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Theme Park Review's 3rd Annual Coaster Video Contest!

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I thought the best video this week was the Elfteling video. It put a smile on my face.


I don't know why, but the last 30 seconds of audio in the "Coaster Season 2005" video cut out! Sadly, that was also my least favorite video. There were a lot of coasters, but there were a lot of the same type of shot -- keep the camera still and let the coaster roll into frame. After seeing about 6 of the same type of shot, the video got boring to me. A better variety of coaster shots was in Mr. Hawkins' video.


I want to know what dentist Mr. Mueller visits. He has a great smile and great teeth!


I hope to see one of my videos soon!

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So far it's clear why all these videos have made the cut. Tough competition so far, as they all bring a little something to the game. Here are my thoughts thus far on each video.


Round one, in no particular order -


Julian Johnson – Best of round one in my opinion. I'm not a fan of hip hop by any stretch of the imagination, but quality more than made up for it...for this particular video, the song was well-chosen. The coaster train scratching effect was exceptional. At least two shots made it seem like the song was chosen well in advance and the video was shot for the song…bonus for that. Shots of the Chance Toboggan also a bonus. Fun with jumping fountains = funny.


Justin Saxe – The choice to use big band music was a little risky given the target audience, but for this video it paid off nicely. The cuts were well synched to the music. Overall a nice tour of Silverwood.


Connor Thompson – The shirt-over-the-head thing was a little odd. Ghey = very funny. Major bonus points for getting to dispatch a train. I only wish I had this kind of talent when I was 13. To a certain extent, I'll agree with those who have said his age and "lack" of experience show, but Connor's video CLEARLY shows the kind of video guru he's to become.


Paul Ruiz de Miguel – Very nice use of picture-in-picture and split screen effects. I particularly liked the fun that was obviously had jumping out of the way of the Frisbee.


Dennis Kolodzeizik – Some nice non-coaster POVs. Bonus points for mermaid boobage. Some of the faster cuts were a little rough. The color correction effect on Enterprise and some other flats was interesting.


Round two, in no particular order -


Tom Mueller – Best of round two, possibly of both rounds so far. Great pacing, great shots. I loved the use of show footage, as it was a nice change from the usual coaster stuff, and something we don't see quite as often in videos around here.


Jim Williams– Most of the individual shots were excellent, but for methe cuts didn’t seem to mesh with the music very well.


Lars and Cornelia Theissen – The flicker effect in the intro was a little tough to take (wasn't wuite synched to music), and the choice of music was a little questionable in my opinion. Shots were great otherwise. Very nice Robb cameo snuck in there for bonus points. What happened to the audio at the end?


Jonathan Hawkins – The “singing” ride op was hysterical. I absolutely loved the bumper car dominos.


Nicolas Chavance – Beautiful opening shot. Many of the cuts throughout seemed a little out of synch. Very nice how the intro and end came full circle with the sleeping theme. However, the Polyphonic Spree song made it a little tough for me to really enjoy the video. I first heard this song in a VW ad campaign that was way overplayed in my area, and I've hated the song ever since.


Can't wait for round three.

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My $.02 for round three!


Phil Hart – Definitely one of the most original videos this year, and good advice for all of us Professional Amateur Videographers at TPR, too!


Barry Hom – This was a little odd. The picture-in-picture commentary was pretty fun. Overall it was an interesting study on the impact of “Guests of exceptional size” restrictions.


Blake Fawley – In my book, this video definitely wins the prize for “Most Bizarre” so far this year. Random goats aren’t such a bad thing, but this was one weird video. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around it.


Erik Johnson – An outstanding look at one of the best-themed rides to come along in…well…ever. I remember seeing this in the Professional Amateur Videographer forum and I loved it then, too! The pan-flute-sounding music really fits the video (and the ride) very well.


Mark Owens – Nothing spectacular, but overall a decent look at Busch Gardens and Cypress Gardens, and a fairly well paced video.


My favorite for this round? It's a tossup between Erik Johnson and Phil Hart.

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Oh boy... only ten more chances for me now. You're really getting me wrapped in suspense!




