Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Tale of Two Eras

It is truly the best of times and the worst of times. 1. On the heels of an energy crisis, and economic one has replaced it. 2. New technologies are emerging that are changing the way watch TV, movies, and even play games. 3. Michael Jackson has never been more popular. 4. Electro-Pop music is topping the charts. 5. And in the world of Disney, changes are coming that will vastly expand current offerings in theaters and theme parks. 6. A newly expanded Fantasyland is coming. 7. We are venturing into untapped Asian markets. 8. Billion-dollar multi-year construction projects are in progress. 9. And to top it off, a film is being produced that will take its audience on visual stunning journey into a computer.

Everything above has happened before and is happening now…

THEN: The 1973 Oil Crisis gave birth to massive inflation and the recession of 1980-1982.

NOW: This blog is intended to be over 90% positive. A mandate, I can’t keep unless I don’t talk about this one.
THEN: Even though HBO was founded in 1975, Cable TV didn’t take off until 1980 when over 20% of American households subscribed to the service. Add to this theater surround-sound, and color raster video games.
NOW: As a historian, I’m amazed that after a 60 year struggle 3D films are becoming the standard. Thank You Video Pirates.
THEN: In 1982, Thriller was released.
NOW: Truly a great time for MJ fans. Captain EO is now playing every day at Disneyland!!!!!!
THEN: With hits like Joe Jackson’s “Steppin’ Out” and Madonna’s “Holiday” up-tempo electro-pop was topping the charts.
NOW: Every time I listen to Owl City, I think of how “at home” his music would be in Future World. And, he’s not some obscure artist (his songs are in the Top 40).
THEN: Well, anyone reading the blog has been profoundly influenced by the original incarnation of Disney’s third theme park.
NOW: Two Massive Cruise Ships, and countless other endeavors (just pick-up the latest issue of “Disney Twenty-Three Magazine”)
THEN: Gone forever are the medieval festival tents- replaced by a fanciful European village.
NOW: Ok, everything up to now has just been interesting. But this coincidence is when things start to get eerie. All kidding aside, the Fantasy Forest will change the way you visit Disney Parks. Now after that’s done what other major park problem will Imagineering tackle? Hmmm? A park with a 13-year-old identity crisis, maybe?
THEN: Tokyo Disneyland opens in April 1983
NOW: Shanghai Disneyland and Hawaii’s Aulani Resort
THEN: EPCOT Center again from No. 5 (It’s that big in Disney History)
NOW: DCA’s Billion-dollar “what-were-we-thinking?” Fix… wait I mean “Makeover.”
THEN: TRON opens on July 9th, 1982. A film decades ahead of its time. A point that still being made.
NOW: The Game Has Changed - TRON LEGACY Opens 12.17.10

E82 NewsFlash:
Centorium has added some new products, all under $15.
Starting March 5th, E82 will begin counting down to the FutureWorld Soundtrack Series Event.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Things to Come

In the near future, E82 will explore the soundtracks of tomorrow one pavilion at a time.
The following video offers a behind-the-scenes demonstration of the process of audio restoration.
Disclaimer: I feel I should warn you, I’m nothing more than a novice when it comes to video production. (I’m good with Images and Audio, but not really experienced with putting them together. So please excuse the poor quality of this my first foray into moving pictures)
NOTE: Watch the full video for a Special Announcement at the end.

Get ready to HEAR THE FUTURE like never before!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gifts from Future World

Centorium Store Logo

E82 is proud to announce the “Re-Opening” of Centorium: EPCOT Center’s largest retail store. It will introduce new products featuring the artwork of E82. When the original Centorium opened it presented unique selection of futuristic items, overall it was equally entertaining and educational. The new store will focus solely on EPCOT’s other goal: Inspiration.
The original Centorium (an amalgam meaning Center Emporium) was remarkably a head of its time. The following News Brief (given only to Cast and Construction Crew) chronicles the first few pieces available to purchase just before the park officially opened…

