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Long time lurker....first time poster. Took an 'impromptu' vacation to Disneyland this year and didn't get back until 10/23, so didn't have time to put up everything or build much new this year.


I live on a corner lot, so I have things divided up into a schizophrenic mixture of graveyard on one side and pirates on another. Apologies in advance for the photo quality (every year I learn something new...this year I learned I'm not a photographer).

Since this is my first post, I have to put the links/images on my next post below; hopefully).
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Sorry in advance for the relatively poor quality pics...again, I'm not much of a photographer.


I'm still trying to get the video figured out to show the motion (pirates talking...oraganist, 'monster in a box', etc.)...apparently I'm not much of a videographer either....


New this year...
1) I threw together my version of a 'Pumpkinrot/SpookyBlue' scarecrow this year. The head ended up being ginormous and I didn't have enough time to light the interior (I want to do the 'silk flame' thing so it looks like it's on fire inside)...hopefully next year.
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2) I didn't have enough time/money for a bucky, but I did have a hacked talking boris leftover from last year, so I stuck it on a 'blucky' and 'snot rag' corpsed the thing. It actually came out ok. Wrote a script where he's begging for candy. I didn't have time to beg Dusza Beben to record it, so had to record it myself. Learned that I'm also not a voice actor...but the concept worked and the kids liked it. Definitely ned to have the voice re-rcorded for next year though.
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3) My daughter liked the corpse monkey I made last year. It was sitting on the barrel next to the talking pirate captain (thanks again Dusza for the .wavsI stole!), but wanted me to do something different with it this year. So I stuck a couple of LEDs in for eyes and she had me have it playing UNO with one of the pirates sitting on the 'monster-in-a-box' (the monkey has the winning hand). The MIB was repurposed to 'Davey Jone's Locker' a couple years ago when I went pirate. It has an electric drill beating the crap out of the inside of the box via a roll of masking tape (it's loud and shakes the box, but doesn't damage it). It's the only real startle in the haunt.
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4) I've always had folks wandering thru the pirates (I usually get around 500 TOTs and an equal number of parents) and they invaribly trip over and break something, so I got some bamboo poles, wrapped the tops with hula skirt cuttings, stuck a skull on each and tied a rope between them. It was actually very effective (thanks Jsmith for the voodoo-islandesque concept).
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4) My 'grim organist' was a phantom last year and is usually on the graveyard side. When I unpacked him this year he had suffered during storage and I didn't have time to repair him. Since I only need a torso and some arms, I ran to WalMart and got a cheesy pirate groundbreaker and used it as the organist. Since the arms are light foam and only loosely attached it actually worked fine with the cam/lifter set-up I have to raise and lower the hands. An organ playing pirate skeleton may a little too much of an anachronism for me to keep for more then one year, so I'll probbaly go back to the phantom next year.
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More pics here:
clhanel - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Thing's I didn't get to do this year:

a) I carved a 'Zero' (the nightmare before Christmas dog) out of foam etc. and set up an axworthy mechanism wherein he flys around by Jack Skellington. The TOTs love it but I had no time to set up the axworthy.

b) I usually have a 'magic mirror' (rep Imagineering) set up behind the witch-hag. It consists of a mirror frame with reflective tint in place of the mirror, and an LCD screen mounted behind it. The effect is that it reflects like a regular mirror until I start talking thru the magic mirror, and I can put it almmosts anywhere (I don't need a facade for it or antything). Unfortunately, due to a rare case of late October inclement weather this year in No. Cal., I decided not to risk damging the LCD by putting it out.

c) I usually put faux stone walls (standard carved, painted foam) around my porch to make it look like a mausoleum and pipe chilled fog from inside the top of the enttrace so it falls down and looks pretty cool...again, no time this year.

Constructive criticism is welcome...
 

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Devilishly Dutch
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Its about time you posted. Been seeing you lurk and was wondering when you'd finally do it :)
Your haunt looks good!
I feel your pain with the photographing and video taking. I'm not very good at it either.
500 tots! Wow!

MsM
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks....
Sorry I took so long to post anything....always get caught up doing things and forget to take any pictures before I start taking stuff down. This year it rained a lot the day after Halloween so it gave me time to remember to take a few photos before I started the teardown.

I live a couple of blocks away from a local high-school football stadium, so I get a lot of 'pre-Halloween' exposure when folks drive to and from the games, and consequently a lot of drive-by TOTs in addition to the local folks; hence the 500 or so that typically show up (although fortunately there wasn't a game Halloween night or it could have been total chaos).
 
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