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R.I.P. Imagineer Scott Watson

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  • R.I.P. Imagineer Scott Watson

    Disney Imagineer Identified As Pilot Killed In Sylmar Plane Crash

    SYLMAR (CBSLA) — Federal investigators combed through the wreckage Monday of a small plane that crashed into a Sylmar field, killing the pilot.

    Scott Frazier Watson, 55, of Marina Del Rey, was killed when his plane crashed into a field right alongside the 5 Freeway in Sylmar Sunday afternoon. The father of three was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Several motorists on the freeway reportedly stopped and ran down the freeway to try to help the pilot before emergency services arrived. Traffic on the northbound 5 and 405 freeways ground to a slow crawl because the crash could be seen from the freeway.

    Watson’s daughter, Katie, said her father had his pilot’s license for about 15 to 20 years and that he was returning home to the Van Nuys Airport from a weekend trip.

    Watson, who was called by relatives as a computer genius who worked his way up to become head of technology for Disney Engineering, had made a mayday call for help, but it’s not known what was wrong with the plane.

    Bob Weis, president, Walt Disney Imagineering, released a statement saying that the company was “stunned and saddened by the loss of our long-time friend and colleague.” The statement continued, saying that “those of us who worked with Scott during his nearly 30-year career at Disney knew him as a humble genius who made making magic look easy.”

    Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA were on the scene Monday to look through the wreckage of the plane.

    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler

    "I didn't know the story of baby Jesus could be any better,
    until Thor told it to me."
    -
    Young girl at Disneyland's 2017 Candlelight Ceremony

  • #2
    That's really too bad.

    Comment


    • #3

      LA Times: Paying tribute to a Disney Imagineering legend on the rollicking karaoke RV he loved

      They sang Scott Watson to the stars until the wee hours of the night along Sunset Boulevard, aboard the roving karaoke RV that he helped transform into an oasis on wheels for creative souls.

      Watson, who died Aug. 12 when the single-engine plane he was piloting crashed in Sylmar, was well-known on the RVIP, a state-of-the-art mobile karaoke bar based in Los Angeles and a popular fixture at SXSW and other tech-meets-art festivals.

      He served as its chief technology officer — that is, when he wasn’t working his dedicated day job as CTO and senior vice president at Walt Disney Imagineering. The accident, currently under federal investigation, cut short a life filled with remarkable behind-the-scenes innovations that reached millions during his 30-year career at Disney.

      On Saturday, family, friends and Disney colleagues past and present gathered in Los Angeles, first at Disney Imagineering in Glendale and then outside the El Cid restaurant in Silver Lake to remember Watson and his contributions to the many artist communities he championed, paying tribute all night long with beloved “Scott songs” and toasts to the late innovator and engineer.

      “[Morrissey’s] ‘Suedehead’ was probably his No. 1 favorite song, and it’s the song that’s been running through my head,” said RVIP cofounder Jonathan Grubb of Watson, whom he first met at a dinner party years ago.

      When Grubb and partner Kestrin Pantera took the fledgling project on its maiden voyage to SXSW, Watson stayed until sunrise and became part of the family; when they later made a business out of it, he officially signed on as CTO, creating an onboard talking “karaoke robot” and song-picking applications still in use today.

      Watson, a prolific inventor who held dozens of patents, also designed the programmable external LED light display that welcomes visitors like a beacon to the RV, an extension of his longstanding interest in tinkering with lights and lasers.

      “While he loved a good party, he was equally happy spending a full day debugging software on his laptop,” his daughter Katie Watson said via email, remembering a father who made grilled cheese sandwiches with a blowtorch, loved to snowboard, longboard and paraglide and never flagged in his patience and passion for science.

      Friends dubbed him the “Wizard of Awes,” the kind of genius whose achievements behind the curtain often go unsung....





      "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
      Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
      imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

      - Neil Gabler

      "I didn't know the story of baby Jesus could be any better,
      until Thor told it to me."
      -
      Young girl at Disneyland's 2017 Candlelight Ceremony

      Comment

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