When we created the initial MyBoardwalk Card video, introducing the new Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s cashless system, we thought it was a one-off. We had so much fun writing the script, developing the character, nicknamed Wesley, finding just the right voice, and then producing the video. So, it was a real joy that when we pitched ideas for a video explaining the safety rules for the Boardwalk’s iconic Giant Dipper, that it was the return of Wesley that received the nod.
That meant the creative team of Tam, Regan, and I, with the help of Mike Baxter of Makai Designs, 3D artist Aaron Dingman and Voice Actor, Hevin Hampton, were back in collaboration. I wrote the script, Mike created storyboards, and Regan brought the elements together for a half day of production when the Park wasn’t opened.
While much of the process was similar to the initial video, this time we added another element — a cast who needed to follow the rules as explained by Wesley. One night in April, with the help of dozens of family and friends, we shot our background plates. Our cast had a blast as they entered the Station, took their spots in their queue lines, staying behind the line, and not sitting on the railing, and then loaded into the Dipper. The “downside” of the shoot is that they had to ride the roller coaster over and over and over again. Like I said, they had a blast.
After production, Tam edited the video and then Mike and Aaron went to work animating Wesley’s actions and lip synching to Hevin’s voice track. My favorite part of the process is watching it all come together in post, having the voice I had been hearing in my head, come to life through the magic of animation and video compositing.
Be sure to look up on your next ride on the Giant Dipper and give Wesley two thumbs up for doing such a great job explaining the rules of the ride.