In May 2004, at the end of my second year in university, I left on vacation with my friend Andrea and her family on a 10 day trip to Los Angeles. It was a true tourist affair with visits to Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Universal Studios, Newport Beach, and Hollywood & Highland. For a poor film student at the time it was a trip beyond my means, but one that played to my every interest.
I'm always fascinated how a few days of a good vacation, in retrospect, can still seem so fresh and relevant. Being in Hollywood felt surreal. My last memories of the location were from elementary school when I travelled there with my own family. Those distant memories were triggered in 2004, and the new experiences being captured came at the height of my film student optimism. LA and Hollywood seemed as stereotypical as I had hoped they would be. Although my own realistic plan wasn't to run off to southern California, I was incredibly keen to get swept up in the possibility.
The theme parks, the coasters, the busy sidewalks, the glaring sun and the cool ocean were all captured on my little Sony D8. Just watching the videos over again triggers clear visions of what it was like, what I was thinking and the little side stories that still find there way into random conversations. I even held onto my Disneyland ticket as a reminder of the experience. At 20 years old, I can clearly say that it was the last of my family vacations; Just along for the ride, not worried about making plans or a schedule, generally just looked after - and it wasn't even my family.
All the footage I shot has now been cut down into little clips over the last few years so that I could share them on my blog. There are a few postcards, some new revisions, and specific cuts for several Disneyland attractions. I shot a lot and I tried to make the most of it.
Five years ago this month and it seems like another world. I know I'll be back there again, but until that happens I'm happy I have the edits. Quite simply, for a college kid dreaming about making movies, this trip sure hit the spot.
Scroll through the playlist to watch the clips.
Videos in the Playlist: Hollywood & Highland, Newport Beach, Day at Disneyland, Splash Mountain, Mark Twain Riverboat, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Disney's California Adventure, Disney's Electrical Parade, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Backlot, and Flying Montage
The Complete California Playlist