Personalized amusement park video

This idea falls into my “Orphans” category: projects or ideas that I find interesting but that I know are really low on my priority list. I figure it’s more fun and helpful to write about them and release them into the wild. If nothing else, I can put a David-Allen approved “DONE” label on these in my mind.

This article about a personalized video of surfing lessons reminded me of an idea I’d had a while ago.

When I’ve taken my kids to large amusement parks, a common feature these last 5–10 years has been the “photo pass.” The photo pass is an all-you-can-eat digital photo subscription. So, rather than pay $29 for a single photo of the three of us on a Harry Potter ride, we pay whatever – $99 or $129 – for several days’ worth of all the photos that get taken, on rides or even the standup photographers near the entrance or other scenic spots (like in front of the Millenium Falcon!).

What I’d thought of some time ago was a similar, but better, value-added service that such a park could provide. With the number of both personal video sources (smartphones, tablets, and video cameras) and park-owned cameras of various kinds), the park could create a model where as part of the package, they provide me with a personal video camera, as well as a site to upload any other personal video (or pictures). Then, at the end of each day, I can turn in that camera to the park, and they get to work. They can take my video and maybe park-owned video that I appear in that fits a B-roll kind of definition – waiting in lines, passing security checkpoints in rides and attractions, eating lunch. There’s almost certainly lots of video available. And with Fastpass (at Disney) running on a GPS-enabled smartphone (and probably bluetooth tracking too), it should be easy to get a crowd shot with me in it.

The editing work could be done by a team of video editors in an off-cycle time zone 8 or 12 or 14 hours away, which might be convenient for many reasons. But here’s another idea: an AI tool that has part of the idea in place. Magisto ( is supposed to be an AI-powered editing app. Their target is to help small businesses create marketing and product videos almost automagically. They take uploaded video and analyze and edit it to create a short piece.

Whether Disney takes all the footage and pushes it into an AI editor or has a team of folks across the world cleaning it up, it’s probably 2–3x better than any regular person’s editing and 1000x better than the editing that almost everyone WON’T DO FOR THEMSELF. That’s my point. Unless editing is your thing, a little bit of skill from someone else will lead to vastly better outcomes compared to what you probably won’t do.

And then I get to walk away with a good-looking video (on DVD too) and maybe a book of photos that won’t just live on my hard drive, never to be seen again. Grandparents (at least my parents) would be happier with a book they could look through than a link to an online album.