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Question to home haunters - video effects idea

1348 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Ghost of Spookie
Hi Haunters:

Jon Hyers here with a question to home haunters about a "new direction" I might do for my video FX business, only if it's something that would be HIGHLY WANTED. I know that if I made a cell phone GUARANTEED to hypnotize you into a trance and go wandering off in amazement and glee, 900 Billion people would want it. Clearly, if you watch the news, the cell phone is thee single most favorite thing ever made. I don't make cell phones, just a comparison of something that people MUST HAVE.

My idea is to offer CUSTOM PERSONALIZED GHOSTS of your family, friends, coworkers, etc which would be made from our latest CGI ghosts, putting "YOU" on the ghosts framework and then animated this, in the same way one of our stock DVDS would do. So what you get back is a projectable Ghosts for your Halloween that is YOU, Friends, Etc. In an odd way, it's sort of like the personalized Avatar you can make with the WII games.

Apologies to anyone HERE who thinks I'm marketing, because I am truly Simply Asking the Question. There is no such business. So what I want to know, please, is a typed response more then, "Yep, I like it".....something that comes from only people who really would love to see their son, daughter, family, friends, work-buddies, made into a Ghost Sequence. People who would truly enjoy this, think it's fun.

How would it work?

I've done film and video since about 1976, I know for a fact that this is possible to do, WITHOUT a user - or taker, to have a green screen, or blue screen. In concept, people would video [most likely with that cell phone I talked about] since camcorders are less and less these days, video their "people" in front of a white wall or Black Night Sky, standing and doing their thing. It would be loaded up to a server [not sure the tech details] but the video gets shared, like with drop-box, and on my end, I take the footage, and combine it into my template FX project. When I'm done, they get it back, completed as a media file, DVD or even Blueray.

I edited this post, after the first reply. Good question, what would the $ Cost be? The process of doing this reminds me of the Decades I used to Produce Dance Competition Shows, where people could get a custom VHS tape or DVD of just their dance. So the Custom Creating of the Custom Ghost must be priced somewhere between the cheapest Halloween FX DVD $20.00 and the most expensive I've seen by a High Buck Attraction builder that sells animations for $700.00, so as you react to my post, let's say that PER ONE PERSON [per individual ghost], $35.00 + shipping if put on DVD. If it's a Family, $100 for 4-6 people something along those lines. Ghost Motion Choices would be easily previewable on the website with some choices of moves. These would be STOCK MOVES and ghost bodies, but Custom Faces and Torso that would be the Customers.

Similar things out there in history? SURE! Theme parks large and small have old fashioned photos, your face on a coin, in a calendar, on a Weight Lifter's body, star in a Movie Thing I've seen all over. I actually did this from 1988-1990 with Santa Clause Movie, set up in Malls where Family literally went on a BlueScreen adventure with Santa, and got a 30 minute VHS tape, for $200. And for a decade I produced Custom Movies with Historic Inns, the Murder Mystery Movie. Many of you out there who were born, before Paper pretty much went away - saw such things like this on the back of Various Magazines in the Ads Section.

I'd like to know if this is something the Home haunter would want. Certainly no Haunted Attraction Location would care for it. But the technology exists to do this very quickly. Let me know. I DON"T need to know if you don't like it. So if that's the case, just don't reply. But if you really DO like it and would love to see this happen, [I guess just like you'd love more and newer cell phones and fantastic new Food to come out]....thanks JON Hyers

OH, and please if you got a question ASK, I'll answer it when I am back online. Thanks

I added a new Ghost photo of mine, which paints the visual picture of one version it could look like.

Water Blue Darkness Aqua Turquoise
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I think it's an interesting concept and it comes down to price and the motions and effects. It would be neat to have a personalized image but given the distance I would be projecting in an upper window I don't know my young TOTs would make the connection.
I'll keep an eye toward your progress and the pricing.
cool idea!
Hi Jon. Glad to see you thinking about a project like this. Having yourself or family member to haunt your house would be pretty neat. Would you add "makeup effects" to people's faces or is this something they would need to dressup in costume with any makeup and wigs, etc for filming ( ie were you wearing makeup and wearing chains in the demo photo? ) I think it would be cool to be the host of your haunt with your "ancestors who look quite a lot like you" hanging out around your house. I guess i'm not 100% clear on what would be involved from the purchaser's side...do you need a video of their face essentially from a few angles to map it onto your ghost framework...or are you looking for more of their image in the video like them walking or doing some movement. Mapping faces would probably raise some privacy concerns too so if that's what you are doing how would you address those?

For some people this (staging a video) wouldn't be a big deal to do, for others who might not enjoy being filmed or dressing up if required, it might. I assume you'd have to have workable video image quality and not everyone's cellphone may be up to it?? But I guess one could always borrow someone's more capable phone easily enough. I do like the idea. Not sure I could talk my husband into posing for it. I know people who have been to the Harry Potter theme park have said they are doing personalized "vintage looking" staged lenticular photos for those who sit for them to frame and hang on their walls at home. A few photos from there were posted here on the forum and the pricing for them considering they were individualized wasn't bad. Kind of see your concept similar to this but cooler in some ways because the images would be moving. More and more people are getting into projecting for halloween.

