Alumnus James Moore talks about his work as a Disney Imagineer
What is a Disney Imagineer and how did you become one?
I joined Imagineering through an internship I completed after graduating from FIEA. Walt Disney Imagineering is the creative force that imagines, designs and builds all Disney theme parks, resorts, attractions and cruise ships worldwide. I am a Senior Creative Designer, and I can be engaged at many steps along a project’s creative life cycle, from initial brainstorming and ideation to sketches and visual or experiential development to full concept paintings and in-park art.
Tell us about your work on “Peter Pan’s Flight” and “Soarin’”
I was producer and creative director on in-queue refreshes and interactive experiences in “Peter Pan” and “Soarin.” Testing and being in the space with Guests as they first experience what you have been working so diligently on is a joy; so is seeing the faces of Guests light up when they see Tinkerbell enter their space.
“I really appreciated FIEA’s team dynamic; much of what you will do or accomplish will ultimately be dependent on more than just your efforts.”
What are you passionate about?
I am motivated by our Guests’ experiences – I want to create amazing, immersive places for our Guests and I want them to have fun while they are here. Secondarily, I am passionate about our stories and legacy, as that is what makes us unique. Outside of work, I am still passionate about many things I have always enjoyed, such as gaming (of all types), movies and good food. Throw in some art here and there and I am happy.
How did FIEA help you get where you are today?
At FIEA, I was in the artist track. As an artist, I did a lot of individual work. However, I really appreciated FIEA’s team dynamic; much of what you will do or accomplish will ultimately be dependent on more than just your efforts. I would not have said this originally, but one of my favorite parts of my time at FIEA was the improvisation class. It helped me understand how to brainstorm and equipped me with different ways of creative problem solving.
Favorite memory of FIEA?
Creating [student game] Opera Slinger because of the camaraderie it created and its subsequent recognition. Going to GDC and watching industry vets play it and ask about it. Seeing Shigeru Miyamoto stop to watch it with lively curiosity but politely decline to play it – I do not think he wanted to sing in front of the entourage following him!