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

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



I can't wait to see that one Barry,


Have to say my fave of this week was How to use your video camera, gives me an idea for all my bad clips i throw away.....

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My ratings:

Phil Harts: 2/10 boring!

Barry Hom's:9/10 The fat guy didn't get to ride !

Blake Fawley's:4/10 Random!

Erik Johnson's: 9/10 Makes me want to ride Everest!

Mark Owens: 8/10 Great video!

Tom Muellers: 7/10, just can't watch multiple times1

Jim Williams: 9.5/10, Make SFMM look good!

Lars & Conelia Theissins: 8/10 Just Lacking on-ride vidoes1

Johnathin Hawkins': 9/10 Great vidoe! Just needs better music.

Nicolas Chavence's: 1/10 Barly any ride fottage!

Dennis Kolodzeizik's: 9/10 Great video for a little known park!

Paul Ruiz De Miquels: 8/10 Good Video!

Justin Saxe's:9/10 makes me want to go to Sliverwood!

Julian Johnson's: 2/10 I accually hate it! To long and bad song as well as Yankees hat !

Connor tomphson's: 9/10. I want to go to Magic Springs

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Mark Owens' Busch Gardens Tampa/Cypress Gardens Video Contest Entry


As a professional filmmaker looking at these videos this one is the cream of the crop so far!



I did notice a small glitch in the video but over looked it because it looked to be more of a file problem than actual editing problem. I loved it there was never one time I was diverted by anything. It caught my attention and HELD IT!


Too bad I am not a judge or I would award you guys with the following.


Best editing

Best editing to score

Best camera operation

Best photography!!!


The carowinds video - or how to shoot would come in second.

I love the concept however they do need to hone in on their skills more but that cant be held against them as experience will help them become great filmmakers. I WOUDL however say they need to hold down on the vulgarities, about one scene of the perverted humour was funny the rest was overplaied and took away from the video! Besides that it was completly waseom


I would say

Best concept

Second place editing

Best use of a security guard! LOVE THAT SCENE!


BUT I am NOT a judge so my opinion means nothing.

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Another weekend gone...another 5 videos posted!!!




This time around we've got.....


- Fantazyland, Egypt - You probably have already seen the pictures of the "Worst Theme Park in the World" but are you ready for the video???

- Halloween Haunt! Check out Knott's at probably the best time of the year!

- USA Coaster Tour - Nick and his gang head out on a whirlwind tour across the US!

- Epcot - Dan & Jackie show us that this coaster-less park can be a great time!

- "What we learned on vacation" - Kevin once again treats us to his annual Florida vacation!


Enjoy this week's installment!



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I find myself having made it... only to hear there's video evidence of the best--I mean worst theme park in the world? LOL... will definitely download these when I get the chance tomorrow. What a way to end the night though!


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My thoughts on this week's videos, in no particular order.


Dave Arnold – From a quality standpoint, this video is nothing spectacular, but sometimes the topic is everything, and from that standpoint, this video ROCKS!!! On its own, the courage to actually go to this park should merit a win! I absolutely loved the PTR, so it’s nice to get a video to REALLY get a feel for this place.


Albert Lam – Like most videos so far, this one has its pros and cons. Pros: I’m as big a Hallowe’en fanatic as I am a coaster fanatic. This video was AWESOME from that point of view. I’ve done my share (well, more than my share) of Hallowe’en events, attractions, and overall fun stuff, but it looks like Knott’s knows how to do it right. This video made that fact very clear, and captured the atmosphere (atmosfear? - sorry, couldn't resist) nicely. I’m also a big fan of the ambush flash/shock flash/screamer/startle video concept, and this video definitely had a couple of those moments going for it. Plus, the ownage at the end was a huge bonus! Cons: For me, the music was a little tough to sit through, and the pacing was a little slow in places.


Dan and Jackie Collison – This was another that was paced a little slowly, but I happen to love EPCOT, and I really don’t get to go too often anymore, so it was a treat to watch this. The cuts were a little out of sync in the beginning, but seemed to get better. In my opinion, the music again took away from the video (I’ve never been a big REM fan, but they do have much better singles than Orange Crush). One music-related thing that I really liked was how the Taiko drummers were synched with the drum fill in the song. Well done on that.


