Unauthorized Film Shot in Disney

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Annet Mahendru is part of a film called ‘Escaped from Tomorrow’. It’s an indie film directed by Randy Moore and shot in Disneyland and Disneyworld without Diney’s permission. This movie has been creating this buzz due to the fact that they shot the majority of the film in theme parks owned by Disney. Although shooting there isn’t illegal (technically), people are speculating that Walt Disney’s company can sue for trademark law and trademark dilution.

The director and the people behind it are so bold that they are trying to poke this huge bear of a company known for unleashing a swarm of lawyers to protect their intellectual property. But Disney is staying silent and hasn’t made a single legal move, yet, against anybody. Even the posters for ‘Escape from Tomorrow’ are so provoking. One of them shows Mickey’s iconic hand dripping in blood while the movie’s title is written in the bubbly font that Disney is known for.

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But how did the cast and crew film this “secret” movie?

Guerrilla Filmmaking techniques were used to avoid being noticed. Scripts were kept in iPhones and scenes were shot using hand held cameras like the ones normally used by tourists. This movie is so secretive that director Randy Moore edited the film in South Korea. Even Sundance helped in keeping the existence of the movie a secret by declining to discuss the film before it was shown. But Disney is the biggest media powerhouse in the whole world, they have the resources to stop this movie from even showing at Sundance, but now, this indie movie is going to have a US release on October 11.

This movie is enjoying the buzz from the shock that it has acquired, but this movie has more to offer other than shock and awe. Most critics have praised the film for its creativity and originality. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film 83% from 6 reviews. Damon Wise from The Guardian had this to say about the film:

The acting isn’t perfect (which is perhaps understandable under the circumstances), and the film’s dream states sometimes try too hard, but Escape From Tomorrow has an otherworldly atmosphere that both hooks and engages.”

Speaking of circumstances, one of the actors in the film, Annet Mahendru shared some of the unique ways on how they made the film. When asked about her experiences in making the film, Ms. Mahendru said:

“It was a complete thrill making it, and there are a few incidents — I think he talked about them — but it was with the parents, because we were such real little girls jumping around, you know, and there was a few banana stand scenes we had to shoot a few times. I started to think, “Are they gonna think that’s weird? We’re gonna run to this kiosk and buy a banana five times?” [Laughs] So I remember that. I almost got a little embarrassed. I’m like, “I don’t know if I want to do that!” She’s not playing pretend with us, she’s just a lady selling bananas at Disney World. But I kind of made the other little actress ask for the banana. I’m like, “You ask her!” [Laughs] Because I don’t think she understood at all what we were doing. No, it was funny. So that was one moment where I was like, “Ah, I feel weird. She’s not in on this.”

To end, here is a Youtube link to the movie’s trailer, enjoy!


1 Comment
  1. There is an old saying “It is easier to ask for forgiveness then permission”. I am sure Disney’s Lawyers are waiting to see if the film makes any money (and how much) before deciding to pursue any legal action. Then it will simply come down to the court awarding Disney a percentage of the films take (something they would have gotten if they had let the production shoot their to begin with). Disney is very protective of its brand. This film would never have been made if the film makers had “asked for permission”. Now the film can come out, everyone can get paid, and Disney can still claim “We had nothing to do with it”. Sounds like a win, win.

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