Rotten Apple Haunt

This is for the work I've done helping out the Rotten Apple 907 gang and their charitable Haunt in Burbank, CA. I have been honored by being invited to work with them again. Should be fun!

People would ask "So, what are you doing new this year?" I'd answer, " my house...BUT...I'm helping these friends of mine with their haunted house."


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:


I also helped them with their haunt the previous year:

They asked me to help design the exterior and some of the rooms in their haunt based upon Burbank city hall and teh AMC theater:

This is how it turned out:

It was so cool! You enetered a lobby area and a host would usher you into an elevator. The elevator would shake and wiggle and when the door re-opened, you were in a different part of the haunted house! (You couldn't tell you were actuall moving about 6 feet sideways--it was amazing! All on a small house lot font lawn in Burbank!

They also wanted an underground basement/tunnel section. They gave me reference photos and I put togetehr a sheet liek this for them:

I found this reference photo and used it as the inspiration for the cryogenic chamber that Walt's Head would bee frozen in.

Funny thing is, the couple that helped put this on were getting married just a month prior to Halloween. They said they weren't able to do a whole lot this year. I thought, "Man, this is what they do when they DON'T have time?!"

Congratulations Jason and Melissa!

1 comment:

Aquayne said...

I envy folks that live in the same area that talents like you do. To have such high quality images for a local charity is amazing. I like the level of scare that was in your haunted museum. Nothing gory or disgusting just spooky and fun. My daughters look to be similar in age to yours on the sunshine video. You are blessed and you have shared that blessing with me. Thanks,