Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How the WOL4EVA Project Came to Be...

"It happens to everyone, one day you ask "Where did I come from? How did I get here? What's it like being born?""
~ Martin Short, Making of Me, 1989

Welcome back readers and hopefully the majority of you have again shrugged off the chocolate hangovers (like you'd assume it's a bad thing?!), and after encountering some first-reaction tweets of one of my articles, I guess it's time to discuss a true story behind how I ended up into the WOL4EVA project, and I must warn you it can contain traces of blue fur. But the more you examine this, the more you understand and the brighter the link will show up somehow...
This will be a mouthful though, so get ready to click on the jump...

It was between the confines of mid-to-end 2009, and my high school life was almost complete. Being the Stitch fan I was at that time, I was heavily immersed on an innerspace-related fanfiction project (not as suggestive as it sounds). The early plot line was written up, and from notes conceived in 2007, it was intended to inform, and emotionally pet shoulders to readers. As exam season slowed down, all hands on deck went into concept sketches of the project, some of which did not see the light of the Internet.
However, with regards to concept sketches, I sometimes relied on reference images to further develop concept art for the project. Year after year, focus was shifted to gathering online images as reference points for the artwork – textures, interior shots, even sketches that I found influential – and it was so. On my iPod classic double-used as a portable hard drive, a folder full of reference pictures, technologies and written information was established; a lot of reaearch and sketches were done, but of course, later as the year 2010 crawled into the middle of the year...
Fantastic Voyage? How did it exist? Thanks to tvtropes, this meant more and more background research of the plot device, and thanks to my happily-high performance in biology and health in high school, this actually heightened my interest into the development of the project. Between classes, with homework out of the way, a lot of work was done offline. All of a sudden, that fateful day at the start of April 2010...
Body Wars? This actually existed?! A ride-on video of the similarly-themed ride did capture my attention. This was my first gateway establishment of interest in the Wonders of Life pavilion (and even as far as Epcot in general) through this captured footage. This honestly says that I have never boarded the ride, which classifies video-footage as only second-class to an actual experience. But imagining the thrill and excitement is what blew me into this.
As far as May 2010 came around, I would have plowed through just a touch of the information about Wonders of Life as it existed on the web, but the fact that Wonders of Life closed down indefinitely (so it seems) struck me hard but not down. So with the previous experience in the fanfiction project, as well as some newly established knowledge of the long gone attraction, I thought: What if this pavilion was brought from the dead? What things could take the place of the old ones? What else would remain as a cursor of its previous existence? But deep in my subconscious, I also wondered: Someone out there might have some memories... thoughts on what the pavilion once was... and if not for closure, what it could have been. Someone must be out there, I knew it!
And so after a slew of research, imagination binges, brainstorming and some more ride-thru videos to keep things up, this blog was born. While initially designed for presenting what I have learnt about the attractions that once graced the pavilion, it grew to include some lesser known tidbits that could somehow connect to WoL's history (verify or dismiss at own risk), as well as hypotheses on technological and armchair-Imagineering possibilities (majorly drafted in sketchbooks!) if the pavilion were to come back (somehow), and some forms of oddball humor and eyebrow-raisers. Even a survey that enabled visitors to decide what aspects of WoL could be retained or replaced with was opened.
Of course, I must reiterate that due to the unfortunateness of two factors – being on a different continent away from WDW, let alone being purse-string tight on affording even a ticket to there – that means I have not set foot in this pavilion, but due to the number of people finally coming out in support of the impact the pavilion has had on its visitors, this blog is hence designed as not just the soapbox for its remembrance, but also as a shrine for visitors. Had it not been for the my great experience and interest in all things biological, plus my fanfiction project and all the research it needed, then WoL would have stayed buried without a voice.

Too long, didn't read?

And that is all I have concerning how a fanfiction project help led me to a once beaten path now left untrodden (except for festivals of course). But sure, being the Stitch fan at heart (as I was when I discovered the path to WoL online out of curiosity), some of the blog posts here have done hypothetical hints on inviting the blue furred celebrity in... to be honest, there were hits and misses with regards to his career (he might as well get that), but I can safely say that I have an open mind, and hence know that having him around (even in WoL territory) may not appear like a good idea, unless management know what's considered and what they're doing.
So hence, we have only two months (and a half) to go until this blog turns two years (and brother, 10 years of the blue furred hero within the Disney family). Until then, stay tuned!

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