Do you have a pricing structure in mind yet? If you think you could keep pricing inline with some of the projection DVDs on the market currently I think the idea would have a lot of potential since we know those sell at those prices. For people to pay more for a customized one, given they will be used primarily for halloween once a year and probably not every year, the majority of buyers might not be willing to pay more.

More on the production end, How long in length max would the DVD projection be? Curious what effects would be added, like fading to black or smoke. Probably would have more questions once I saw a video you had done. I do like it though.
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I would do it for my son as a novelty, it reminds me of audio cd's my family ordered in the past where you hit the winning home run in a fictitious baseball game broadcast.

Question: If you were to appear at a convention, say for example the "Abbott Magic Convention", could you do these on the fly? If so I think it would be a big hit at a convention as a novelty/souvenir for families and kids.
HI, I was thinking of going to Abbotts convention, since they sell some of my DVDs. Could these be done on the fly? That's a good question. That is the kind of thing that gets done at fairs, and High School all night parties, which I also did work for - for 20 years. I'm going to say, NO not yet. But the idea is something to ponder. In reality it would be very efficient to have a blue screen there, and quickly do peoples image, and avoid all the upload download stuff.

The Render Time, then Output time, and put on DVD is probably round trip - 60 minutes. So most likely what COULD be done, is take the video images, and do the work on editing back in the studio, then mail the DVDs. What a great idea you have!!!! I did not think of this. Maybe I will talk to them about it.

If there was a TRANSWORLD or HAUNTCON that was 100% for the Home Haunter, it would be the place to do it for sure! I just don't know which show is really THAT on a national level. Good thoughts. JON HYERS
I would be very interested in this. What length would the video scenes typically be and could there be more than one scene done on a DVD? Will you basically be cutting the heads off the bodies of the purchasers original video and putting it on your ghost bodies in a predetermined scene or will it entirely be the purchaser's body doing whatever they filmed?
I agree this type of thing would go over well at conventions, I remember getting my picture taken with Eddie Munster at Transworld in the nineties (during my haunted house days), and having my pic put on the Terminator riding a motorcycle in Vegas.

I have seen the green screens done at Abbott's and other magic events and there is usually a line. I think its because there are not many opportunities for interactive souvenirs at these events. Also the customer does not really have to do anything but pose, thus eliminating having to set up a white background, videotaping, emailing or uploading large files, etc. However I would imagine it would be an awful lot of work for you and these screens always have several people manning, processing charge cards, and doing the final process, probably a logistical nightmare. Your idea of getting the video and mailing it back seems to solve much of this issue.

I would order one for my son if I had to do it myself, however if I saw this at a convention I would get several done for the family. The latter sounds more like fun. Below is a green screen from 2011 at an Abbott convention.

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Quick Answer: This forum keeps logging me off in 10 minutes, and then my reply is gone. So I am going to try again,

Customers can were makeup, Hair. Costume NOT as important, since we are using their FACE more than anything [at this point anyway, since I based this idea out of What I discovered I could do. That might change in the future if I discover a new FX method,
No face mapping at this point, because it would greatly add to the TIME, and it would not be feasible.

Not sure about privacy concerns of someone sending in their image, that would be similar to the old day of sending in photos to be developed. It would have to be written up somehow. Price was re-added to my post in my update the other day.

Videos would be a few minutes per person, then they cold loop them. That's the plan now. It's probably gotta be tried out and see how long the process REALLY takes. But my guess is, it would be the same length as a single ghost on one of our DVDS, which generally is 2 minutes. [there are however 40 minutes+, on these DVDs as is], but the new version is customized to the customers.
Fog and smoke, and backgrounds would be options yes. If I should choose to do this, all options will be cleared up.

But I do thank you for you reaction, it helps me out a lot.
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HI, I don't think I replied yet. If a DVD, with one person, it would probably be a 2 minute sequence that was then repeated a few times, the user could repeat the DVD. YES it could be a bunch of them. So for example a family of 6, each with a different movement, and they would appear one-after-another. The concept is using the Head and upper body of the Purchaser, and they would pretty much stand in place [no walking] in order to allow it to be easily added to our predetermined scene, which they'd choose from. That's the idea.
I've never had a video done before but did go to The X-Files traveling convention or whatever they called it (think Fox timed them around the first movie, so a while back already) and got a photo of me in Fox Mulder's Office, done with green screening and a few simple props. They had you sitting at his desk with sunflower seeds and tossing a pencil...the ceiling in his office had pencils in the ceiling tiles as I recall. It was one of the attractions at the event for sure (tons of cool props from the show on display as well as meeting some of the cast members and production crew). It was my first real exposure to movie props like dead bodies or partial ones, aliens in jars, some of the monsters, etc., and The X-Files props were cool because you remembered them in episodes. Now that I think of it, there was an Ed Asner/Lily Tomlin X-File episode with ghosts in it (they were the ghosts). The episode "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas" ran around Christmas time one year.

I'd go for a DVD around 35 or so BTW.
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