8:19 AM, Monday, January 21st, 2023:
So many years of waiting. It's well documented on this site that Cam has been Mario obsessed for awhile. Hmm, when exactly... I think it was the release of Mario Run which he first saw at 2. Then of course we got a Switch when he was 3 and he beat Mario Odyssey by himself before 4. That's such a massive chunk of this kid's life, I cannot fathom what it mus've felt like for him to finally get to walk into this land. I was so focused on documenting it... Oh yeah, the video:
A couple things...
Rusty could only take 3 people, which became a massive ethics moment for our family. This isn't just a "day at the park", this is a day we've talked about for well over 5 years. It's a family thing we literally put on our calendars and talked about for yeeeeeeeeears. Rusty and I have been plotting out how to get the 4 of us in HARD for the last year and I even gave them a Christmas gift card to open about January 19th - being some of the first people to walk through that tunnel. The fact that one of us couldn't go was just devastating. So we just kind of came up with me playing "camera guy" and never appearing in the picture or video with the kids and only doing it from their perspective. Thankfully it looks like Talya and the kids can go next week at the neighbor preview (also just 3 tickets) so yay it equally sucks - lol).
But yeah, the thought of taking a picture or video with the kids WITHOUT mama was just soul crushing, so it doesn't exist. At some point the 4 of us will indeed be able to go... at which point fun galore!
...but I'll also say this: after Thursday and then next week? I'm not sure the kids are going to WANT to go... Now they certainly enjoyed being there... but there really is only 1 ride and the other "experiences" are... christ - how do you say this: god-awful? They're the equivalent of going to a playground and hitting buttons and spinning pieces of plastic or whatnot. They're something you run around and do in 5 minutes... not something you wait in a line for 20 minutes to do once. Like, the kids will knock out whatever they missed next week and then... uhm. What? I spent nearly $200 on those bands so it would "count" the experiences they did... but, uh... now what? I cannot fathom going multiple times to this thing. It's really, REALLY small. I mean, I knew it would be small, but even I was a little stunned at the footprint....
Now, the height? The grandeur of it? Oh it's beautiful. The details are glorious and if they limited the people to like 1000? Sure. Throw 500 in the mario kart line, a couple hundred in the restaurant... then the activities would be fun quick little one-offs. But this is gonna be a madhouse for much of the year and once you've done it ONCE? I cannot imagine waiting to do it again. Even the Mario Kart ride, while cool... uh, it isn't a THRILL. Ya know? It's neat! Ya gotta do it once or twice... but man, it's not like other rides. I really feel like a motion simulator ride ala back to the future (now The Simpsons) would've been WAY cooler and had way more staying power. Then again, I didn't really PLAY the ride as I was trying to document it all.
Oh and on that.. jesus that 3D camera is difficult. Each time however, I'm seemingly learning little things to make it work. Auto-iris and only switching the base ISO helped a BUNCH. Though it seems I should've basically kept the ISO at 3200 the entire time (the R5C has 2 base ISOs of 800/3200) since it was at night. Learning. The gimbal is a bitch too because shit is pretty heavy and man with this shit you just have to shoot and shoot and shoot. The biggest problem is you need to really set up. There's no auto-focus, so you really need time to stop, set that up and then shoot... but in a line? Yeah, that's not happening. VR is the least friendly "run and gun" camera EVER. Also, all side-to-side movement is nauseating even with a smooth gimball, so I have to edit almost everything to JUST forward movement or NO movement. If it's the slowest POSSIBLE turn... sure, you can pull that off, but man - wearing a headset is way different than normal filmmaking.
ALL THAT BEING SAID? This is the coolest thing I've shared (the ride I made is still cooler - lol) and I can't wait for people to see it. It's the one thing I believe could help get the Vrlog thing going with a healthy amount of subscribers... although Meta STILL makes it so difficult I may be going to a different site. DeoVR seems way easier to work and even has some monetary benefits. Time will tell. It's just ridiculous to me that Meta can't make this easier. THE APP IS ALREADY ON 20 million headsets for fuck's sake. How is asking people to download an app EASIER than what's already on their freaking machine.
Goddamnit meta.
Alright - enjoy the video... not sure how I'd even get feedback on it... but I hope I do! I've hit up damn near every Nintendo and VR outlet I can. If this doesn't work, I don't know what will!