Time For A Coaster "Mockumentary"???

Holiday Greetings, all!

As many of you who know me are aware, I have always had a hand (and an arm, and a foot!) in certain matters relating to the entertainment industry including various acting, directing, writing gigs in film, television and the theatre. (Recently did a spot of acting in MAYOR DOG on Animal Planet, if any of you were lucky enough to see that astounding work of art!) And, of course, there was always THE BRADY BUNCH, which served me so well for so many years.

Alas, Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. . .

But, coming in 2007, I am preparing, at long last, to shoot a "mockumentary" on amusement parks, and the lovable enthusiasts who populate their worlds. We will be going digital with a lot of footage at various events and parks in May and June, 2007, and just wanted to explore fun ideas here at Coasterbuzz as to potential humorous scenarios that everybody would find both amusing and entertaining (without being too over-the-top and, ah-hem, insulting to those that care passionately about roller coasters--a fine line, I am certain).

Now, understandably, the world of the roller-coaster enthusiast can be a decidedly fun-filled one, to be sure. Is it possible to "lampoon" this beloved hobby without drawing the ire of those who are so passionate about its, er, larger ramifications? I'm only opening this up for discussion because a) I need to generate some solid ideas and where better to come to than to the wondeful Buzzers and b) is this an idea that is ahead of its time or ripe for harvesting?

I want all of you to know that I, too, am nothing, if not passionate, about riding roller coasters. Those of you who have rode around, next to, or near me will certainly attest to that.

Hope everybody is having a great holiday season and looking forward to a bodacious Coaster Season 2007.

Barry J.

Lord Gonchar's avatar
Oooh, a "Spinal Tap" for the enthusiast crowd.

Nice idea - especially if you follow the formula of the Christopher Guest mockumentaries.

Yes, Lord Gonchar, you are spot-on, as always.

I think our time has come, don't you? Enough of this hiding in the sunlight on the Midways of America: it's time for us to take our rightful place on the cinematic shelf, right next to BEST OF SHOW, WAITING FOR GUFFMAN and SPINAL TAP.


Who was it that once said imitation is the ultimate form of flattery? Mark Twain?

I have always subscribed to the school of "Any press is good press," though with a few caveats thrown in for good measure.

A send-up parody of our hobby can only help to enhance it, right? Make us more credible and loved by the American Public? Don't we need to fight back from that awful characterization that Homer Simpson put on us a few months ago????

rollergator's avatar

Barry Williams said:Don't we need to fight back from that awful characterization that Homer Simpson put on us a few months ago????

Personally, I was kinda insulted that Matt Groening put me in there and did NOT show off my uber-cool fanny pack! ;)

"Those who would be insulted...should be insulted"...not sure if that was Twain or just me... :)

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Sounds hilarious to me. What's the famous poker saying..."if you can't see the sucker in the room it's you". The ones that will be worth mocking will be the ones that don't get the humor.

Of course this is assuming that you don't cross the line....the yellow line...as the train is now approaching.

Fever I really enjoy the Simpsons. It's just a shame that I am starting to LOOK like Homer.
boblogone's avatar
You'll need a consultant, somebody ready to whip out their membership card and correct errors at the drop of a hat. ;)
Don't make us be AGAINST YOU TOO! We already are against ARN&R.

Join the movment against makeing fun of enthusiast http://americansagainstarnr.blogspot.com/

Chuck, dead serious :)

Boblogone: that is friggin' hysterical!!!

Chuck--uhmmm, are you one of the forces behind that hurricane of a site known as AAARN&R? You do realize, of course, that in order to be given any degree of seriousness at all by any esteemed readers of Internet Propaganda, that you must first learn how to type and spell correctly? It goes a long way towards legitimizing your cause, in addition to lending it an air of credibility.

Finally, one thing you have to give those boys props for over at ARN&R is that they sure do know how to properly wield a vocabulary. . .

Why, just the other day, I happened to run into hebetudinous gibberish over there.

That would NEVER happen with your site, would it?


Barry J.

Do you plan on having the parks and coasters "depict themselves" and have the characters visit them? Or are you going to make up parks and rides?

Great question. That does get into questions of copyright and licensing issues, etc. To be quite honest with you, we're not that far yet. Though that is definitely going to have to be addressed early on.

All of the people's names and enthusiasts clubs will be fictive, however. I'm not sure exactly what can be gotten away with, though, in terms of utilizing park and ride names. . .

Interesting. . .food for thought.


Lord Gonchar's avatar
I'd go the fictional route, no doubt. A lot of humor could be had from that alone. (ride names, park names, locations...)

