Mark received his bachelor’s degree in Film and Communications from California State University, Fullerton in 1979, shortly afterwards he started at Walt Disney Productions in the mailroom, the classic beginning for the film business.
He quickly moved into the Animation Department as a production assistant, then the Editorial Department where he was named Post-Production Supervisor for the EPCOT Center project.
After EPCOT Center opened, WED Enterprises executives Randy Bright and Marty Sklar asked Mark to transfer to their company as a production manager on film-related projects for Disney’s theme parks.
Within a year Mark was named the company’s first ever show producer for World Premiere Circlevision project at Disneyland, that included the Circlevision 360 film “American Journeys” and a preshow film called “All Because Man Wanted to Fly.”
During this time he was asked to research using simulators in attractions at Disney’s theme parks.
This led to the original groundbreaking attraction “Star Tours” on which Mark was part of the development team and one of its producers. He also was tasked with finding the voice of “Rex” for the attraction that opened in 1987.
Around this time WED Enterprises was renamed Walt Disney Imagineering.
Other projects included the Living Seas Pavilion at EPCOT Center and The Wonders of Life Pavilion, both of which had several multi-media shows he produced.
For the Disney/MGM Studios, in his role as casting director, found all the sound-alike voices for the movie stars represented in the Great Movie Ride.
Next, he was assigned to work with Jim Henson on “Muppet*Vision 3D,” another groundbreaking multi-media show that included Audio-Animatronics figures, the first ever use of in-theater effects like water and bubbles, along with a live walk-around character.
Next, he was named show producer for “From Time to Time” – A multi-media attraction for Euro Disneyland – now known as Disneyland Paris.
Mark’s final completed project for Walt Disney Imagineering was an update to the Golden Dream sequence of EPCOT Center’s American Adventure. He was working on the development of “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience” when he made the decision to leave Disney.
After leaving Disney, Mark continued to work in the theme park industry. He worked on “EFX” for the MGM Grand as a 3D consultant for the films in the original version of the show.
He worked on the concept development of T23D overseeing the planning and layout for the 3-screen 70mm 3D film project for Universal Studios.
Next, he served as co-writer and producer of “Marvin the Martian in the Third Dimension,” a 3D animated film featuring Marvin the Martian and Daffy Duck as Duck Dodgers for Warner Bros. theme parks, and produced several other attractions.
Mark decided to switch careers in 1997 and go into journalism. He started working at the Orange County Newschannel, where he worked as a writer, producer and editor of features and long-form programming.
After the Orange County Newschannel shut down in 2001, Mark started working as a freelance writer and reporter for the Orange County Register and other Orange County publications. In 2006, he was hired as a staff reporter for the Orange County Register covering the south Orange County communities of Coto de Caza, Ladera Ranch, Rancho Santa Margarita and canyon areas. One year later, executives at the Register asked Mark to become its first multi-media reporter and develop new ways of telling stories on the Internet. In that role he used his skills as a videographer, video editor, web editor, writer and photographer to report on news stories including the Santiago Fire and more.
Three years later, he was transferred to the north bureau to bring that expertise to a beat that included theme parks, as well as covering communities in the area. For the final year and a half, Mark primarily focused on news videos across the entire county of Orange, and city of Long Beach.
After being laid off for a year, Mark is back as a multimedia reporter for the Orange County Register reporting directly to the editor-in-chief to develop content and more for several web pages, one of which will focus on Orange County’s theme parks.
Skills: Writing for multi-media, videography and photography.
Software: Final Cut Pro 7, Adobe Premiere Suite and Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft’s Office Suite along with various website management systems.
Writer: Television, video and film scripts, along with writing for news for television, print and online; AP Style guides.
Hobbies and passions:
Mark loves anything to do with old steam railroads, having written about all the steam trains in Orange County, Los Angeles County, and the Inland Empire.
Mark’s passions are travelling the back roads of America, sightseeing its scenic wonders along with quirky shops and tourist traps. He also still likes going to theme parks.
Mark has five grown children, and has been married to the same lovely wife since 1977.