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Imitation Imagineer
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Hi, everyone!

Halloween 2014 brought us our first Halloween in a new state/town, and it was a bit of an adventure. As you are about to see, despite my annual declaration to the contrary, I have NOT improved my photography skills, but I hope I've managed to capture the spirit of most things.

As 2014 unfolded, I was taking a new job, and we were moving over the August and September time frame, so building a bunch of new props really wasn't feasible. Also, we'd only gotten into our new place in August, so planning a brand new haunt really wasn't in the cards either.

So, clearly our habit of a new theme each year was pretty well out of the question!

With no new props, comparatively little time to plan, but a whole new house/yard/neighborhood to haunt….what to do?

We just went back to basics, and decided to just creep out the house! We figured we'd deploy all of the pumpkins and skeletons we have, then, throw in the hearse, a cemetery, and some new projections, and have ourselves a good ol' fashioned eerie jamboree! After all, what could be more fun than skeletons and jack-o-lanterns engaging in shenanigans?

We got our throw-it-all-together Halloween gumbo started with jacks in the windows and on the sconces, as well as a skeleton greeter at the front door:

Front Door Sconces.jpg






Then, we tried our hand at something we’ve long wanted to do, and made something of a Ray Bradbury inspired Halloween Tree with a lonely skeleton perched beneath:





Of course, we then needed a casket, complete with escaped resident flanked by his flaming friends. This scene came complete with a blue-gel strobe and a fogger that could be triggered whenever a ToT ventured near; what I like to call a ‘soft’ scare:



From there, we resurrected the Revenant Manor cemetery from 2013, and just tweaked it a bit, by replacing the rear projection screen in the mausoleum with a larger free-standing version:





The hearse was parked just outside the cemetery complete with Dave the driver (who has inexplicably managed to lodge the hearse in the woods), and his rascally companion perched in the tree above:







And, for those brave enough to spend a bit of time with our skeletal revelers, we included a ‘Photo-Opportunity’ near the front. Conveniently, the sign cooperated by fluorescing under black light:



Below we see the scene where two of our cadaverous roisterers had stationed themselves, and then the master of the manor takes a seat for a quick photographic session with the cadaverous merrymakers:



And finally, I tried to get a 'panorama' of the whole hootenanny, but it didn't turn out too well....I'm posting it here anyway in hopes that it kinds of helps illustrate where everything sat in relation to one another:

Panorama.jpg

There were other elements (such as the upstairs window projection) where I haven't yet found pictures, but may yet stumble across some. Also, I do have some video I'm going to try to edit, and will see if there is anything decent in there. If so, I'll stitch some together, and post it back here when completed.

I hope everyone reading this had a wonderful Halloween in 2014, and thanks for visiting! :)

 

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And, for those brave enough to spend a bit of time with our skeletal revelers, we included a ‘Photo-Opportunity’ near the front. Conveniently, the sign cooperated by fluorescing under black light:



Below we see the scene where two of our cadaverous roisterers had stationed themselves, and then the master of the manor takes a seat for a quick photographic session with the cadaverous merrymakers:



Brilliant!
 

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Imitation Imagineer
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to all for the kind words and comments!


very nice for your new neighbors, what did they have too say about the whole new thing in the nieborhood

Oh, they had a variety of things to say....some were the standard "where do you store it all?", and "I can't wait to see what you do for Christmas!", but some were genuinely flattering, and others seemed to just be pleased that someone in the neighborhood was doing anything at all.

While it was not anything like the turnout we are used to, I think it was all generally well received, and folks will remember to stop by next year. :)

Brilliant!
High praise indeed, sir!

The 'photo-op' area and general concept was well received by the visitors, and I think we will expand it for next year.

I took some notes on how folks interacted with it, and think that I've already got a few ideas to improve it for 2015. ;)
 

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Love it! I've been thinking of doing a photo op area for me t year because so many people were stopping to do pics anyway
 

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Imitation Imagineer
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Discussion Starter #8
I'm still sorting through video clips from this year, but in doing so, I found a few daytime photos of the layout that I thought might lend a bit of context.

Candy station where my wife and I set up shop for the evening:



Our oh-so-fun chattering CVS teeth at the candy station :):



Hearse and driver Dave:



Photo-Op area with the hearse in the background:



Skeleton and jack-o-lantern friends under the Halloween Tree:



Skeleton perched on the railing with his gourds:



A couple of my favorite cemetery elements:



Cemetery column and the skeletal violinist:




 

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Imitation Imagineer
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Discussion Starter #10
Well your whole hootenanny is just outstanding!!! Don't ya jus love the storage and Christmas comments? ;) Your vignettes are just beautiful and your lighting is spectacular. Kudos.
Well, thank you kindly!

