Search the name “Disney”. Immediately, thousands of hits will fill the screen…Websites, blogs, forums, podcasts and too many more to mention. The newest entry into the fray is video podcasts, or vidcasts, all focusing on our favorite subject, Disney. I have waded through many of these productions, some good, and some bad. But all seem to maintain the basic format of talking to their audiences about Disney, many just rambling on, and in many instances throwing in a sponsorship plug now and then. Sometimes watching some of these shows, I feel like a number, and not part of the discussion.
I have recently come across an amazing new and fresh vidcast entry, one where the audience feels part of the show. It is lighthearted, and never gets that “Bogged down Feeling” The talk is fast-paced and although there is a central subject, the host and his guests will talk about anything on their Disney-themed minds. And it is the host, John Saccheri (Know to his Twitter/Facebook fans as BIGFATPANDA); with his infectious and eternal smile that makes the show. You can’t help but be enthralled by John’s stage persona, and his love of Disney is felt by all.
Let’s take a moment and speak to Mr. Saccheri and get the low-down on his new show…
DDL- John, where were you born?
JS- Long Island, NY, Franklin Square.
DDL- How many siblings did you have?
JS- One brother and one sister, both ten and eleven years older than me, I was the baby of the family.
DDL- When did Disney come into your life?
JS- We watched the wonderful world of Disney all the time. When I was five years old, we took a trip to Walt Disney World. In fact it was the family’s first vacation.
DDL- What was your impression?
JS- I remember being on Dad’s shoulders on the ferry boat seeing the Magic Kingdom; thinking this is the most amazing thing in the entire world. And that feeling never left.
DDL- Did the rest of the family have your enthusiasm about Disney?
JS- Not at all! But Dad was that Zippity Doo Dah kind of father, so he encouraged it, but I would never consider him a Disney nut like I was. In fact, my Dad helped me build a Haunted Mansion in the basement for Halloween, because he knew I loved that attraction.
DDL- Before you moved down here to Florida, how many times did you visit Walt Disney World?
JS- About ten times, but there was a large gap between the first time I went and the other trips.
DDL- Have you ever been to Disneyland?
JS- I have never been to Disneyland. I’m not looking forward to the flight, but I will get there soon!
MIP- When did you make the move to Florida?
JS- Ten years ago. 1994.
DDL- What was the reason…Disney, a job or both?
JS- I would like to say 50/50, but it was 100% for Disney!
DDL- Tell us about your new BIGFATPANDASHOW. What made you decide to do a Disney vidcast, considering the vast amount already on the web?
JS- It was when I was doing the Innermouse podcast from the DisneyDrivenLife website. When I realized that it was not going to continue, I knew that I wanted to do my own show, with my own creativity and make it my own.
DDL- How does your show differ from the many clones already out there?
JS- I think what the other shows out there don’t have, the thing that separates them is me. My personality. Anyone can report on the electrical parade. It’s one’s own personality that makes it different and unique. I also try to do that in my PandaVision videos, using multiple angles and shots edited together. People seem to like the format.
DDL- It’s a combination of content and personality
DDL- What does your show encompass, what are your trying to covey to the viewers?
JS- Basically, the feeling of someone coming into my living room and saying…”John, how was your month at the parks?”
DDL- So it’s like sharing your adventures to others, not plugging your show or sponsors.
JS- Absolutely. And what’s making it more fun is that I am thinking of the people watching the show during that month, and being able to share my experiences with them.
DDL- What are the goals of the show? What are you trying to achieve if it goes into a long run?
JS- Complete entertainment. A place where you can be entertained, somewhat informed, learn a few things and interact with the show. I also love interacting with the people as well.
DDL- Running a show takes lots of time and effort. Do you have a staff, or is it a one man endeavor?
JS- It’s basically a one-man show, but I do have a friend, Mark Lupone, who helps me with the lighting and much needed advice. I also give credit to Shelley Caran and other friends who offer advice and sometimes constructive criticism.
DDL- What is the show’s schedule?
JS- When I first started, I wanted to do it as often as possible, but I realize that once a month, between filming, editing and obtaining a guest is all I can now handle.
DDL- There are many shows, podcasts and vidcasts that are just so long and laborious. What is your show’s time limit?
JS- I’d like to keep it under a half-hour. That way I have enough time for what I want to talk about, and time for my guest.
DDL- Do you plan to have a guest on every show?
JS- I plan on having a guest on each show. I’m sure there will be times when I cannot because of scheduling conflicts, but that is my plan.
DDL- How do you decide on the subject of each show?
JS- I’ve never been stumped like that! It just happens. I look to current events going on at Disney, and go with the flow. The upcoming holidays are also a big help in deciding.
DDL- So there won’t be a rigid schedule, are you just going to wing it?
JS- A lot of subject matter will be by just what comes to mind, or even current events. If I’m in a fender-bender, we’ll talk about that!
DDL- Are you planning to have a live chat on the show?
JS- I have thought about it, it might be something that happens. I am thinking about having a blooper show, with content that was edited out, or for some reason there was not enough time for.
DDL- If the show balloons, and really becomes a huge hit, how will you answer all your fans mail or questions?
JS- I do hope that happens! I think part of the fun would be taking a day aside, to answer people’s mail and questions.
DDL- What are your plans for the future of the show?
JS- As of this interview, I have only two shows under my belt. As I grow with the show, I’ll see what works; listen to the people’s comments. I like the format and I think I will keep that. I will try to develop my guests, and they don’t necessarily have to be famous. A guest with a passion for Disney is just as interesting as a famous guest.
DDL- How much time goes into planning the shows?
JS- It’s hard to say. I try writing an outline for the show. I also just try to speak without planning and am more spontaneous, trying to speak one-on-one with my viewers.
DDL- What kind of feedback did you receive from the first show?
JS- It was amazing! The best part was that I have close friends give me criticism, but it was constructive and very helpful. I had many detailed comments; positive comments that made me believe that I am on the right track.
DDL- Does your show cover just Walt Disney World or will you touch on other Orlando area attractions?
JS- It’s safe to say I’m a Disney fanatic, but it would not be fair not to cover other attractions in Orlando, because of the amount of tourists that come here each year. I touch on SeaWorld and Universal Studios, but not with the intensity of Walt Disney World.
DDL- Will you be doing any of your shows live from the parks?
JS- I have never thought about it, but it’s a good idea!
DDL- How can people contact you and access your show?
JS- Go to BIGFATPANDA.COM. That brings up my YouTube channel with all my videos, including the show. On ITunes, search BigFatPandaShow and subscribe to the show. Follow my on twitter @BigFatPandaShow and @Disneyworlds and email me at BigFatPandaShow@gmail.com.
DDL- Well, I am looking forward to more of your shows and I’m sure the many new fans are also. Thank you so much for your time!
JS- You are very welcome!