Hindsight: Disney News As It Happens
I was originally on the fence in regards to writing up this idea. I think the initial hesitation came from a knee-jerk reaction to protect and guard my ideas so that nobody else could use them, but as I thought about it more I realized it was also in part due to not being super passionate about the concept. This is something I thought of the other day to the point where I started to consider the logistics in my head, but I in no form have intentions at the moment of pursuing it. Hell, it might not even be an idea worth pursuing.
It started with this fascination I have lately with how we perceive history. The old adage is that hindsight is 20/20, and it’s an important element of history. It’s what allows us to dissect events and find out where people went wrong, or where they went right. It lets us measure the weight of decisions so that in the future we could use those lessons to try and make better ones. It is part of what makes looking at the history of something so exciting and at times dramatic.
However one of the things I think we often lose as time goes on is perspective. Not the grand perspective, obviously, as that’s what we’re getting with hindsight. Instead I mean the perspective of those who lived the history as it happened. In a way, it’s what often digs up that adage. You see it all the time. Someone is looking back at a historical event and you read about some really strange decision someone made that makes you think “What in the world were they thinking when they did/said that?”
To which the reply is usually “Well, hindsight is 20/20.”
There’s a twitter account that tries to bring back that sense of perspective when it comes to World War 2. The account is @RealTimeWWII, and it tweets out moments of the war in real time, as if you were living it. The account began with a tweet assuming it was that day in 1940, and since then it’s been tweeting out war news every day, as if you had taken a time machine back to the conflict. Most importantly, it doesn’t make any assumptions or reports about the future. It provides the news of these events without that hindsight.
At first that almost seems like a downside. Hindsight is the part we treasure! However I think what we get in return for losing that hindsight is the context needed to understand how and why people reacted the way they did. We get to see the exact hand people at the time were dealt, without knowing who won.
I’m not sure of another project that tries to do this, and World War 2 was a perfect topic to do it with. It had a beginning and an end, and it unquestionably changed the course of human civilization.
But now, what about something lighter in tone?
What about, oh say, Disney?
The idea I had was to essentially take that core concept of RealTimeWWII and apply it in podcast form to Walt Disney World. A weekly podcast in which each episode covers the top news stories of the parks for each month in its history, starting with the groundbreaking of the Magic Kingdom.
I went with podcast because if I were to ever give this idea a shot, I just couldn’t see myself ever getting away with another weekly video series. I’d probably die from editing. I also compressed it from real-time to monthly. Let’s be honest, for as fun as Disney history is, it’s not moving on a day-to-day basis. Not to mention with a history that’s still going, real-time would mean that it would probably never get to the real interesting periods of the 80s and 90s. With one month per week, that means the podcast would cover a little over 4 years of history for every real-time year. It would still take three years to get to the Eisner era, but that’s a lot better than it taking thirteen. I also feel that one month per episode is this perfect Goldilocks zone where it allows the coverage of the major news like ride openings and closings, but also the smaller stuff that most Disney fans might not know about.
Another fun aspect of a podcast would be the ability to structure and design the show to feel like a news broadcast of the era. Covering the 70s? Cue the cheesy 1970s news music. Finally getting the 80s? Bring on the synth! Maybe occasionally pepper the episodes with relevant non-Disney news from the time that adds context to why certain Disney news is occurring (for instance, the two oil crisis’ in the early and late 70s had a MAJOR impact on the parks and their development.)
Production would be doable. Since the structure would mean research and writing would be easier than my main channel. No banging my head against the wall wondering what to cover. Could even bring on guests occasionally to play the role of special correspondents.
I don’t have a name in mind, and I don’t know if it’s a project I even seriously want to jump into. However I figured there’s no harm in taking some time out of November to produce one or two test episodes to see how it goes.