Debutant director Randy Moore is at Sundance to premiere Escape From Tomorrow, a film that has instantly drawn comparisons to the work of David Lynch – though that comparison happens a lot, to be fair.
Much of Escape was shot inside Florida’s Walt Disney World without approval or even, I would guess, the park’s knowledge. This doesn’t mean the film is shaky, handicam stuff, shot off the cuff as though tourist footage – it looks to be a well mounted picture with rather classical cinematography and mise en scene.
I’m sure Moore is facing questions at every corner about how he managed to pull off this production but I hope somebody will also ask him why he did this. One doesn’t just go to these lengths casually.
Here’s a blurb for the film and then the first clip as posted to Youtube.
In a world of fake castles and anthropomorphic rodents, an epic battle begins when an unemployed father’s sanity is challenged by a chance encounter with two underage girls on holiday.
Okay, there’s nothing there that confirms me this footage was shot on site at Disney World, but The LA Times have seen the film and say:
There is Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and Space Mountain, Tiki Room and teacups, princesses and a Main Street parade. At one point, Epcot Center blows up.
And that’s not the half of it. Just go Googling and you’ll find all kinds of spoilers for the film, and most of them would drive Disney’s lawyers absolutely insane.
Releasing the film commercially is going to be, at the very least, incredibly difficult. Disney could squash this in a heartbeat, and you might expect they will.
But having only seen that minute up above, I’m left very curious about this film. And I’m sure this would find an audience.
Incidentally, writer-director-star Damon Packard pulled off a similar security-dodging feat for his underground picture Reflections of Evil, just a few years ago. That film has some crucial scenes very clearly shot inside Universal’s theme park.
You can screen Reflections of Evil for free online, but it was also released to DVD. I do hope a wide release awaits for Escape From Tomorrow too, but… well, let’s not be too naive. It’s a time for crossing fingers not holding breath.
UPDATE: And here’s a clip of Moore talking about the film, with some post production footage and tiny excerpts from the film.