Narrated by Gene Wilder, EXPO – Magic of the White City brings the Chicago World’s Fair to life. Experience the world of 1893 through a cinematic visit to Chicago’s Columbian Exposition.
LENGTH: 116 Minutes
CATALOG #: 20404
UPC #: 6-4603204049-4
ISBN #: 1-56839-354-7
RELEASE YEAR: 2010
PRODUCER: Inecom Entertainment Company
TECHNICAL NOTES: Widescreen Version, Enhanced for 16 x 9 TV, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Nearly 28 million people visited the Fair. Dubbed the “White City,” it inspired future innovators like Henry Ford and Frank Lloyd Wright, unveiled the Ferris Wheel and Cracker Jack®, and, in many ways, marked the beginning of the 20th century. Many of the era’s greatest achievements in science, technology and culture were unveiled there. The grounds were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, famous for his design of New York City’s Central Park, and constructed under the supervision of Daniel Burnham.
The Fair was an engineering marvel. On opening day, President Grover Cleveland depressed a golden telegraph key which sent the first courses of electricity throughout the Fair powering fountains, machines, electric railways and thousands of lights. It was the first use of electricity on such a massive scale.
In addition, fairgoers enjoyed the Midway Plaisance where a one-mile boulevard of fun offered camel riding and guilty pleasures such as belly dancing, street fighting and beer drinking. Against the backdrop of 1893’s troubles with workers’ rights, prejudice, discrimination and corruption, the World’s Columbian Exposition cast a brief ray of hope for the future of humanity.
Filmed in spectacular High-Definition, EXPO – Magic of the White City immerses viewers in one of the world’s biggest extravaganzas and one of the most unforgettable events in American history. There will never be another event like it… or will there?
• Feature-length commentary track with World’s Fair historian, David Cope
• Featurettes: Making the Fair, Art of the Fair, Pictures of the Fair and Storyboards of the Fair
• Commentary tracks on Special Features by director, Mark Bussler and writer, Brian Connelly
• Trailers for Gettysburg and Stories of Valor, Johnstown Flood, Horses of Gettysburg, Winters of War, Shot to Pieces and Civil War Minutes™- Confederate
• Deleted scenes
“One of this year’s finest… this one is a must to watch.” – Jamie Clark, Video Business
“A dazzling trip back to another time.” – Bill Diehl, ABC Radio Network
“A handsome account of the famed exposition… narrated by Gene Wilder with the sly understatement for which he’s famous… a solid introduction to what was, at the time, a spectacular international celebration.” – Video Librarian
“…it not only introduces us to a generally unknown moment in American history, but convinces us that without it, life would be completely different. A tasty slice of American history with a high definition transfer that is absolutely aces.” -Mark Keizer, Boxoffice Magazine
“The amount of historical detail narrator Gene Wilder provides in this fascinating two-hour documentary about the six-month 1893 Chicago World’s Fair is almost overwhelming.” – John Stanley, San Francisco Chronicle
“A notable release.” – The Washington Post
“Using a mix of vintage photos, illustrations and actors, illuminates some fascinating facts and trivia surrounding the event.” – Chicago Tribune
“Historically Significant.” – The New York Times
“Director Mark Bussler is really good at what he does and Gene Wilder’s narration made me feel as if I was there. Everyone should have this DVD.” – Rick Kogan, WGN Radio
“One of the year’s finest DVD premiere documentaries, this one is a must-watch.” – Jamie Clark, Video Business
“A high-quality production that features an authoritative script, superb use of archival photographs, contemporary artwork, illustrations, a warm musical score using music of the period and exceedingly smooth photo-animation.” – Andrew Melomet, Home Media Retailing
“Using an abundance of period footage, well-preserved stills and some reenactments, this comprehensive program immerses viewers in the sights and sounds of the spectacular exposition.” – Candace Smith, Booklist
“If you want to catch a glimpse of the grandeur of the Fair, pick up. It’s like having Willy Wonka as your tour guide.” – Will Pfeifer, Rockford Register Star
“With an engrossing narrative, EXPO-Magic of the White City achieves something remarkable – it takes viewers to a place of wonderment that, for all of our modern advances, we cannot return to.” – Brent Simon, Now Playing Magazine
“It seems ironic it took 112 years to meld one of the world’s biggest events in history into a comprehensive visual record. The Fair is captured perfectly… After watching the DVD, this reviewer will search out [Director Mark Bussler's] other works.” – Joanne Zerkel, The Star (Chicago)
“There is a lot packed into this product, and I can recommend every item of it. Breathtaking.”
