I finally uploaded the same movie that I showed at Artomatic. I’m only writing about it because I’ve had quite a few people asking about whether I would make it available online. It’s called Saving the Enchanted Forest and it begins with my childhood recollection of that theme park then it segues into what happened after it closed in the 1990’s, when the former parking lot was turned into what is now The Enchanted Forest Shopping Center while the attractions were allowed to rot.But then things turned around when a local farm known as Clark’s Elioak Farm was allowed to remove the rotting attractions and they were all restored to its original state. Here’s some background about the making of this movie.

The movie itself grew out of two shorter movies that I originally way back in 2009. One was called The Enchanted Forest: An Amusement Park Resurrected, which was little more than a glorified slideshow of the Enchanted Forest then with what the attractions now look like at Clark’s Elioak Farm backed up by some music I created in GarageBand. The other one was a short film about The Enchanted Forest Shopping Center that I shot on location. That one was also backed up by some music I created in GarageBand.

But then I forgot about both The Enchanted Forest and Clark’s Elioak Farm for a few years while I moved on to other things. But then in 2011 I underwent hip surgery followed by my husband’s walkout just three months later and my personal life was in total chaos. I ran into an old friend by chance whom I hadn’t seen in a few years and we began talking again. He started to encourage me to try making storytelling videos where I tell a story about something from my life.

In late 2014 I decided to go back to both The Enchanted Forest Shopping Center and Clark’s Elioak Farm. By that time I had gotten the Droid Ultra smartphone that I now use to shoot photos and videos with. I also took a look of an old Enchanted Forest souvenir postcard set that I’ve had since childhood and I thought that it would be cool to do an updated version of my earlier two short movies where I would actually talk on screen about my fond memories of that place and I would shoot footage in high definition. So one day I went to The Enchanted Forest Shopping Center first and did some video shooting then I moved on to Clark’s Elioak Farm. The problem was that I forgot to bring my battery recharger so my smartphone ran out of battery power before I finished shooting all of the attractions at the farm.

I had meant to return before the farm closed to the general public for the season but I didn’t do so. I decided that I would return the following spring to finish shooting the attractions I wasn’t able to shoot the previous fall. But then I came across this article about how Kimco, the developer who now owns the shopping center, had decided to get rid of the last vestiges of the old theme park with the castle (featuring the lute-playing dragon on the rooftop) and the storybook sign being moved to Clark’s Elioak Farm. Both would be formally dedicated at the 60th anniversary of the opening of the original Enchanted Forest.

So I delayed my original plan to shoot some footage in the spring and I returned that hot August day to shoot some footage of the attractions I missed the previous fall, the dedication ceremony of the two relocated items, and the 60th anniversary celebration itself. But then, during the dedication itself, it was revealed that the farm was going to erect some dinosaur attractions (which weren’t part of the original theme park) the following month. So I waited until October (when the weather was cooler) and shot some footage of both the shopping center after the attractions were moved and the farm after the dinosaurs arrived.

But then I downloaded the footage on my MacBook and they just sat there on my hard drive for a few weeks until Artomatic was announced. When I decided to sign up as a filmmaker this time around (the fee for a film under 30 minutes was only $15 versus the $125 fee for a visual artist), I decided that I would take all that footage I had shot of both Clark’s Elioak Farm and The Enchanted Forest Shopping Center and edit them together with some audio of my narration and some video of my talking head in iMovie and—ta dah!—I had a movie.

You can now view Saving The Enchanted Forest right here, right now.

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