It’s the day after Christmas – and you didn’t get what you wanted, did you? That ugly sweater, socks or worse – underwear!
Have no fear – we’ve got you covered…
Give the gift of an experience that they won’t soon forget – a ticket to the world premiere of ACE’s “The Legacy of Arrow Development,” presented by the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk!
Tickets are just $10, with a $10 upgrade available if you’d like priority seating, reception and Q&A with the filmmakers. You can purchase your tickets here or at the Montgomery Theater Box Office.
We’ll see you in your best suits and dresses on the evening of January 23rd!
Many of you have been asking, “When will we see another episode of “Lost Parks of Northern California?”
Well, “Lost Parks” has been on a bit of a hiatus this year – but there’s a perfectly good explanation for it:
We’ve been working all year on a documentary on the history and legacy of former amusement ride manufacturer (and Bay Area company) Arrow Development!
But, don’t worry – the award-winning show will return – just as soon as we recover from the workload of the “Legacy of Arrow Development” project!
I’ve written at length in the past about just how poor the current slate of amusement park shows are, but mid-summer this year, there was a glimmer of hope. A new show, starring former Mythbusters stars Kari Byron and Tori Belleci began filming and was being promoted on social media:
“Thrill Factor,” produced for the Travel Channel by BASE Productions, seemed to have everything going for it – personable hosts with a resume of quality, entertaining programming. So, has the show lived up to the lofty expectations of both theme park and Mythbuster fans?
Sadly, not for me.
Let’s begin with the premise…something tells me the elevator pitch for this show was: “It’s Mythbusters – at an amusement park.” And the segments with Kari and Tori are the best parts of the show – as you’d expect from seasoned pros like them.
The hosts test a different theory revolving around rides each and every episode – which sounds great, but I suspect they’ll run out of things pretty quickly. But then – just as the show is about to eclipse the lift hill into excitement – the show quite literally goes off the proverbial coaster rails and quickly transitions from the host segment into a new one, where POV footage (forward and reverse) is shown.
Now, I’m not sure if the show just ran out content and had to fill time – but the seemingly random cuts to POV give the show a manic feel, as if the viewer is assumed to have ADHD and couldn’t possibly focus for more than five minutes at a time onto the screen.
The POV segments take what could have been a fun concept – and just kills it, whereas focusing on both Byron and Belleci would have sufficed and indeed, made the show better, in my opinion.
If the content isn’t there to fill the full half hour – something’s wrong with the concept. Kari and Tori – who are very good at interacting with their fans on social media and are genuinely nice people in real life, too – deserve better after helping refine one of the most successful, educational and entertaining shows ever to come out of Discovery Channel.
According to the most recent IMDB rating – it looks like I’m not the only one who thinks the show could use some off-season work:
FULL DISCLOSURE: Along with my producers on the “Legacy of Arrow Development” roller coaster documentary: Nicholas Laschkewitsch and Robert Ingle, we’re still looking for a partner on our own amusement park travel program, of which you can find our teaser trailer conveniently located below:
No wonder Travel Channel never called me back after my audition for “Travel Channel Star” back in February…this show was already in development…
BOTTOM LINE: Drop the POV segments from the show and expand the host’s time on screen – and you have the rare opportunity to have a “coaster show” that lasts longer than two seasons.
With the exception of wooden roller coasters, most of today’s state of the art thrill rides are designed by European firms. But in the 1960’s, Northern California-based Arrow Development was the company that parks around the world came to for the latest in steel coaster innovation.
Last month, a small crew of volunteers from American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) Worldwide, Inc. crisscrossed the country to tell the story of an American manufacturing legend that entertained millions. The team visited amusement and theme parks with prominent Arrow rides, including: Six Flags Over Texas, Cedar Point, Kennywood, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Lagoon Park and Silverwood Theme Park.
Nicholas Laschkewitsch is the Video Promotions Coordinator for American Coaster Enthusiasts:
“The story of Arrow is the story of the American dream,” said Laschkewitsch. “Four steel workers quit their jobs to form their own company in a car garage and quite literally, turned the world upside down.”
Kris Rowberry is the Executive Producer, as well as the host of “The Lost Parks of Northern California”:
“Everyone knows Silicon Valley as a hotbed for technological innovations,” said Rowberry. “But few know that the valley that gave us Google and iPhones also spawned the world’s first log flume and corkscrew roller coaster. It truly is a forgotten piece of our national history.”
