Mark Firestone Design Portfolio

Howlywood Studios Backlot Tour

Project Details

Date Completed

October 2007


Creative Production


A child-friendly "haunted" train ride through the fictional Howlywood Pictures Studios for the 2007 Zoo Boo event at the Indianapolis Zoo. I wrote the script, recorded and edited the master audio file, wrote/directed/recorded/edited the pre-show video, and designed and built the sets.

Skills Used

Videography, Video Editing, Audio Recording & Editing, Set Design & Construction, Show Production

Ride Pre-Show Video:

Full Show Ride-Through:

Show Graphics:

The following logos were created for the “movies” that were filming along the studio tour. (Click an image to enlarge.)

Project Description:

After the success of our 2006 “haunted” train ride themed as a tour through the fictional WBOO Television Studios, I decided to stick with a similar concept of touring the fictional low-budget film productions of Howlywood Pictures. I came up with the backstory that Howlywood Studios had recently acquired WBOO Television Studios in a landmark merger in the monster world. This allowed us to save time and money and re-use several props that we had produced for the 2006 ride. Still, we came up with some original movie concepts that guests on our “backlot tour” would get a chance to see in production.

Much like we did for the 2006 tour of WBOO Television Studios, we created a 24-minute pre-show video that looped continuously with previews of movies currently “in production” at Howlywood Studios. We also used the opportunity to expand the backstory of Howlywood Studios to the other “haunted” rides at the zoo by incorporating them into the Howlywood Studios Theme Park. If you watch carefully in the pre-show video, you’ll even spot a commercial for the park! Additionally, in partnership with our partners at Simex-Iwerks, we were given permission to use footage from the ride film that was playing in our 3D ride at the time to directly promote that experience to guests in the train ride queue.

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