Kevin Gillan – For this video I’ll start with the cons first, since they’re all more or less in the beginning of the video. I found the intro to drag on a little more than necessary, and one of my first thoughts was that if it wasn’t entered in the same contest as Phil Hart and Alan Martin’s video, it would almost seem like a rip-off of “How to Use Your Camera.” But then the music started. Excellent editing, great pacing (not a big fan of the music, again, though), and it definitely had some funny moments. I liked the extra show and entertainment shots…we don’t get enough of that around here. One last con: the music…again, it was a song I didn’t much care for, but the overall quality of the video made it easier to tolerate the song. Staying away from the one-park concept certainly didn’t hurt this video. Final thought? This is a family that knows how to have fun.


Nick Collins – It’s easy to see why Nick won all the marbles last year. Plenty of fun in this video, and it’s yet another video that doesn’t stay at one park, which is a huge bonus for me. The only real downside is the music again…that seems to be the theme of the week, but I know music choice is subjective, so I’m offering that thought merely as an opinion. Overall a great video.


Overall thoughts? It’s down to Nick and Albert this week. Tough to choose between the two.

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I'll talk about my video at the end of all of this.


Dave Arnold's "Fantazyland - Alexandria, Egypt"

Oly crap you've got balls! Venturing into a park like that and escaping.


This was definitely not the best video, but it would have to win the WTF Award for this year. Talk about a horrible park! There was nothing happy about this video, and that was the point. Even the song choice refuted that. The song isn't exactly depressing, but there's an aura of sadness around it.


Normally, I wouldn't recommend using the fisheye lens so often, but in this case, I almost think you should have used it more, because it enhances the feeling that you're sneaking into some drug and gangs infested projects and you're undercover so you can't get caught, but you need to scope the place, so you use some undercover pinhole camera with the fisheye lenses to see as much as possible. The black circular borders gives it a surveilance feel, and at a park as this, projecting that suspicious aura is exactly the thing you need to do.


So like I said, this isn't hte best video (not that it needs to be), but this is certainly one of the most memorable!



Kevin Gillan's "What We Learned On Vacation"

Well, looks like we've got a theme of quirky, interesting, cinematic introductions before an upbeat semi-hip hop song from a popular band. It just so happens that I associate Outkast and Black Eye Peas together in my mind, so at first, I thought you'd used the same artists.


Anyway, this was definitely an interesting video, helped by its nifty introduction. It's always great to see something creative to stand out from the crowd, and the intro here certainly did it. And nice cameo by your kid (I'm assuming). The music video itself was pretty good, though not the best of what we've seen. I thought the synchronization could have been crisper, and you didn't take advantage of some of the opportunities in the song, like the first "na na na na na..." part. There were also what looked like inconsistent transitions in the first half, where you went from a straigh cut to a fade or a zoom transition even though the music seemed to indicate a consistent sequence.


Still, this is being relatively picky. I'm not sure if it's a little too bizarre for my personal tastes in some parts (mainly where you had people making crazy faces at the camera up close), but it was definitely a good video.



Nick Collins' "USA Coaster Trip"

I'm not sure if it was an encoding problem or not, but the first minute definitely seems out of sync with the music, especially since the rest of the video is relatively with it.


That said, I have to unfortunately place this video closer to the lower half of my ratings, if only for the fact that it happened to strike my theme park video pet peeve: the inconsistent control of audio. I hope you don't take this as an offense, as it's just my opinion, but I personally found the frequent bursts of raw audio to be very jarring, especially since the rest of the footage would be music only, without any background sound. So to suddenly have loud bursts of dialogue or sound effects from the video or live feeds was very distracting, especially since it completely overpowered the video. I remember this being an issue last year as well with your video. My personal suggestion would be to tone the actual feature audio parts down, and also give some background noise to your other clips. They don't have to all be the same volume... where you don't need it, the background audio can be dampened to supplement the music but stay behind it, and when it's featured, the volume can be smoothly turned up. This way, you don't go from no volume to loud volume, and the video doesn't seem interruptive. Again, that's just my personal suggestion and viewpoint.