Phil Hart's Carowinds or "How to use your camera"

Definitely one of the most creative videos so far, this was one of the few that was less of a coaster video and more of a short movie period. I like the mixing of the old how-to video footage with your Carowinds trip and the techno music. It definitely added to the unique nature. However, I can't help but think that it didn't really pack a big punch. It was a good video, but aside from the instructional dub part, it's really just a normal theme park video, which puts this video in the middle of a solid pack. I guess you were sort of limited by what the announcer said. It's definitely a helpful video, but I was probably expecting a bit more comedy or something like that. Definitely a cool concept thought!



Barry Hom's FLCC at Busch Gardens Tampa Video

Pretty solid video. I enjoyed the picture-in-picture commentaries, and the shots were pretty nice. Music choice seemed a little blasse in my opinion, but music is admittedly very subjective. Quality of the shots were pretty nice. And that little kid in the obviously oversized-for-her test seat was very cute! And the nice lady lip synching to the part of the song where the singer just cuts lose and belts out "CRRYYYYYYYYYYYYYY" was a funny touch. Overall, some nice antics and a pretty solid video, but nothing that seemed to separate itself from that pack in the middle. Nevertheless, BGT is always a park I love to see video and pictures from, so I definitely appreciated the video!



Blake Fawley's "Goat Encounter"

Fantastic concept executed inconsistently. There's definitely creativity here, and I think the comedy could have been absolutely gold, but the video seemed to hurt itself in some places. In the beginning, with the goat footage relegated to a small inset while you showed (admittedly cool) Main Street Chimers, it seemed to contradict what you were going for. But you had some great moments, like the Translations of the Abominable Snowman and the Dynamite Goat. I might have tried to make it into a horror-comedy, sort of shades of Guy's "It Came from the 4th Dimension," but maybe something more like Donnie Darko, except with a goat. Just my personal spin. Definitely a good try, but unfortunately, I have to say that sort of falls short for me.



Erik Johnson's "Expedition Everest"

Did you use music from Dead Can Dance? I know I've heard that track before, but I can't remember off the top of my head who it's from. This was a pretty solid video and showcased DAK's new ride beautifully. The cuts weren't as in sync with the music as some of the earlier entries from the last two weeks, but the video still has a simple nicety to it. It's good. Period. Nothing flashy, nothing over the top. Just simple quality. The camerawork, especially on the train, was very smooth, something I definitely admire (and envy). You definitely seem to have the natural "on-ride hand" to hold the camera steady and get consistently good, encompassing shots, and your shot of the yeti remains one of the best, most accurate, longest sustained clear shots I've seen. Definitely one of my favorites of the round.



Mark Owens' Busch Gardens Tampa/Cypress Gardens

I'm beginning to think that music choice DOES sway me. This was a pretty solid theme park video with great shots, good lighting, good sync to the music, and of course, a great setting, but it may be my favorite of this week because the music was upbeat and very happy. Indeed, you can never have enough BGT, and the tour of the park was really nice. I could have done without that last blackout part synched to the music stopping, but other than that, it was pretty good editing. Overall, a very solid video.






1. Paul Ruiz De Miquel - "Parque de Attactiones"

2. Julian Johnson - "Don't Look Down 2005"

3. Tom Mueller - "Port Aventura Video"

4. Justin Saxe - "Silverwood"

5. Nicolas Chavance - "Efteling"

6. Lars & Cornelia Theissen - "Coaster Season 2005"

7. Jonathan Hawkins - "Midwest Conquest"

8. Mark Owens - "Busch Gardens Tampa and Cypress Gardens"

9. Erik Johnson - "Expedition Everest"

10. Dennis 'Park Junkie' Kolodzeizik - "Slagharen"

11. Phil Hart - "Carowinds" or "How to Use Your Camera"

12. Blake Fawley - "Goat Encounter"

13. Barry Hom - "FLCC at Busch Gardens Tampa"

14. Jim Williams - "Six Flags Magic Mountain December 2005"

15. Connor Thompson - "Magic Springs"


Might be coincidence, but this week's set fell into the middle of the pack for me, just as it came in the middle of the pack chronologically. Still, none of these videos can be said to be bad. After a while, though, with so many consistently good packages, you need to really stand out to rise to the top.

