October 26, 1998
After breakfast, I went out on my trip for the day: a fun-filled
expedition to Movieworld, the Warner Brothers amusement park. A few others went with
me: most of the rest went shopping or on to Sea World.
Carmen, Penny, Rob, Eric and myself went around as a group, with Carmen in
the lead: she had out the map of the place, and within a few minutes had figured out the
optimum path through the park to see all the different shows that were playing that day!
I would have wandered around at random and missed most of them on my own, I think.
We started out with a tour of Movieworld, which showed some of the costumes, sets and the props from various movies. We were then brought
into a series of four different stage shows. The first showed the original Riddler Lair set from Batman Forever, and had
a little light-show with a "Riddler" showing some of the effects that were used.
The next three included audience participation: the first demonstrated how
blue-screen effects were made. They got one girl to seem as if she was on a high
ledge above the city: the thing I noticed (that they didn't mention, as I recall) was that
the "ledge" she was on was not only just a few inches above the ground (as you
would expect), but it also jutted *forward*, so that you could not just stand straight up
on it, you had to lean forward a bit. I wondered if this was to enhance the effect.
There was a second shot that they made with a guy dressed in a Superman outfit, and
they did a blue-screen of him flying through the air: pretty funny! Of course, later
it wouldn't seem so funny... :-)
As luck would have it, Rob was picked in
this next set. It showed how sound effects were made, and had several members of the audience attempting to reproduce all the
effects from a scene from "Lethal Weapon II". First they demonstrated
how the effects were done, then they showed the participants what they needed to do, and
in what order. The result was not *quite* what the original was. :-) Poor
Rob: he didn't get *quite* the same splash as Mel Gibson did when he jumped in the pool
(Mel Gibson, not Rob).
The third show involved reproducing a scene from "Memphis
Belle", a W.W.II movie. The guy they picked to be the pilot never quite got
into the swing of things: he was either pretty confused or had had his sense of humor
surgically removed. Fortunately the girl with him could provide some comic relief!
Almost immediately after the show, the Loony
Tunes parade started, with lots of WB characters, including the Loony Toons, Superman,
Wonder Woman, Marvin the Martian, Batman, etc,
Magic Shows and Other Stuff
After the parade, we rushed over to the "Maverick Grand Illusion
Show", which turned out to be really good! Before the show, there was this guy
wandering around dressed like an undertaker "interacting" with the audience.
Whenever he'd see a pretty girl, he'd grab their bag or purse and would not let go.
THEN he would indicate he'd want a kiss by pointing at his cheek. When the
girl finally complied, he would turn around and kissed them on the lips!! Many a
girl was making "yuck" noises that day, I can tell you. In fact, I managed
to get the shot just as Penny was getting kissed:
what a Kodak moment!
Another of the better shows we saw was the Police Academy Stunt Show. These guys showed
some real daring, driving full-size cars and little scooters around a tiny area a
breakneck speed, but with perfect coordination and timing. Good thing, too: any one
of them would have ended up as roadkill, otherwise!
At the beginning of the show, they picked a few people out of the audience
to "spot" the bad guys by blowing whistles. I don't know if you have seen
the original "Police Academy" movies, but the guy doing the picking was acting
just like the hardass bad-guy sergeant in that film. When he tried to pick one
guy who apparently didn't speak English, he found another person who would play along.
This guy was a real clown: dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and ridiculous hat.
When the "policeman" told him to "take of that ridiculous hat", he
took off the sergeants instead! He also claimed he was from Tasmania, which has a
"country bumpkin" association to the Ozzies. The sergeant said that that
The guy was hilarious: falling off the bench when a whistle blew, and
generally carrying on. However, it turned out he was a "ringer",
especially when he fell out of the building where he was "spotting", on to the
awning below, and started getting blown up left and right by the stunts. I was
almost offended, but it was too hilarious to complain!
After that show we saw a "Great Gremlins Adventure"
(really mostly for kids). Rob got his picture taken with Catwoman (meoouww!).
We also saw a 3-D Marvin the Martian cartoon (Marvin in the 3rd Dimension): poor Penny
fell asleep during part of it (it was really good, though!) Oh, and remember the guy
getting his picture taken as Superman? Well, later in the day I spotted a booth
where they will do that same shot and video tape it for you, so guess what I did! (I've digitized the movie and put it on here for your entertainment
and my embarrassment). (type: Quicktime MOV file file size: 7.2 MB (zipped))
Batman and Beyond
One of the last bits was a run through the
"Batman Adventure" ride. As we piled in, a girl was welcoming us to Wayne
Manor, when an emergency bell started, and we all had to get into the ride. She
spoke *much* too fast, by the way, and her "English" accent was laying it on a
bit thick, but anyway...
The ride is one of those where you sit in a mechanized box and are jostled
around a bit. I've never actually been in one, but it didn't look too bad. We
all piled in, got our seatbelts on, and waited for it to start. They said you could
hold on to the seat in front of you or to the handles at your sides but I thought
"Nah, I can just sit back and watch, I don't need any silly handles.." Mr.
BLAMMO! That whole box shook like it was in an earthquake!
DOWN go my hands to the bars, UP almost comes my lunch! That ride was INTENSE!
Between the jostling and the screen in front of us showing the action, it felt like you
were really there!
Dinner and Stuff
Staggering out of the "Batman" ride, we made our way to the
exit, where a giant lizard was waiting for us. Despited that, we made it back to the
waiting bus, and the hotel for dinner. On the way, we heard this really weird radio
show, where they were doing a topic called "Please Explain" (apparently what
some local Australian politician said) where they talked about all the really weird things
that happen. They had people calling in and asking about things to be explained: one
woman called in to ask "if there are so many divorced women, where are all the
They also did a parody of a commercial: it appeared that Elle MacPherson
did a commercial for the Australian tourist board, which cost them about a million or so.
This was pretty controversial, and some people were quite upset. They claimed
to have the commecial on hand, and from the sound of it Elle is considered quite the
"bimbo!" It was a voiceover of a sultry woman's voice (supposed to be
Elle) with the director yelling corrections back to her. It went something like
Elle: "Hi there: it feels so great to be
here on a photo shoot in Western Morocco..."
Elle: "I've heard some people were upset
about the commecial I did for the Canadian..."
Elle: "...tourist board, that it could have
been put towards hospitals. But I mean really: who wants to see me lying seductively
on a hospital cot?"
Director: "I'm going home..."
Elle: "Eeeww! What's that?
There's something wriggling on this bed!"
Director: "It's a baby."
Elle: "Ooo Ew! Who's is it?"
Director: "It's YOURS, you silly
After dinner, we went off to club "Melba's" for more dancing and
drinking. The club was not as fun as "Shooters", though: almost totally
dead (the only people there were our group) and a bit more loud, too: I could feel the
music vibrating the hair on my legs! Afterwards, I went back to the hotel for a good
nights sleep: gotta get up early for Downhill Downunder!