Escape from Tomorrow Filmed Entirely In Secret At Disney World Makes Waves At Sundance

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There is a buzz at the Sundance Film Festival but not about a Disney film…but rather a film that was secretly shot at Disney.  The film “Escape from Tomorrow” was filmed over 25 days at Walt Disney World and Disneyland without the knowledge or consent of The Walt Disney Company.

The film was directed by Randy Moore and features actor Roy Abramsohn who plays a down on his luck father touring the park with his wife and children.  His relationship with his wife is strained, and after he gets news on the last day of his vacation that he has been fired from his job, he begins to start fantasizing and following a couple French-speaking teenage girls, experiencing delusions around the park.

So how did they manage to make an entire movie without any guests or cast members finding out?  Moore along with his actors and tiny crew shot the film entirely on a Cannon DSLR camera which made them basically unnoticed.  All locations and shots were planned in advance (they even charted the sun position in advance in order to help with the lack of lighting equipment).  Sound was recorded using smart phones and digital recorders.

Moore shot the movie in black and white because he did not want the film to have a  “home movie” feel.  He chose Disney World as the location because he spent a great deal of time there with his father.

So the million dollar question remains…what is Disney going to do?  No one is sure if Disney will have legal objections or will take legal action to prevent it from being shown elsewhere.  No distributors have picked  up the film.

What do you think about this film?  Was Randy Moore out of line to make a movie this way?  Let us know your opinion.



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11 thoughts on “Escape from Tomorrow Filmed Entirely In Secret At Disney World Makes Waves At Sundance

  1. I’m not in favor of these people filming like this. They will inevitably have park guests and cast members in some shots around the “actors,” and they are being used withouth the permission of the unknowing people. I also suspect Disney is not thrilled about this. Sneaking aournd and hiding things from Disney is never a good thing.

  2. I am sure Disney is mad that they filmed it on property. Just like Adam the Woo who went behind the scenes at the parks.
    I would love to see how they pulled it off.

  3. I guess it all depends on the point of the movie–is it supposed to be a Disney-related movie? If not, then why worry about it? I mean, it sounds like it’s kind of a “day in the life” of some guy and his family, so I really don’t know why (or understand why) Disney would be all that upset about it.

    Besides, I think it might be an interesting movie to watch. From the description given, it almost sounds like an updated version of “Death in Venice.” But without the diseases.

  4. As a visitor with no commercial use intentions you automatically own the legal copyright to all images that you take the moment that you trip the shutter. If they are for commercial use or for sale in some way or another you have to have a release from Disney.

    Where the problem arises is that the likeness of objects pictured in that image are protected and may prevent you from making use of that image in many contexts without a release from Disney. Disney doesn’t have any right to use your picture without your permission, but they do have the right to prevent you from selling it or using it.

  5. Look lady, I am just telling you what I was told by My Disney Rep. And anyone that sells Disney Travel knows this. You can not post any of your own photos on your travel page as it is a violation of Disney’s copyright. There is no need for personal attacks. Grow up.

  6. I’ll let you keep believing what you want about copyright laws (I’m also in marketing/communications and my sister is a business lawyer, so I deal with copyrights all the time and have a high level of knowledge about them). Anyone who repeatedly misspells ‘copyright’ when referring to it really shouldn’t be taken seriously anyways.

  7. No i am not a photographer and i am not interested in a who’s is bigger argument. I do know that Disney has a Copy write on their landscape though so technically No you do not own the pictures you take there. While the average person can take photos there without incident, If you use any of those pictures for profit, then it can become an issue where you can get into trouble with Disney. So Unless my District Disney rep has told us wrong.

    As for the checking of the photos, I was suggesting where it could lead especially if the way i interpret the copy write is correct. That is all just suggestions as to where it COULD lead not where it will lead.

  8. Obviously, you’re not a photographer or you wouldn’t have even suggested the that Disney could in any way view your photographs by ‘scanning’ them when you exit the park or that Disney in any way owns ANY photo that you take – ask any photographer out there who takes pics at Disney and you’ll see that they always include their own personal copyright on the photos, not Disney’s. It’s illegal for Disney or any other person to take your camera and its content – it’s private property and no one has the right to get a hold of your shots or equipment. If they were to take or delete the photos without a court order, that would be a criminal offense and can be considered as theft, and coercion. Damaging or copying your photos can even be subject to copyright infringement. Even law enforcement have to have a warrant to view the photos or you have to be committing a felony at the time for them to even gain access to them. Yes, I’m a professional photographer and I do know my rights as a photographer and as a Disney guest. Sure, Disney can ask that you stop taking photos of something, but they can’t confiscate or view anything without your permission.

    This whole movie issue is shaky. Since the movie would probably be for commercial gain, yet it was taken by a paying customer who was doing nothing illegal technically, it’s tough to say what the courts would rule.

  9. I would imagine Disney is watching this. They may be waiting to see how the film moves forward. If no one picks it up they may leave it alone. But being that Disney has copy write over their landscape they definitely have a copy write lawsuit in the making. In the end this will end up hurting the people who take pictures and Disney could go as far as saying NO cameras inside the parks. Or they may come up with something that says you can take pictures but only with x camera and it has to have removable media to be scanned upon exiting the parks (and they could technically do this because of the copy write they have, you technically don’t own ANY of the photos you take while on Disney Properties). You just never know where they could go with this.

  10. Video Taping for personal use should be permitted, if taping to make a profit is totally a different situation. You will need written permission from the park.

  11. Personally, I’d be interested to see this film. From an artistic standpoint, I understand the desire to create a work in this guerrilla-filmmaking style. If the film didn’t disrupt guests or interfere with the day-to-day operations of the park, what is the objection? Are there permits and/or fees that studio would normally have to pay? If so, can they be taken out of any profits from a distribution deal?

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