Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dream It! Do It!

Dream It! Do It! 
A Presentation by Marty Sklar

Disney Gal Judy: This past Sunday, Kelly and I were fortunate enough to have been at the Museum of Science and Industry for a presentation by Marty Sklar for his new book Dream It! Do It! The event was opened by Kurt Haunfelner, VP of Exhibits and Collections for the museum.  This was a great person to open for Marty Sklar as Kurt worked for Disney under Marty many years ago.  Kurt shared many interesting tidbits on Marty's live at Disney such as: 

  • Marty started working for Disney part-time a few weeks before Disneyland opened;
  • He worked on all four exhibits for the 1964 New York World's Fair;
  • He is a 2001 Disney Legend;
  • He held many titles at the Walt Disney Imagineering including; Vice President of Concepts and Planning; then he was promoted to President and his last title was Vice Chairman and Principal Creative Executive of the Company; and
  • He worked for Disney for 54 years.

When Marty Sklar sat down to write the book he had a few things he wanted to make sure he covered:
  1. Write about Walt Disney and Walt Disney the person;
  2. Write about Disney after Walt from 1966 to 1984, including the Michael    Eisner years;
  3. Write about Disney Imagineering - "Turning a Spark into a Park"
Marty's career started at Disney when Card Walker called him in 1955 when he was 21 year's old and still in college to start the Disneyland Newspaper, which he then had to present the concept to the head of Disneyland, Walt Disney himself. This was the start of a very long career at Disney.

Marty said that Imagineers make Dreams come true. They came up with term by combining Imagination and Engineers which is what they need and do, they need the Imagination to Engineer the things they dream.
Marty started writing the book the same way that they worked on the projects at Walt Disney, with a Storyboard, he wrote the book in longhand.  In the end it was a great read and a "great ride through history". 

He also told a story about the World's Fair; Walt Disney put Disneyland on hold while they worked on the exhibits.  What they didn't know was Walt has made a deal that WED would "own" the projects after the Fair, and he then moved them all to Disneyland. He wanted everyone to know about Walt Disney, that Walt Disney cared about the people he worked with.  He sent everyone back to the World's Fair that worked on it with their spouses so they could enjoy it, after working long weeks on these projects without the families around. 

We were each given a set of Mickey's  Commandment's:
1.   Know your audience
2.   Wear your guests' shoes
3.   Organize the flow of people and ideas
4.   Create a weenie
5.   Communicate with visual literacy
6.   Avoid overload
7.   Tell one story at a time
8.   Avoid contradiction
9.   For every once of treatment, provide a ton of fun
10. Keep it up

Marty was kind enough to sign everyone's book, I know we stood in line for a good hour and there were still more people in line behind us.

Marty's favorite project is Ryaman Art's which is in it's 25th year and is named after Herb Ryaman the person Disney called on a Friday to draw plans for Disneyland so that Roy Disney could take the plans when he went to the bank on Monday. Classes are provided for free of charge, it costs an average of $1 Million dollars a year to run the program.  Last year alone they had 300 graduates all of whom went onto college. For more information on Ryaman Arts click here.

We learned so much during this event and would love to do something like this again!

Disney Gal Kelly: As Judy said, we were very fortunate to be able to attend this event. What I took away from the afternoon was more of a feeling than actual facts

We were in the presence of greatness, but you would never know it listening to him speak. This is the man responsible for so many great quotes attributed to Walt Disney, this is the man that helped soothe a nation through words he wrote for Roy Disney upon Walt's death, and this is the man who was a driving force behind Epcot and bringing music back into the parks. Yet this is the same man who pokes fun at himself with his opening remark, "The only reason you are clapping is because no one thought I could make it up to the stage.". Marty was walking with a cane and there were a few stairs to get up to his podium.

This was the tone for the rest of his presentation. Humble. He reiterated that the Imagineers are a team, and everyone can bring ideas to the table. There are no bad ideas because one idea that can't be used can spark another idea that can. Marty was also quick to give credit to others. As Judy mentioned above, the story of Herbie Ryaman's drawing is one Marty had to share with us. He wants everyone to have a chance to see the pencil drawing of Disneyland done by Herbie as directed by Walt. This detailed 8' x 4' masterpiece was pulled together in a weekend! Talk about talent and imagination. Marty couldn't say enough wonderful things about it.

That's just the kind of man Marty is; funny, creative, talented and unpretentious. We are honored to have shook his hand.

Don't forget that through February 28 the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago will offer FREE MUSEUM ENTRY to kids, ages 3-11. This is a perfect time to escape the house, beat the winter blues and experiment in fun at MSI with the whole family! Plus you can get your Disney fix by visiting their exhibit "D23 Presents: The Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives". It's been updated since the opening back in October!

 Judy is a Disney Gal who loves picking up hitchhiking ghosts, sailing the rivers of the world in search of the ever elusive backside of water and singing with the tiki birds while enjoying her dole whip. She is the mother to two sons in the military and their wives. She has several furry grandchildren and cherishes how her husband reacts when he hears "Welcome Home". To learn more about Disney Gal Judy go here.

Kelly is a Disney Gal who loves finding fun and adventure on the High Seas aboard the Disney Cruise Line. Whether it's pampering, para sailing or the unlimited Diet Coke, she enjoys all the ships have to offer. She is currently wearing down Commodore Tom to allow her to blow any of the ships' musical horns. As of now, he is disinclined to acquiesce. To learn more about Kelly, click here.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing experience to meet such a legend! Thanks for sharing and collaborating together once again. You guys are such a great team :)