People would ask "So, what are you doing new this year?" I'd answer, "Nothing...to my house...BUT...I'm helping these friends of mine with their haunted house."
I helped them last year (see post) with their haunt and I was honored to be asked to help out again this year on the 20th Anniversary of their haunting!
HOW DID YOU MEET?
I never told the story of how we met. Basically, this couple found me through a friend and asked if they could borrow my Halloween decorations for their Haunted Mansion-themed wedding. It turns out he worked for Disney, too so we were practically like family). Anyways, they offered me money to rent them but I declined and said as long as they are willing to haul it out and back and return in undamaged, they're welcome to it! They were grateful and in exchange, they offered their talent and expertise to fix-up my stuff (which was in desperate need of repair!)
They had their wedding and returned my stuff back better than new! They made a new lightweight casting of an arm and rigged up a motor to the arm in the crypt so now it moves again...they made bases for my characters to stand so I wouldn't have to prop them up with lawn stakes..they also made castings of my staring statue/busts and gargoyle/bat stanchions
Anyways...flash forward one year...*ZSCHWAP!*...they asked if I would help them out again this year and invited me to their parent/in-laws house to do some sketching out of ideas. They wanted to do a "haunted museum" (instead of 'Night at the Museum', it would be 'NightMARE at the Museum'.)
Enough explanation...I WANNA SEE PICTURES!
They gave me some reference from which to draw from and I sketched out these drawings for the exterior...
From those I then created the poster/flyer advertising the haunt:
This is what the exterior of the building ended up looking like:
I then collected a series of reference material for them and put sheets together that looked like this:
I also did various sketches of what the rooms would look like as well as possible gags to scare people.
It was alot of fun, almost like doing visual development for a film or maybe even for a Disneyland theme-park attraction. It was like working for Imagineering but on a smaller scale, but when you look at the end result, it easily could have been one of theirs.
I also put together these banners to be made and placed on the exterior of the building:
This year, I thought it would be good to try some projection. They wanted egyptian scarabs (beetles) to be cawling on the wall. So, I took an image I found on the internet of a stag beetle, animated legs on it doing a "walk-cycle", then my friend multiplied it and came up with this (Note: this is a low-res version of the scene):
With the theme of a haunted museum in which the exhibits come to life, one of the rooms was a storage room in which one of the crates had opened and revealed that one of them stored the Ark of the Covenant (from 'Raiders of the Lost Ark').
We wanted to do projection of the angels coming out of the ark on a screen of mist/fog (like the Davey Jones effect in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland) but it didn't work out but here is some of the development I did on it:
MORE TO COME...