Feature Film Shot Inside Disney Theme Parks Without Permission


There are some places where you’re just not allowed to stage a professional photo or video shoot, and topping that list would be places like Disney World, Disneyland, and probably Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino. The thing is, some photographers and videographers have no problem ignoring the rules to get a great shot (think: rooftopping).

Writer and filmmaker Randy Moore, however, took it to another level with his upcoming movie “Escape from Tomorrow.” He somehow managed to film almost the entire thing inside both Disney World and Disneyland without getting permission… or getting caught.

The movie debuted Friday at Sundance, but filming inside both Disney parks began three years ago. And shooting right under Disney security’s nose was no picnic. Moore had to employ all sorts of secretive techniques to get the footage without raising any red flags.

Scripts couldn’t be printed out, so all info was kept on iPhones. When the crew needed to reference something, they looked like any of the other thousands of people looking down at their phones. In order to keep details from leaking, he chose to do post-production entirely in South Korea. Clearly this and the other secretive techniques he employed worked, too: neither him nor his crew was ever approached by anyone at Disney — before or after filming.

Even though it may never see commercial distribution, Escape from Tomorrow debuted to positive reviews. But the movie isn’t really what intrigues us; it’s a dark tale that follows a recently unemployed father on a trip to Disney, complete with strange visions and not so much as a peep about photography (as far as we can tell).

Here’s a short clip:

What intrigues us is how Moore’s movie goes to show that nowhere is truly “off-limits” in a world where you’ll soon be able to shoot photos and video using your glasses. Not that we’re encouraging or condoning secret photo shoots at Disney parks, but Moore proved beyond a reasonable doubt that it is a possibility… assuming Disney hasn’t already started training their security to spot professional camera gear.

(via The Verge)

  • SRisonS

    As a Disney fan that’s at the parks a lot, I’d love to find this complete movie somewhere. And depending on what he shot it with, I don’t think it would be too too hard to get away with the shooting. There are all types of cameras (video/photo) all over the place there. And the fact that people are taking tons of footage for everything just makes it easier to blend in.

  • Renato Murakami

    Shooting with a hidden camera might not be that hard.
    But they are not taking simple videos, they are making a movie…
    Crew, scripts, getting the right shots, reshooting when things goes wrong, etc etc. I imagine it must have been pretty hard to achieve a full blown movie in a place you’re not exactly allowed to do one… it’s already plenty hard making one where you are allowed to. xD
    Unless it’s done Guerilla style or something like Dogma ’95 (35mm apart).

  • Mansgame

    Great…as if it’s not bad enough for photographers, now they’ll get harrassed even more when they show up with a new DSLR and 24-70 f/2.8 lens to take pics of their families. Now they’re going to have limits to camera phones only because of these jerks. If you want to make a movie, do it the right way and ask permission first. Maybe that means you have to pay a fee. So be it.

  • bgrady413

    Anyone else think those girls this character gets obessed with might be a little too young?

  • lidocaineus

    Some of those black and white shots look beautiful.

  • lidocaineus

    Quite the artist you are.

  • josephdjacob

    Have you ever seen American Beauty? The girl the dad forms an obsession over looks way to young, but she was over 18, she just looked underage so they used her.

  • josephdjacob

    I take that back… apparently she was underage but they still allowed her to be nude in a feature film… my bad

  • Dear Leader

    Next time, try shooting in North Korea.

  • Sitha

    not every is rich or have the budget…for the ridiculous price they want you to pay….. thus the term, low budget film…

  • Michael Lieberman

    True, but I mean I do low budget stuff, and I figure out legal ways around various my lack of budget, eg. green screen, shooting inside similar looking places that will give me permission etc.

  • Wallerus

    Is it just me or does the clip seem a bit pervy? Older dude checking out some teenage girls getting into the pool. Videography was great though!

  • Scatterbrained

    Some Disney security guards do look for pro gear, as they are supposed to. I’ve been stopped twice by security guards there, once taking pictures of my wife and once coming through bag check. One security guard saw my 5dII in my bag and tried to get me to admit I was a professional. They will make you leave, or at the least take your camera back to your car; as has happened to another photog I know. So basically they do have a longstanding “no professional photography” clause, but I don’t see them initiating any sort of crackdown over this.

  • Mantis

    Oh, shut the hell up fool.

  • bcool413

    Anyone else think those girls are acting in a movie and bgrady413 is a little too sensitive? They weren’t doing anything suggestive, it was the character’s perceived thoughts (since almost none of us have seen the film) that put you there. You can see girls dressed like that and are way younger in a J.C.Penny catalog (or any other) on any given week. Just because you viewed them as underage sex objects doesn’t mean everyone else does too. As you get older, 18 year old girls look younger and younger.

  • bcool


  • see n why?

    The mods are having a censorship field-day! Apparently presenting logic to over-insensitive opinions about a guy looking at girls in bikinis in a film nonetheless is worth censoring…

  • see n why?

    Oops, my bad! Posts showed up, then were gone, now they’re back. Feel free to delete. facepalm