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Did you use music from Dead Can Dance? I know I've heard that track before, but I can't remember off the top of my head who it's from.


I know this tune as well.. from various places actually. For instance the end tune of a Coast 2 Coast AM program :/

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^^ The song is called Inca Dance by Cusco. I first heard it, just like what AJMouse said, on the Coast to Coast AM program. I also understand it can be heard while walking around Epcot as well. BTW, the version that was submitted for the contest is a different edit than the one I posted on the site back in Jan, in case if you were wondering.

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Hi there!


Sorry for the delay in my reply, but we were on holidays the last two weeks.


About the "Intamin flicking effect", I did it with After Effects. It's a bit difficult for me to explain it in english, but i'll try. The video, until the finger "hits" the gondola is the real thing. Since then and during the rest of the frames, I add two layers in the top of the real video with one image each one. One layer is a frame of the lower part of the tower without the gondola (taken from the previous frames), masked with the "mask tool" to cover only the real gondola and not the fingers. The other frame is a picture of the gondola (also taken from the previous frames). I isolated the gondola using Photoshop, with low detail because I apply a heavy blur effect and animate the layer, to make the impresion of a high speed travel .


And that's it. I don't know if there is any better way to do this, but I think is the easiest way.


About the hours of editing..... honestly I can't remember how many hours I spent in this video, but I guess that 30-40 hours aprox.


Woahh. This year the entries are quite awesome. I didn't see yet the last 5 videos but from the first ten, my personal favourites are without a doubt Nicolas and Müeller's entries. Both are wonderful videos. Congratulations


Cheers and excuse my english!


Paul Ruiz

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^^ The song is called Inca Dance by Cusco. I first heard it, just like what AJMouse said, on the Coast to Coast AM program. I also understand it can be heard while walking around Epcot as well. BTW, the version that was submitted for the contest is a different edit than the one I posted on the site back in Jan, in case if you were wondering.


Dah!! I was falling asleep last night when I realized it wasn't Dead Can Dance at all, but rather from Cusco, and that I had heard it from some atmospheric music at Epcot!


Still a great song choice tho!

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Well, I must say the bestest video this week was mine!


No really...after seeing the videos from the past two weeks, they were of excellent quality and I didn't think I had a chance of being a finalist. But here I am! After comparing my BGT video to the others, I don't think I have a chance in hell of winning this thing. But it was pretty cool for R&E to acknowledge that my videos have been around ever since the contest has started! Being in the company of so many other great videos is quite an honor and it has inspired me to become better. That's not so bad, is it?


I was hoping my Disneyland video would be a finalist, but I've learned not to second guess R&E in this contest!


As for the other videos, it's a mixed bag this week. Some videos were pretty good and others were kind of blah. I hate to say it, but the "Goat Encounter" was my least favorite so far. It just wasn't funny. As a previous poster said, it tried to be Guy's 4th Dimension video, but it just didn't work. Besides, Disneyland is a lot more than goats, coasters, and street shows! The "How to Use Your Camera" video was interesting, but it seemed a little too long. I think it could have been about a minute shorter. My favorite video out of this week (excluding mine because I am biased towards mine) is the BGT/Cypress Gardens video. I loved the music and it showed people having fun at theme parks! Cypress Gardens isn't an outstanding park, but it sure looked pretty fun! I'm surprised that there wasn't more onride video at CG and more at BGT. I've never really had a problem bringing my camera aboard rides at CG, unless the policy has changed. Erik Johnson's video was a really good POV video. It's one of the steadiest POV videos I've seen outside of R&E!


Next year, I'm doing the Intamin-riding, McDonald's-eating Donkeys from the 33 1/3 Dimension video!

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Phil Hart here, Just wanted to say this video was EDITED completly by me, and FILMED completly by Alan Martin, my fellow whootah clan member. We decided to try a project using this method, and it's interesting to note that I did not even attend the event! Alan dumped like 3 tapes worth of video on me, said go at it, and this is what I came up with. Glad you guys enjoy it!


You can find the original video at http://whootah.com/archives/86 with our original notes and some comments from our viewers.


Thank you all so much. And we also have to give props to our fellow whootah.com member Jonathan Hawkins. Good job Jonathan!



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