Theme Park Documentaries

Discussion in 'Rest of the World Parks and Attractions' started by Burbs, 31st Oct 2014.

  1. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I love the Magic Factory! Even though I wasn't even born when it was made! I really wish more TV channels did theme park documentaries still! BBC, if you're reading this, I'd like a 2018 Alton Towers documentary!
     
  2. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    Oh man, this post made me feel old. I remember my parents spotting it in the TV schedule and recording it for me as a surprise to watch after school the following day. It was actually part of a BBC stable of documentaries called 'Modern Times', which explored just that. It definitely captures the park in it's most exciting period, but perhaps also the awkward tension at the time between the transformation into the slightly more clinical Towers we know today, and the leftovers of the Broome period. It's also a good reminder that Alton Towers is operated by real people, of all shades of enthusiasm.
     
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  3. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I must have missed it, but Themes, Dreams and Scream Machines made its way back on to Youtube after a copyright claim, which is very helpful because I don't have a VHS player anymore. It's a great look at what Alton were up to in 1992 and John Wardley is extremely honest and open in it - great footage.



    I wonder what happened to this chap....

    [​IMG]
     
    Tom, OilyWater, Croftybaby and 5 others like this.
    Posted 9th Apr 2018
    #43
  4. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    It's a brilliant, no-frills documentary, for sure. John Wardley also comes across like a genuinely humble, inspiring individual, which isn't surprising, as I'm pretty sure he's in the midst of the golden period of his creativity. He's got Nemesis living in his head by the end of this. In all, it really captures the optimism and imagination, and really, the simplicity of that era. Of course, it was a very different time.

    "The Haunted House? Of course, I'll be sure to see it's open... by ten."
     
    Robert.W likes this.
    Posted 9th Apr 2018
    #44
  5. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    It's an absolutely fantastic documentary that really captures the business of what was going on in a great period of development.

    Although, it's pretty biased towards painting John Wardley as the centre of everything, trying to make out that Barry Island was where the industry started (as does his book), which just isn't true. The video was also originally only broadcast in Wales where John lived and is directed by "Mark Wordley" who there is no trace of on the internet (could be just not in the internet, or a JW psudonym?).

    It's probably highly likely it was commissioned by JW as a bit of a promo tool about his work, but it sure helped recruit a new generation of people within theme park industry passionate about this stuff, which is great.

    Magic Factory is my personal favourite, even though it's not as golden as the early 90s era, it's just one of the best docs on an entertainments industry Ive ever seern.
     
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  6. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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  7. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Ohh now that's a shout, I couldnt find any trace before, like none at all which is why I was suspicious. Either way it's very likely that JW was persuasive in its production, so yes it's an amazing documentary but kind of originated the cult of John Wardley!
     
  8. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I am sure we could get into a very interesting debate about cults... the documentary was about him, that certainly works better than following 20 people for a couple of minutes each, you need a figurehead or it's just mush.
     
  9. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    It works well as it is, but I'm just saying it shouldn't be taken as reflecting the whole picture, which fans often take it to mean. John was instrumental, but he was part of a development team, there wasn't civilisation BW (Before Wardley) and AW (in the year of our lord Wardley).

    Magic Factory follows a whole range of people and it works fine. It's all in the way it's paced that makes it fantastic.

    TDSM is an amazing watch, but it is funny when John Wardley's V/O comes in to interrupt other people talking, like we must always know what's happening in his head, or how a large chunk is set in his living room. We never really get a proper introduction to anyone else, they just talk to camera for a couple seconds then disappear.

    So I think a doc about JW is the context that it should be watched in. :)
     
    Last edited: 18th Apr 2018
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  10. Burbs

    Burbs TowersStreet Team Team Member

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    Errr... le BUMP.

    This evening I watched the 90s documentary CoasterMania, which was recommended to me by @zerogravity. I have to say, it's absolutely hilarious to watch, with some characters and scenes in there that would fit right into a sketch show. Genuinely laughed out loud at several points throughout!

     
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    Posted 1st Nov 2020
    #50
  11. John_P

    John_P TowersStreet Member

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    Amazing, think I must've watched that when it first aired. Back in those days I'd watch anything theme park/Rollercoaster related.

    Mad for me though is all those far away almost mythic parks Coney Island, Kennywood, Kings Island, and Cedar Point. I've been to them myself now.
     
    Funcone likes this.
    Posted 1st Nov 2020
    #51
  12. Funcone

    Funcone TowersStreet Member

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    Before Youtube it was more exciting when they showed a theme park programme on the telly. There's so much more of it out there now. I'm still looking forward to Top Gear tonight, mind.
     
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    Posted 1st Nov 2020
    #52
  13. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    05:30 - Andy Hines wife looking a lot like she is regretting most of her life choices.
     
    Burbs likes this.
    Posted 4th Nov 2020
    #53
  14. Connor98

    Connor98 TowersStreet Member

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    It’s a very popular one so I might have missed it above, but I’d highly recommend “Legacy of Arrow” on YouTube if you haven’t already seen it. Fantastic and pretty new documentary, with great insight and is made by the American coaster enthusiasts channel. Even has some extra’s like an interview with Alan Shilke which the full version is around 30 minutes (and he talks about both arrow and RMC).
     
    John_P likes this.
    Posted 5th Nov 2020
    #54
  15. Connor98

    Connor98 TowersStreet Member

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    Just finished watching the HBO Documentary on Action Park, called “Class Action Park”. Don’t know if it’s been talked about on here previously but that place was ridiculous, run by drug fuelled Teenagers and owned by money crazed sociopaths! Really interesting to watch but almost frustrating hearing the interviews from ex staff members who don’t even seem to fully condemn or comprehend what they were involved in, some jaw dropping story’s from a health and safety point of view stupid amounts of legal foul play.

    also some very saddening story’s of fatalities and injury’s at the park, that were either brushed under the carpet or ignored completely. Really worth the watch if you can find it online, but I’m going to refrain from posting the link as it isn’t a legitimate site and I’m not sure on forum rules relating to this.
     
  16. John_P

    John_P TowersStreet Member

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    Yeah I saw that a few months ago, there's also a Defuctland episode on the park as well.

    I suppose for the staff and visitors that survived their trips you just remember it with a nostalgia and think wasn't that mad. I mean from pleasure beaches fun house to all manner of indoor centres I visited as a kid you look back at being allowed to use 'death' slides with little to know adult supervision. (a surly teen sat disinterested on a chair usually at best).

    You see it with idiots on Facebook sharing memes about what they did in the 60s-80s ending it with 'and we survived.' Yet of course kids did die doing the activities they listed.
     
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