I bet you have been wondering where I have been the past few weeks as I wasn't hanging out in the forums as I normally do just before Halloween. Well that is because I been working on a very large project since September and even earlier than that.
This year I had two major things going on. The first I planned back in July and that was to make my wife up as Maleficent for Halloween. I saw the movie the 2nd week it was out and completely fell in love with Jolie's performance as Maleficent. I got very attached to the character and I suddenly got the desire to make up a costume for my wife. This presented many challenges as my wife doesn't look anything like Jolie and she has much darker skin too.
But after much toiling and some trial and error my wife and I came up with a Jolie inspired but different take on Maleficent. I must say that I am very pleased with the results.
Since I am on DeviantART, I posted some pictures as well as my explanation of her costume there, and will no reiterrate those details here. Here is my journal entry on making the costume for those that want all the details:
Keep in mind the Halloween footage you see in the linked video was LAST YEAR's (2013) as I was explaining to people at DA what I do for Halloween.
For my main attraction I ended up doing a play on an old film that used to be shown in grade schools during the 70's. This was a film that was designed to help kids face their fears. The show was called, "The Creeps Machine." However, over the years I seemed to have forgot the title somewhat, and remembered it as just "The Creep Machine."
I posted a message about the film here in the Halloween forum and the results are here:
The film wasn't a Halloween film it its own right, but schools did show it at around Halloween time.
The original film had 4 scare vignettes over a 9 minute length for the entire film. I recently managed to come across a copy of the film and upon viewing it, I got the idea to enlarge it to full size and make it live and hence you see the machine at it was on Halloween night in the picture I posted.
I managed to get my show down to 6 minutes and 15 seconds, including an intro and outro. One scare I directly lifted from the film, one I modified and two I came up with on my own.
Here is the text from my post on DiviantART as well as the link to my Journal entry there:
Ok, so what is a "Creep Machine?"
Basically this device was the center of attraction in a show that featured 'scare vignettes'. Since the covered patio didn't offer enough room for a full walkthrough, I got the idea to bring the scares to the people instead. All they did was line up in front of the barrier you see (I could hold 8 people at one time, on the 'stage'), and I pushed a button on the machine. Then a computer would take over and introduce the narrator and The Creep Machine and what it does. The square with the diffuser on the lower right corner would flash in sync with the narrator's voice. Then narrator would then introduce each scare and The Creep Machine would deliver each scare in turn based on intensity. This intensity would reflect on the 'Creep-O-Meter', which ranged from 'Wuss to Danger'. Between each vignette I played song clips to reflect the situation.
There were four scares in all (Their levels on the Creep-O-Meter):
Level 2 - Fear of the dark:
This scare featured a set of large eyes (set on the window above the Creep Machine) and a monster growl. Pretty much everything else was off as I wanted it to be as dark as possible. Song clip: Bump In The Night - All Stars.
Level 3 - Fear of Insects and Spiders:
I had a Spirit Jumping Spider sitting to the left in the pen next to the Creep Machine which triggered the spider. A spot light shown on the spider. (sadly this caused me trouble as the spider kept going off on it's own even with the switch in the right position. So I disconnected it and shut the spider down for the night
). Song Clip: Spiders And Snakes - Jim Staffford.
Level 4 - Fear of Electricty (Thunder and Lightning):
The Creep Machine fired off devices that are called 'electronic firecrakers' which made a loud popping sound. Clearly this ended up being the most intense scare and the one people liked the most. Here I kicked in the Plasma globe and Laser light show that I had pointed at the roof of the Awning. I had two clips for this: The Power - Snap (this was the light show part) Knock On Wood - Amii Stewart (for the electronic fire cracker part).
Level 6 - Fear of Clowns: The right side of the double glass door you see in the background, I had rigged up a life size scary clown prop behind a scrim. At the right time, the Creep Machine would fire off a light bulb that would light up behind the scrim onto the clown and thus you would see him through the glass. (While an effective scare, it didn't work right until it became really dark. Then it was awesome). Song clip: Pop Goes The Weasel.
The intro to the show started with the Halloween movie theme, and outtro to the show ended it with Arcadia by DeadMau5 (Dead Mouse).
I will be posting a link here soon when I post some video up on You Tube.
The clown scare I directly lifted from the film, the fear of the dark scare I modified and other two I came up with on my own.
Most of the scares in the show were 'startle' type scares that caused people to 'jump'. For me, I like these type of scares the most as opposed to things that are gruesome and gory.
I had the area sectioned off so those that didn't want to be scared didn't have to go to the backyard. That is another belief I have in that I like to warn people before they go into an area that has scares. I don't particularly like it when I see houses that set up scares on paths where kids have to go to get candy. What if someone has a health problem? What about the elderly? Or simply what about those that just don't want to be scared. So I always separated my scares from other parts of my display.
Ok, that being said, time for the other 'star' attraction in my display. While I was running the show in the back yard, my wife, dressed as Maleficent was giving out candy next to my singing pumpkin display. I made a spot for her (which you will see in the pictures), that consisted of a bench and some lights. The bench was large enough so that if people wanted to take pictures with her, they could. However, mother nature decided to turn down the thermostat and it became too cold for her to sit outside and she moved to the front door. The sad thing was that the area I set up for her didn't get much use. But people still did use the area as a photo op spot. Overall, everything worked out well with her costume and she handled things very well with giving out candy. We had plenty candy and even had left overs.
The costume turned out excellent and I am happy that a simple thing such as a comb and hair pins were all that were necessary to fix the problem with the horns. My wife found a good makeup scheme that worked for her eyes and I just ended up with a good selection for her clothes. The staff didn't turn out too bad either. It really came nicely together. My wife did get tons of complements on the costume.
The last attraction I had was a reprise of my Singing Pumpkins. This was the same as I had been always doing so I will not go into much details here. I just moved the pumpkins from where they were outside last year, to inside the vestibule for this year. The song line up was the same as last year:
Grim Grinning Ghosts
I'm Your Boogie Man
I wanted to add "Black Magic Woman" by Santana, but I just ran out of time. There was just so much that wanted to do this year that I didn't get to do due to time constraints.
The evening went well overall, with a smooth steady flow of people coming to the yard from 4:00pm on. Since the Creep Machine required a set up period and worked better at night, I started that at 5:00pm. Later on mother nature decided to play ugly again, as she always does for Halloween, and it started to lightly rain. So at 8:00pm I took a cue from my neighbors across the street as they started to wrap up their pretty elaborate lawn display. So I started to wrap things up too by taking my signs down and other items I had outside that shouldn't get wet. I kept the pumpkins and the Creep Machine on until 9:00pm, but pretty much things died down after 8:00pm and between that time and 9:00 only one more small group showed up to see the Creep Machine.
When everything was done I took some more pictures of my wife without the cape on and with her staff inside the house so you can get a good look at what the costume looks like without the cape.
Ok, I have the main video of Halloween night posted on You Tube. I will have the narrative up soon! Enjoy!
Here is the narrative (night before) video: