Halloween Forum banner
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
UPDATE -- I added another video farther down in the discussion showing some of the behind-the-scenes activities to get the display ready for trick-or-treat, including a view of the chaotic mess (is that redundant?) inside the church.
----------
Soooo...after months in the making, this is how the haunted church display turned out. I wouldn't do it again. The time and money spent was not worth the end result. I am proud of the church itself and the synchronization of so many components using Light-o-Rama software and controllers, but I ran out of time before being able to polish the story I wanted to tell. In short: It didn't quite work. I've created simpler props that evoked more of a "wow."

Lessons:
-- Do not create a prop that requires a large group of people to move on cue from one side of it to another to see the entire sequence.
-- Do not create a prop so full of electronics that it needs to be wrapped in a tarp most of the time.
-- Do not create a prop so large that moving pieces around makes your shoulder ache for...well...it still aches.
-- DO find the right music to go with your prop. I was extremely lucky to find music that was both beautiful and haunting to accompany the bride video.
-- Accept that most people will be mesmerized by sound and motion even if the "story" doesn't come through.
-- If you can afford it, pass out full-size candy to make up for any deficit in the display.

In the next week or two, I'll add a behind-the-scenes video to this post. Shout outs to J-Man for mechanizing the giant skeleton's head to talk and narrate the bride's tale, and to TXYardHaunter for advice and support.

 

· Registered
Joined
·
590 Posts
Once again great job. Just watching the build here kept me entertained for months.

Bad news - If you don't put it up again next year from half your visitors you'll get, "where's the church?" Badder news - You'll have to do something to top it because from the other half you'll get, "I saw that last year."

re: "pass out full-size candy to make up for any deficit in the display " - in my opinion they should have brought you candy for the effort.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Once again great job. Just watching the build here kept me entertained for months.

Bad news - If you don't put it up again next year from half your visitors you'll get, "where's the church?" Badder news - You'll have to do something to top it because from the other half you'll get, "I saw that last year."

re: "pass out full-size candy to make up for any deficit in the display " - in my opinion they should have brought you candy for the effort.
Thanks. I might use the front third of the church next year as part of a cemetery scene. Not sure yet. I think the most popular single prop I've ever had was a relatively inexpensive bottomless well. Kids were fascinated by the illusion. (It wouldn't be inexpensive now because the price of two-way glass mirrors has skyrocketed.) On a larger scale, the two times I've hosted live dancers surprised and delighted people. And the Halloween vs. Christmas light show was a 9 out of 10. Sometimes I get wrapped up in the technical challenge of making a display and lose sight of how people will respond to it. My intent is recalibrate to several smaller props--ideas shameless stolen from others--and stop trying to top the previous year's project. By the way, Russell, how did the haunted mailbox work out?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,434 Posts
I feel bad that you didn't get the reactions that you should have, you did an incredible job on this project, absolutely outstanding concept and craftsmanship! Even though the impact was less than you expected, you have to feel a great sense of accomplishment. I can only imagine the amount of work that went into this, not to mention the $$$. I will agree that the scope of this was probably beyond the attention span of most TOTs. Maybe a return of unicycle skelly next year? 🎃
 

· Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
That looks amazing and I'm sure it was just an off year.

I'd say at least keep the mechanics for next year and you can tinker with the video. Remember, kids these days have very short attention spans, maybe cut the run time down some? Or at least rescript it so that someone who may have missed the beginning can figure out what is going on quickly.

If you think about Disney rides, they are cut up into short segments and looped over and over again.



Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

· Sleep with one eye open
Ghosts in Old Dark Houses
Joined
·
489 Posts
Absolutely amazing ! The technical challenge is part of the fun of Halloween for me also . Your control of the show was perfect , loved the gradual build of the fire in the entrance up to the ringing bell tower and then the smoke escaping , perfection .
 

· Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wooow that is amazing! Never seen anything like it. The church basically going up in flames was a great idea. Hope no one said anything negative about it. But bravo on the work you did (y)
Thanks. No bad comments...the viewers were very complimentary. But it just wasn't the finished project I wanted.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I feel bad that you didn't get the reactions that you should have, you did an incredible job on this project, absolutely outstanding concept and craftsmanship! Even though the impact was less than you expected, you have to feel a great sense of accomplishment. I can only imagine the amount of work that went into this, not to mention the $$$. I will agree that the scope of this was probably beyond the attention span of most TOTs. Maybe a return of unicycle skelly next year? 🎃
The lesson was: more expensive and complex doesn't mean more entertaining. I'd very much like another stab at the unicycle skeleton, particular since I have a better idea for the means of locomotion. However skelly might only work with a circus theme, and I'm not sure if/when I'll return to that. Thanks for the advice and encouragement (and the talking skeleton).
 

· Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That looks amazing and I'm sure it was just an off year.

I'd say at least keep the mechanics for next year and you can tinker with the video. Remember, kids these days have very short attention spans, maybe cut the run time down some? Or at least rescript it so that someone who may have missed the beginning can figure out what is going on quickly.

If you think about Disney rides, they are cut up into short segments and looped over and over again.
Agree 100 percent about needing short sequences. The bride portion ran about 5 minutes, and then the next 5 or 6 minutes were taken up by the morphing stained glass windows and the ghosts singing. I tried to make it so everyone would see something regardless of when they arrived. The biggest logistical problem was having part of the bride video on one side of the church and the second part on another. People didn't pick up on the narrative clue to move to the front door. I could try to rework the display, but it's just too physically cumbersome, and the thin plywood and electronics are susceptible to moisture damage. Not sure what I'd have done if it had been raining.
 

· Imitation Imagineer
Joined
·
1,219 Posts
Simply astounding!

I'm afraid that I don't have the words to really express how impressive this marvel is, but I am absolutely blown away by the achievement.

I definitely understand some of the takeaways, though, and hope that you're able to find the right mix of artistic / technical challenge that satisfies you, but also that connects with the audience without leaving you feeling completely spent in the process.

Anyway, it really was an incredible creation, and thanks for sharing the amazing build as well as the final result!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
and the thin plywood and electronics are susceptible to moisture damage. Not sure what I'd have done if it had been raining.
Ha! Count yourself lucky, up here, we always expect rain.

I'd just hate to see you give up on it since it's a huge investment of research and logistics. Just mothball it and mull it over for the next 10 months. You don't want to throw the whole thing out and then regret not giving it a second chance..



Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

· Registered
Joined
·
590 Posts
re: "Russell, how did the haunted mailbox work out?" - Turned out pretty good. The linkage was a personal triumph. I was looking through the videos to share and had an epiphany. 99.9% of the visitors were too preoccupied with taking videos/pictures that they really didn't enjoy the props like in the olden days. If they are so attached to their phones, maybe going forward I'll just take videos of the props and put up signs with QR codes to the video. It sure would save a lot of setup time, weatherproof, and not take much storage space. Heck - instead of handing out candy I could have a link to place an amazon order or a link to DoorDash :)

Plant Grass Land lot Font Grave
 

· Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
re: "Russell, how did the haunted mailbox work out?" - Turned out pretty good. The linkage was a personal triumph. I was looking through the videos to share and had an epiphany. 99.9% of the visitors were too preoccupied with taking videos/pictures that they really didn't enjoy the props like in the olden days. If they are so attached to their phones, maybe going forward I'll just take videos of the props and put up signs with QR codes to the video.
Hahaha. Thank you...I very much needed that laugh. Looking forward to your post-Halloween video(s).
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Thanks. I might use the front third of the church next year as part of a cemetery scene. Not sure yet. I think the most popular single prop I've ever had was a relatively inexpensive bottomless well. Kids were fascinated by the illusion. (It wouldn't be inexpensive now because the price of two-way glass mirrors has skyrocketed.) On a larger scale, the two times I've hosted live dancers surprised and delighted people. And the Halloween vs. Christmas light show was a 9 out of 10. Sometimes I get wrapped up in the technical challenge of making a display and lose sight of how people will respond to it. My intent is recalibrate to several smaller props--ideas shameless stolen from others--and stop trying to top the previous year's project. By the way, Russell, how did the haunted mailbox work out?
I think that you have it all wrong! That is the most amazing set up I have seen! Such imagination and talent! I wish I had even a quarter of your talent (and all you haunters out there)!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
459 Posts
I can’t imagine the work and money that went into it. But I must say it was most amazing, beautiful, Astonishing display I have ever seen.
This is something that would be great to have display at an indoor haunted house as part of their story line. Definitely very high level (professional) stuff!
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top