- Frank Behrens, Eagle Times
“An entertaining “tour” of the Fair enhanced by reenactments of some of the Fair’s seductive high points.” – Roger M. Showley, The San Diego Union-Tribune
“Takes the myriad elements that made the Fair a cultural and sensory spectacle and transports them across time to be rediscovered by today’s generation.” – Meredith Cooke, The Hoya
“The standout of this release is Gene Wilder’s voice… the high quality reproduction will keep you engaged in the story.” – Widescreen Review
“Shot on hi-def video, this good-looking picture features rich audio and an anamorphic picture that allows the super-fine details of the art to really come through.” – Peter Schorn, TheDigitalBits.com
“I thoroughly enjoyed this extremely interesting DVD. It’s a trivia buff’s dream come true.” – Bruce Von Stiers, BVS Reviews
“Gene Wilder is an excellent narrator, and the well-written script explains not only the Expo itself, but its place in the broader time and place of the 1890s.” – John Sunier, Audiophile Audition
“Watching is exhilarating – the photos, the music, the narration can make you feel as if you were in the middle of the Fair instead of at home, in front of a TV set.” – Virginia Soto, Your Guide to Chicago, About.com
“Gene Wilder gives a sense of fun to the more amusing elements, such as the sexy antics on Cairo Street, but also provides dramatics when needed, such as the tragic fire that struck the Fair’s cold storage building.” – DVD Verdict
“A film that makes us feel we’ve actually attended the incredible 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and it’s great fun.” -Betty Jo Tucker, ReelTalkReviews.com
“Offers the information that volumes of books could only suggest, and presents it all in a visually arresting manner.” – Bill Gibron, DVD Talk
“A stunning reconstruction of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, with the cutting-edge technology used in its production appropriately keeping within the spirit of innovation that the World’s Fair has become known for.” -Muze, Inc.
“It’s hard to think of a more complete World’s Fair experience… except for traveling back in time and visiting it yourself.” – Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
“Gene Wilder puts a familiar voice to an avalanche of information, which adds historical context and local color through visualizations and archival material.” – Gary Dretzka, Movie City News
“There could not possibly be a better narrator than the original Willy Wonka himself, the great Gene Wilder. One of the most compelling documentaries we have seen in a while and this is such a strong work that if it catches on, it could potentially become an Oscar(R) nominee for Best Documentary.” – Nicholas Sheffo, Fulvuedrive-in.com
“An interesting history lesson because behind the ray of hope for humanity were all the problems we are still dealing with today. Rates a Top of the Hill.” – Devra Z. Hill, DevraZHill.com
“Docu DVD of the Week – for those who have been reading up on the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair via the book by Erik Larson, this Inecom release is what you’ve been seeking.”- Needcoffee.com
“Offers a mesmerizing look at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 and delivers a surprisingly feature-filled DVD that will appeal to all ages. Highly recommended.” – John Carpenter, DVDReview.com
“A fascinating film with accurate historic research and hours of commentary tracks and featurettes.” – Steve Ramm, In the Groove
“Well-done presentation with a dense, informative script. A wonderful piece of research.” – Marty Mapes, Movie Habit
“Provides a lot of historical information and background on everything responsible behind the success (or failure) of the Fair.” – Ryan Keefer, UpcomingDiscs.com
“The picture quality of this thorough documentary is superb, and the sound effects and music immerse you in the experience of the Fair.” – anonymous review on imdb.com
Production Notes from Producer/Director Mark Bussler
Expo: Magic of the White City is a complete sensory explosion of sight and sound and it was a daunting task to recreate that experience for viewers. Producers Mark and Michael Bussler assembled a massive collection of Chicago World’s Fair materials for the film to illustrate the immense nature of the Fair and all that happened during the event. Director Mark Bussler spent much of the production time telling the story with thousands of period photographs, paintings and illustrations. “Viewers are literally immersed in the Fair. After the film they have no doubt that they have been there. Audiences have walked the 700 acres of the Fair, partied on the Midway and eaten at the cafés. They’ve taken a ride on the Ferris Wheel and watched the ‘Tower of Lights’ illuminate the Fair at night. Viewers know the layout, understand why the Fair existed and really want to go back. Basically, watching Expo: The Magic of the White City offers everyone a good time at the biggest party in the world. That’s what this film is about,” said Mark Bussler.
Not only was the picture editing and visual recording process sizable, but the sound work was also a major part of the production. “Audio is always as important if not more important than the video, and I take that very seriously,” said Mark Bussler. “We recorded both antique and live sounds to bring viewers into the scene of the Fair. The film provides audiences with the feeling of encompassment by thousands of people and music from all over the world. Period instruments like roller organs and Edison wax cylinder phonographs were mixed with modern computers and synthesizers to create an audible experience for the documentary.” �