I doubt you find many places that'd play along anyway.

^ I agree. Plus with a fictional park, you could include fictional employees-- which you probably couldn't do with a real park. (Ride Nazis, costumed characters, the Dippin' Dots guy.)

OK, maybe you can't call them Dippin' Dots in your film, but you have to include somebody to leak the secret info on the next big ride. :)

Jeff's avatar
I've thought about doing this myself actually, seeing as how I've got the HD gear and want to do a short film. I think it would take the right people to make it funny enough.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

I've found that FUNNY just happens, The more you film, The more it takes place. Often things that weren't funny at the time they were filmed turn out to be funny in some form.

Also how you present it, Who's watching and knowing whats going on has some to do with how humorous something is.

Chuck, who says the really AAARN&R guy can out spell you any day of the week. AA

coasterqueenTRN's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
Oooh, a "Spinal Tap" for the enthusiast crowd.

Nice idea - especially if you follow the formula of the Christopher Guest mockumentaries.

And very "Clerks" as well. ;) Can I act in your mockumentary, Barry? It sounds hilarious!

I wanna play an obnoxious, know-it-all geek! ;)


Hey, I've seen your name around and never thought for a second that Barry Williams was, y'know, Barry Williams.

Anyway, I think it should definitely have Deja Vu or something similar. Maybe make a running gag of someone being stoked when he sees it running, running into the line, and then it breaking down.

Eh, doesn't sound so funny now that I've typed it up. Whatev. Cheers!

Over the last few years, I've found that the people who own and run most of the parks, don't cater to or put too much energy into apeasing people like us. (Although there are a select few who do).

Will the general peeps, now show an interest in people like us by supporting a film or project about "this little thing of ours"?

I always thought the travel channel (or a similar entity) would one saummer, follow a group of coaster geeks around the country (reality show style) to watch them interact with the rest of the world and to see the real world through our eyes.

Some of it could be scripted and some shouldn't.

Here's a great scene...picture one guy driving in the middle of the night. The three others in the car could enact a "coaster geek version of the drinking scene from jaws."

"Hah...that's nothing...see that..."

"No where..."

"Over here...(lifts sox)..."

"Oh that's nasty..."

"I got that one in Allentown running to a wild mouse..."

"Nah... that's nothing...take a look at this..."

"Holy Christmas....where the hell did you get that..."

"I lost my tube on the Abyss at Slpish Splash and the blister never healed."

"You truly are the master."

Best of luck on the project.

Here's To Shorter Lines & Longer Trip Reports!

Richie, your signature leads me to believe there may be a wealth of material out there.

As long as the project is done with an underlying respect for the subject like the films mentioned previously (and throw in "A Mighty Wind"), there should be lots of room for humor to shine through.

The toughest part may be toning down enthusiast behavior enough to make it believable. :)

All of your posts have already been mega-helpful. Great stuff all. God knows Dippin' Dots has got to come in for its own satire. If people knew how the "Ice Cream of the Future" was actually made, and the chemicals inherent, they would think twice before ordering up a cup. . .

RGB: The costumed characters and the Ride Nazi concepts alone are priceless. . .

I'll keep everybody posted as to how this is unfolding and when we get close to shooting, I'll let everybody know. The more the merrier, as far as I'm concerned. There is a certain amount of improvisational quality to this that, if executed properly, becomes a comic vein of gold. It will be scripted to a large degree but we have found that the BEST STUFF is usually that which is sort of quickly discussed and then let the cameras roll. We did an impromptu bit in the Rabbit Hash/MAYOR DOG thing for Animal Planet that had to do with arranging "bookings" for the Labrador on Oprah, Larry King, etc., that we just free-wheeled and it was friggin' hysterical. We were completely "improving" but it wound up being some of our best footage. The same will hold true with our "faux" interviews with coaster enthusiasts when everybody is going to know to be deliberately "tongue in cheek." It's a fine line, though, because the best humor simply cannot be forced. It happens naturally and is usually best if "thrown away."

Anyway, keep the great suggestions coming. I'm printing out the thread as it materializes. . .

Thanks, all.

Barry J.

Also, as I've been off on other ventures in recent months, and not been particularly connected to the coaster world, can somebody outline what events are already slated for 2007? I have heard of very little thus far and usually by Christmas, you have a certain idea of what is coming the following year.

Jeff, has Coasterbuzz announced any official events as of yet?

Also, I certainly hope that Holiday World repeats their Memorial Day Weekend gig because that has become one of the largest repositories for coaster enthusiasts across the country. We can shoot at that for a couple of days at least. . .


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