Robert Ingle is a Producer on the film as well as a Photographer:
“This project will literally bring history to life, as well as preserve it for generations to come.”
The public is welcome to join the team on the journey by following American Coaster Enthusiasts on social media or by using the #RideWithACE and #LegacyofArrow hashtags. Fans can also visit: my.aceonline.org/arrow
About ACE: Founded in 1978, ACE is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation, promotion, appreciation and safe enjoyment of roller coasters. With more than 5,000 members across the globe, ACE is the largest amusement park enthusiast organization in the world. In addition, numerous television outlets such as the Travel Channel have prominently featured ACE and it’s members.
We are exactly ONE WEEK away from our biggest announcement EVER!
Have you figured out all the clues? Tell us on social media what you think the big announcement will be and be sure to come here at 2:43pm on 3/14/15 to find out what all the fuss is about…
What better way to celebrate the centennial of the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition – than with our award-winning episode of “Lost Parks of Northern California” – feel free to share with your friends, family, SF fans and local television stations!
It may have been a century ago – but pieces of the fair are still very much with us today! #PPIE100
Pardon us if you’ve already heard the news, but…we think it’s worth bragging about:
“Lost Parks of Northern California,” the series produced by ACE Northern California and Great American Thrills took home the award for “Best Community Access Television Series – Professional” on Saturday at the CreaTiVe Awards in downtown San Jose.
We could not have done this without everyone who we’ve met along the way, contributed a video or photo at a lost park they once visited, or simply shared their experiences with us. Thank you for the opportunity to live history vicariously through you! Here’s to many more awards and celebrations.
And yes, you’re allowed to say, “We knew them when…”
Now that the calendar has been officially flipped over to 2015, we wanted to fill you in on what’s to come for the year ahead with the Great American Thrills® brand.
Season Two of “Lost Parks of Northern California” continues, with two more episodes, featuring Frontier Village in San Jose and the 1939 World’s Fair on Treasure Island. Both should debut in January and March, respectively.
Also, you can look forward to Season Three of “Lost Parks” debuting in late Spring, with episodes focused on Scotts Valley’s “Lost World” and Redwood City’s “Marine World Africa USA.”
And finally, we’ve got something truly special up our sleeves for 2015. We can’t tell you what it is just yet – but we think that every amusement and theme park fan will enjoy it for years to come. Stay tuned to our social media feeds for the latest…as they might have you going around in circles!
So, as you can see, it’s going to be another fun filled and busy year for Great American Thrills®. Be sure to share us with your favorite cable channels, networks, friends and family – we’d appreciate it!
Here’s to the year ahead of us – let’s ride, everyone!
Yes, it’s been awhile since our last episode of “Lost Parks of Northern California” but I can assure you – the wait is worth it.
Presenting the first teaser trailer for our next episode, the 1915 San Francisco Pan Pacific Exposition (World’s Fair). We expect to wrap on the episode and debut it before #CoasterCon this summer.
If you’re a fan of amusement parks, roller coasters, history, organs and trains – you cannot afford to miss this episode!
Follow the journey by searching #LostParks on your favorite social media network!
If you’re looking for the next great travel show about amusement or theme parks, coasters or thrill rides – your search just got easier and your costs just went down, because Great American Thrills® is now an officially recognized and registered trademark!
There are some moments in life that are just photo-op worthy. Yesterday, I was fortunate to experience just such an occasion:
As of November 26th, 2013 – Great American Thrills gets a little modification – a circular “®” attached, to be specific. It now can be considered a brand with the U.S. Government! (Sans paying taxes as a corporation).
Sadly, I had to wait until yesterday to pick up the paperwork – and let me tell you – it feels a whole lot more real when you’ve got that sheet of paper (in a protective cover) in your hands!
According to my preparing attorney, Michael Bosworth of IPx Law – I was the first person ever to want to come and pick up the paperwork in person. Certainly I was the first to take a photo of it, too ; ) Never being one to turn down the opportunity to be in front of a camera – I couldn’t resist…
Three years of planning and saving brought me to this moment – and now we’re almost ready to take the next step in the five year plan.
Mark my words – 2014 will be the year of Great American Thrills®, and we couldn’t be happier to have you along for the ride!
Have you been naughty, or nice so far this holiday season? Either way – we’re happy to release a preview to our Santa’s Village episode of the Lost Parks of Northern California!