The video itself wasn't bad, with a great mix of locations and that cool video of Dragster rolling back (definitely appropriate to have the music "break down" as the ride "broke down." The video choice, also, I enjoyed.


But again, I say the biggest issue with this video was its audio inconsistencies. I hope I'm not coming off to harsh, because it's not like I hated the video, but I feel that making that minor adjustment would have made your video incredible.



Dan and Jackie Collison's Epcot

So we have a Collins and a Collison this week. Well, I hope I'm not the only one who's going to be confused. And what's with all the Florida videos in this contest? There couldn't be a Florida bias... could there...? Just kidding.


First thing I have to say is that your nighttime shots are pretty spectacular. Maybe it's the lighting of the shows, or the good camera, or the steady hand, or the widescreen angle, but they look very smooth and professionally shot. Kudos on that!


This is another solid video full of great theme park fun and action, synched pretty well to music and edited pretty well. I can't really say there was a ton that stood out; more fire would have been nice (Illuminations). But I can't really say anything bad about this video either. I love Walt Disney World, even though I've never been there, and you've captured the spirit pretty well. I guess a bit of background audio might have been nice, but that's nothing major in this sort of video, which is more of a "taste of everything" sort of vid (pun intended). Nice job!







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. Jonathan Hawkins - "Midwest Conquest"

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

8. Kevin Gillian - "What We Learned on Vacation"

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

10. Erik Johnson - "Expedition Everest"

11. Dan & Jackie Collison - "EPCOT"

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

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

14. Nick Collins - "USA Coaster Trip"

15. Blake Fawley - "Goat Encounter"

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

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

18. Connor Thompson - "Magic Springs"

19. Dave Arnold - "Fantazyland - Alexandria, Egypt"


I feel like the overall quality might be making the latest videos not as "effective," because while they're pretty good, in comparison, they're not special anymore. Sort of a good and bad thing, I guess. The standard's been raised.




A Little Bit About My Video:

I'd had this video in mind for about two years before I actually did it. In 2003, I made my first-ever trip to Knott's Scary Farm and was immediately hooked. I knew I'd want to do a music video to it, but the only problem was that at the time, I didn't own my own camcorder. So two years passed before I purchased my awesome Sony DRC-HC42 mini DV cam (cheap plug) last summer, and last fall, I went to Halloween Haunt not one, not two, but three times.


The song choice was obviously deliberate, but even though I knew an Aqua song *might* turn some people off (because hey, it's Aqua), I knew I had to use this song, because it perfectly captures the horrifyingly fun time to be had. It's campy, it's up beat, it's got appropriate lyrics... this video has been in my head for quite a while, down to what sort of shots to use where, and so forth.


I think it's the best video I've ever made (not saying much since I've only made like six), and I definitely spent more time on this one than any other. I'm particularly proud of little details like getting certain shots to match the lyrics or that part where Renee the cheerleader goes "Shotgun! Shotgun! Choo...choo..." and it syncs with the rhythm.


But overall, it captures everything I love about Haunt (that I was allowed to film, anyway). This will be helpful next fall when I am in France and unable to experience Haunt firsthand.


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I think the music for fantizy land video was all wrong. YES I get what you were saying BUT its in egypt right? It should have been music related to the region. Like some african rap song about a ghetto in africa. Of course music in video is always subjective opinion and what works for one viewer doesnt work for another.

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The FINAL five...well, ok SIX videos have been posted!!!!




Turns out there ended up being 26 videos that made the cut, not 25. I didn't think people would mind watching MORE videos!


Anyway, this round of videos take us to some interesting places like Japan's Yomiuriland and Tawian's Janfusun Fancyworld (you know the place with the OTHER B&M Dive Machine) and even to REALLY far out worlds like Canada.


Check them all out! Voting will start NEXT WEEKEND!!!!


So if you haven't downloaded all the entries yet, now is the time to do so. Have fun watching all these great coaster & theme park videos!



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Robb -


I am using my mom's computer right now, and everything works fine. However, it still doesn't work on my computer in both IE and Mozilla. Oh well, as long as I'm the only one I'll just chalk it up to a settings issue.


Nothing stood out to me in this set... or even gripped me enough to watch the whole thing. I think I still like the Parque one best since I went back and watched it yet again today.


- Joe

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