the film screening for a Q&A session with the audience. So come out to see “Escape from Tomorrow” in IV Theater on Dec. 6 and show your support for Magic Lantern Films— and don’t forget to wear your Disney costume!