Disclosure- I went on an all expense paid trip on behalf of Disney to cover the Blu-ray release of Tomorrowland and Aladdin as well as Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary. All opinions are my own.
In the movie Tomorrowland, young Frank was an inventor and a dreamer who dreamed big and didn’t take no for an answer. I had the opportunity to speak with two Disney visionaries who embody the spirit of young Frank and are paving the way for future dreamers at Disney and beyond. I was so inspired after talking to Charita Carter (Producer at Disney Imagineering) and Mike Goslin (VP of Production and Content at Disney Consumer Products).
You’re probably wondering why I have a picture of hands in this post. These beautiful hands are Charita’s and in addition to being a Producer at Disney Imagineering, she is also a hand model. Yes, that is a real job. How cool is that?!?! She was discovered while hold on to a pole while riding a tram. A woman told her she had beautiful hands, asked if she ever thought about being a hand model, and gave her the card for her agent. She sat on the card for a year before she decided “Why not. I have nothing to lose.” She called the agency, went on an audition, and they took her as a client. She’s hand modeled for all sorts of product commercials and print ads such as Bounty paper towels. SONOS Music System, and Sara Lee. So what does all this have to do with her other career? Hand modeling introduced her to being on the set giving her the opportunity to start talking to Directors, Producers, Camera Men, and Photographers. She has been able to bring a lot of what she has learned from this to her role as a Producer at Disney Imagineering.
Charita said a few things that that really resonated with me. She was so encouraging and motivating. Here are just a few of her thoughts that inspired me:
“Every opportunity take advantage of it cause you never know what you’re gonna glean from it and what it can mean for you in the future.”
“Follow your passion and really get to know yourself and what really excites you and what really makes you want to wake up in the morning. Then find people who are like minded or are very encouraging. Get a support group of people, kind of like your cheerleaders who believe in you. It’s very important to believe in yourself and you’ll have those moments where you’ll have doubts and it’s great when you’re surrounded by people who say you can do this. I would also suggest to be very patient. It’s great to have a goal and it’s great to have a plan and have an actual plan to do that. But I encourage people to be open when new opportunities arise, especially in the creative field because a lot of what we do might might not exist now and you could be the first person doing it.”
“Dreams are Wonderful because they’re those things that motivate you and they contain your hope and they inspire you. But the real end game is your destiny. You want to find your destiny. You want to find that thing that just you — you were put here to do.”
We asked Charita plans for the future with Disney and she said she couldn’t tell us about projects that aren’t announced yet but she could tell us that both of them will be first time things for the Disney Company. How exciting! We’ll have to keep an eye out for that!
When we first talked with Mike Goslin we went right into asking him about the newest innovation he has been working on, Playmation. Playmation is 3 years in the making and is finally coming to the market this month. It is a toy that brings old school play and brings it back into the 21st century using technology. The first release is Avengers. The set gives children the gear and stories to give them “superhero powers” in the real world.
“So a kid will be able to put on Iron Man’s costume and battle a robot, physical, they’ll go across the room, and when he fires, he’ll feel a kick on his arm, wipes the screen down, his forearm and the audio will boom and the robot will shake and fall over, so it’s– it’s a real– you know it feels like you’re really firing a holster blaster. It’s a lot of devices talking to each other in a coordinated way to create a play experience in the real world, but it’s very much like living a videogame. It’s very active, so you have to use your imagination, there’s no screen required although, if you wanna expand the experience, you can download new content via an app. But you– it’s all your imagination and running around, jumping, you know, crawling. It’s very much like play used to be running around the yard being physical and using your imagination.”
Playmation sounds so amazing. My girls are always using technology on their cellphones, tablets, etc. so I am excited for this new game system that will help them be more active. Playmation will be coming out with Star Wars sets and even Frozen in the future! Mike told us how it took a lot of people from a lot of different disciplines to bring this game to life. Everything from all kinds of electrical and mechanical engineers, as well as writers and artists, and theme park designers and industrial designers. It was definitely a team effort with a very diverse group of skillsets, all coming together with a very clear focus.
We asked Mike what advice he’d give to young, inspiring kids that wanna invent games and he told us he’s had to use everything that I’ve learned in the past to help with creating Playmation and everything else he does. He has a psychology degree, he learned art in college, I did art all through growing up, was inventing stuff in the garage, building forts before there were virtual environments, and so much more that all built his foundation to do the job he does now. He said children should take all those classes, read a lot, play a lot of games- schooling is important.
I love how both Charita and Mike had similar sentiments that everything they did in the past gave them experiences and lead them to the do well in the career they are now. All of their prior knowledge and experiences made them who they are today so always remember that everything you do is a learning experience if you are a true Dreamer!