Futuristic Store Stocks
Flying Saucers, Telescopes and Such

A solar powered flying saucer and a machine that plays chess with a robotic arm are among the futuristic gadgets available in the “department store of tomorrow” – The Centorium. Located in the CommuniCore of Future World, the universal gift emporium features among other things the latest in toys, books, decorative pieces and electronics.
A team of four buyer spent two and one-half years combing major markets and out-of-the-way museum shops for thousand of merchandise items. The result is an amazing array of gismos and gadgets designed to educate, entertain, and stimulate the imagination.
There are toys that run on micro-chips and solar energy, talking calculators, cordless telephones, and a clock that tones the
time when you touch it. The selection of electronic wristwatches would amaze even Dick Tracy. They include AM radio wristwatches and state-of-the-art timepieces with six or more functions.
Small-screen television sets have never been smaller. Color screens come in 2.7 inch diagonal size. A black white counterpart come with 1.5 inch diagonal screen, about the size of a matchbook, and has excellent resolution. Jewelry is decidedly different. For instance, the selection includes hologram pendants that are visible in sunlight. Books include “how-to” on such subjects as futuristic homes and vehicles, solar energy, and scinec projects; en “how-to” make your own robot. Model kits include space shittles and geodesic domes ranging from giant to mini-size.

! 9 Days Out !

(From Opening)

A few years later (Fall 1985 to be exact) the Disney News featured an article on Centorium’s role and interconnectivity with Future World’s pavilions…

"Centorium, the largest shop in EPCOT Center, is located within CommuniCore and features wares related to other areas of Future World. Here you can find the very latest in electronic toys and games, gadgets that entertain, and gizmos that educate, amuse, and appeal to the imagination. There are books, puzzles, science kits, computes and even robots – like OMNIBOT. ..

Universe of Energy is presented by Exxon within a dynamic solar power structure covered with glistening photovoltaic cells. It displays the history and new frontiers of energy by means of colorful kinetic film images, a primeval diorama, and motion pictures projected on a giant 218-degree wraparound screen.
Centorium Captures the essence of this energy experience with a collection of solar toys and sculptures. The radiometer, made in France and one of the oldest examples of solar energy, can be purchased as a child’s toy or as an exquisite glass sculpture. Rainbows of colors, refracted by sunlight, are caught in plastic prisms and metallic mobiles. From miniature models of prehistoric creatures to Space Shuttle toys you’ll find them all in the second level toy department.
Horizons takes you on a wondrous, realistic journey to four habitats of the future: Nova Cite, and urban community; Mesa Verde, a desert farm settlement; Sea Castle, a floating city; and Brava Centauri, a space colony. Horizons is sponsored by General Electric.
Centorium represents Horizons with modern paintings and prints sculptures, mobiles, laser jewelry and a selection of colorful Prism Clocks that tell time in a depth of changing shapes in space.
World of Motion, Presented by General Motors, dramatizes the development and future methods of transportation. Centorium features the newest electronic and remote control toy vehicles. Entertaining and educational today, they may also be prototypes of transportation to come.
The Land tells the story of man’s beneficial interaction with his environment, and his quest for adequate means of meeting the world’s growing need for food. The pictured “Veganimals” characterize the Kitchen Kabaret show there about the benefits of good nutrition. The Land is presented by Kraft, and Centorium highlights it with natural food cookbooks, unique kitchen utensils, dishes, plants and seeds, and Kitchen Kabaret souvenirs.

Journey into Imagination, presented by Kodak, explores the intricate process of creativity. Two unusual characters serve as guides. Dreamfinder is a jolly, bearded gentleman who symbolizes the mature, accomplished side of imagination. Figment is an impish purple dragon representing, childlike quality of creativity.
Figment can be purchased at Centorium as a child’s plush toy, a charm in gold or silver, or finely sculptured porcelain. Dreamfinder and Figment also have been cast in a 12-inch bronze statue."

For the today’s Centorium, new ideas and concepts are all ways in development (even babies can become E82 fans with our upcoming “Little Sparks” Line) so make sure to check back for new items and updates!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Spaceship Earthrise

This is the first of many desktop backgrounds coming to you from the E82. Spaceship Earth Dawn is based on the original cover for the EPCOT Center Pre-Opening Guide (already pictured further down). In this, I wanted to capture the spirit of the original photography with the technology available today.
Designer Note: Thanks to an unavoidable automatic gamma correction, this relatively easy to produce image took OVER 50 test saves to correct the complex colors on Spaceship Earth.

4x3 - SSE Dawn

Full Screen

16x9 - SSE Dawn

Wide Screen

Display instructions: Select the proper screen ratio (Full or Wide Screen) enlarge to original size and apply as Desktop Background. Then “Fit to Screen” and finally all Desktops are designed to fill the screen so please display with and Auto-Hide Taskbar.

Stay Tuned Next Week when we'll be adding "Tangible Memories” to the mix of offerings from the World of E82!