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Finding Whelmed is a 2020 docu-style film that follows the behind-the-scenes experience of a travel show’s crew as they go in search of their host who’s supposedly gone missing in Kissimmee, Florida. It is directed by award-winning filmmaker Tyler Measom, who is also the Director of the travel show (Desmond’s Destinations). When they lose contact with Desmond shortly after he arrives in Kissimmee, Measom takes a small crew to the Central Florida destination—in an effort to look for him, as well as film what they can of the episode that’s slated to be delivered soon. As Measom and the crew try to piece together their host’s exact whereabouts, they come across a new word that seems to be a part of the locals’ vocabulary—Whelmed. Over the course of his search for Desmond, it becomes clear to Measom that there may be a different story altogether.
The Desmond’s Destinations travel show loses contact with their eponymous host shortly after he lands in Kissimmee, Florida. The Director, Tyler Measom, and a small crew set off to look for him while also trying to meet the next episode’s deadline, which looms closer with each passing day.
As the crew tries to piece together their host’s exact whereabouts, they come across a new word—“Whelmed”—that seems to be a part of the locals’ vocabulary. Described as a feeling of “elevated contentment,” it appears to be unique to Kissimmee—a result of the city’s perfect combination of relaxing and exciting activities. As the crew attempts to film the footage they need for the episode while retracing Desmond’s footsteps, they interview a few locals at various Kissimmee locations, including Wild Florida Airboats & Gator Park, Margaritaville Resort Orlando, Gatorland,, The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek, Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, and Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. The group also meets with a Professor Ross who asserts her discovery of “Whelmed,” and a meteorologist claiming Kissimmee’s ideal weather is the sole reason the new emotion exists. Each of these interactions provide different insights and explanations regarding Whelmed, such as the destination’s balanced ecosystem, interesting atmosphere, and the combination of experiencing both stimulating and soothing offerings. Ultimately, Measom begins to wonder if he is becoming Whelmed himself.
The film touches on broader themes affecting society today, including a worldwide increase in both stress and tedium that affects people of all ages. The Whelmed feeling—and its exclusive existence in a tourist destination like Kissimmee, Florida—is seen as a corrective to this epidemic of busyness, which has started creeping into people’s vacations. Professor Ross (an Anthropologist and Scientist) explains in the film that the emotion shares cultural markers with ancient societies and other time periods, such as The Enlightenment. She also theorizes that Whelmed is the inspiration behind the legendary smile on the face of Leonardo da Vinci’s the Mona Lisa.
The consensus is that the perfectly Whelmed feeling the destination provides is likely due to the ideal balance of exciting and relaxing experiences it offers, from thrilling world-famous theme parks and attractions to tranquil outdoor excursions and poolside serenity.
The film was directed and narrated by Tyler Measom., whose other documentaries include Sons of Perdition, An Honest Liar, and Biography: I Want My MTV. In 2019. Measom and his crew captured both behind-the-scenes style and travel-oriented footage. Finding Whelmed was made with support from Osceola Convention and Visitors Bureau. It is a Camp4 Collective production created with Fin Studios.
The film was released on January 21, 2020 on findingwhelmed.com and Amazon Prime
- January 23, Elaine Underwood; 2020. "Overshadowed by Orlando, Zambezi positions Kissimmee as 'Whelmed'". www.campaignlive.com. Retrieved 2020-03-02.
- "Can you Experience Kissimmee without getting lost?". shots. Retrieved 2020-03-02.
- "Finding Whelmed in Kissimmee". WFLA. Retrieved 2020-03-02.
- References “Getting Whelmed with Tyler Measom: A Backstage Interview”. Experience Kissimmee Blog. January 21, 2020. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
- Faw, Larissa (January 22, 2020). “Prepared To Be ‘Whelmed’ In Kissimmee, Fla”. MediaPost. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
Finding Whelmed on Amazon Prime Video
Finding Whelmed on YouTube
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