Find out how eating at McDonald’s may connect you to the park – in addition to the many pieces of Santa’s Village strewn throughout Northern California!
Stay tuned here to Great American Thrills for the latest updates, including a release date!
Despite how it may look, there are many, MANY people who are involved in the production of “Lost Parks of Northern California.”
Without them, I would not be able to look as good as I do presenting it. With that, here are all the people it took to bring the Manteca Waterslides episode to life:
Al Garcia, Waterworld California: A big thanks goes to my longtime friend Al Garcia, who is the Marketing Sales Coordinator for the park. He gave us his personal stories of Manteca – in addition to allowing us to capture some unbelievable angles of the water slides in his park – including this particularly moist one. Visit his park (when it’s open) at: www.waterworldcalifornia.com
Roger Ross & Ryan Davies, California’s Great America: For allowing us to film inside their Boomerang Bay water park and make that historical connection to the slides in Manteca, I am forever indebted to you both. Here’s hoping that we get to work together again soon, or maybe even catch a Sharks game together this season. Visit their park at: www.cagreatamerica.com
Mike Brown and the Entire Brown Family: Mr. Brown – thank you for giving us the opportunity to share your family story with us – and thank you even more for opening up to us about all the history you hold in your memories. I can always say that I hung out with the owner of the Manteca Waterslides, and bought him lunch, while we shared stories and went through old photo albums. We will wear our Manteca “Anniversary” hats with pride.
Debby Moorhead, Vice Mayor of Manteca: Debby was crucial to us tracking down and getting permission from the current owners of the slides, as well as a great interview and one of the few, genuine politicians we’ve ever met. Sounds like Manteca is THE place to be in the coming years…we can’t wait!
ProAM USA: There is no way we would have been able to capture some of the beautiful shots in this video without winning a Facebook contest from these guys. (Seriously, we actually won a Facebook contest and got a camera crane!) Our new DVC60 camera jib was put through it’s paces this episode and we cannot wait to see what else we create with it.
Oh, and we’d love to model some of your other products, by the way…
Robert Ingle: Those promotional photos of me in the slides “acting” were all captured by Robert – who’s got quite the eye for awesome photos. But, his real skill is to blend in so I don’t even realize he’s taking my picture. I think there’s a career for you at TMZ if you’re interested, Robert.
And for those of you wondering, it’s Robert’s face that closes out the first episode in the credit roll…
Taylor Evans: I’ve never had a script supervisor before – but if I ever can hire one, it would be Taylor. He kept me on track and motivated as best as the Costco hot dog I bought him for lunch. For such complex shots, he was able to let me relax and do my thing, while he made sure the script still made sense. He also was responsible for the “summer winding down” edit that we thankfully caught that day.
And finally, I’ve saved the best for last – and with good reason, too.
I first met Nicholas Laschkewitsch a little less than a year ago – and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to partner with on this series. We’re three episodes into this once “little” project – and he somehow continually finds ways to both amaze and astound me with his work, both as a cinematographer, video editor and field producer.
This, mind you – without any professional training or experience. Nicholas simply has an eye for good work – and I could not be more fortunate to have found him and work with him on this series. He is just as much responsible for the success of this series as I am in front of the camera and doing research. Here’s to many more fun projects with the best producer I could ever have asked for.
If you haven’t seen how all these people came together on this project – look no further!
The forthcoming episode of the Lost Parks of Northern California was easily our most complicated – and yet it will be our most beautiful, too. But it’s not just me that makes it look good – it’s three talented individuals, Taylor Evans, Robert Ingle and Nicholas Laschkewitsch that make it (and me) look so good.
In addition – what you may not know – is that we’re not making any money on the project. In fact, we lose money on each and every shoot, whether from travel expenses, to material from historical societies – it all costs money. But, we think bringing these parks back to life is more about expanding our skills and more importantly, reclaiming our amusement heritage.
In addition, this upcoming episode would not have been possible without the efforts of the Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Manteca, Debbie Moorhead. Without her connections, we would have never been able to get permission to film at the slides final resting place. In addition, her interview at the Chamber of Commerce was just spectacular and was full of incredible information…
I knew working on this series would mean making connections to make it all work – I just didn’t think it would be so much fun to do it!
Now, we jest need some production companies to sit up and start taking notice! C’mon guys, let’s hear from you sooner than later!