And, yes, I just 'love' all of the cliche comments. I swear, sometimes I think those people are reading from a script!
:p
 

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How did I not see this! love every aspect of it. So many great props, well placed and perfectly lit. I really enjoy seeing the photo op and also the sitting area where you and your wife pass out candy. These are two elements in our not too distant future, once we veer away from the walk through haunt. I envision us sitting in the drive with a nice surrounding of select props being able to talk to the guests and actually enjoy their company/costumes, rather than ushering them along the que line to make room for everyone else behind them. You have the perfect Halloween display!
 
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Imitation Imagineer
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Discussion Starter #13
How did I not see this! love every aspect of it. So many great props, well placed and perfectly lit. I really enjoy seeing the photo op and also the sitting area where you and your wife pass out candy. These are two elements in our not too distant future, once we veer away from the walk through haunt. I envision us sitting in the drive with a nice surrounding of select props being able to talk to the guests and actually enjoy their company/costumes, rather than ushering them along the que line to make room for everyone else behind them. You have the perfect Halloween display!

Thank you, sir!

It's funny you remark on our relaxed little candy station; it's a bit of ironic turnabout!

Your walkthrough this year was so full of dimensional stuff this year, it really got me thinking!

While I did very much enjoy the interaction we had this year, and the not-so-frazzled week leading up to The Big Day, I also missed doing our annual party due to the move. That kind of event really gave me a reason and excuse to do crazy detailed stuff.

It seemed like a big ol' walkthrough might give me that option for next year. :)


It's REALLY beautiful! What a classy haunt!
I too laughed when you mentioned the 'where do you store it' and 'do you do Christmas'. All too familiar with that!
Thank you for sharing. I would love to have you move into our neighborhood! Your new neighbors are lucky to have you. :)
Thank you, ma'am!

I'd be happy to share a block with your lighthearted Halloween any time!
;)
 

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Very nice! And I think your photography skills are awfully good already!! Nice set up with lots to see. I liked your projections, recognized the AtmosFearFX Bone Chillers images but don't think I'm familiar with the other one you used with the horse and carriage. I liked your use of pumpkins all over and liked your windows with the curtains and lit pumpkins. The photo op area was a great idea, humorous skeleton poses. I'm sure the kids who came will remember for a long time the new neighbors who moved in and brought halloween with them. :D

Our favorite halloweens at our house are the ones we can sit outside and host the candy give-a-way. Looks like you created a great area for your haunt. How many ToTers did you get your first year? I'll bet next year brings you more now they know there's a Halloween House in the area.
 

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Stunning! And this is 'thrown together' for you? Whoa. I need to check out your albums for previous set-ups!

I LOVE your lighting in particular! I really need work in that department. Thank you for answering my lighting question on the front door display thread. :)
 

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Imitation Imagineer
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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks everyone!

I liked your projections, recognized the AtmosFearFX Bone Chillers images but don't think I'm familiar with the other one you used with the horse and carriage.

Looks like you created a great area for your haunt. How many ToTers did you get your first year?
Thanks much, GoS!

The two animations that are visible in the video that are not from Atmosfear FX are both from Spectral Illusions.

I like their stuff very much. It tends to suit my desire for eerie/creepy/spooky, and not be quite so much into the 'scare', and they really never venture into gore. As much as I love the Atmosfear FX stuff, I have to rip their DVDs and edit out the stuff I don't feel comfortable displaying in a neighborhood. Bone Chillers was just about perfect in terms of being able to have ToT friendly scenes, though!

In terms of ToTs, we only got between 65 and 80. Certainly not what we're used to, but it's a start, and I'm hoping next year everyone that came by will bring a friend (or two)!


Stunning! And this is 'thrown together' for you? Whoa. I need to check out your albums for previous set-ups!

I LOVE your lighting in particular! I really need work in that department. Thank you for answering my lighting question on the front door display thread. :)


Thank you!

As for the lighting, I'm quite glad the response in the front door thread helped, but please feel free to PM if you would like additional detail, or specifics.

Unlike my photography, I do feel like my lighting is at least getting a little better each year and I'm happy to share what I've learned from my errors...
 
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