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Dadgonemad, wish you were my neighbor! No one around here does anything near as nice. Great yard. I loved how there was always something going on in the yard to catch your attention. Nice lighting and I enjoyed the pictures (you could see things better) and the video (like-you-were-there experience). Great costumes on the props and the pirate family. Your lass was fetching and your little tykes were so cute and you made a terrific looking pirate. I love when the whole family gets into it.

I saw some props that I recognized and even a few that I also owned. How much was made versus purchased? Looks like you had a nice mix going on. I never was particularly impressed with the skelly hanging in the cage before but loved how you had it illuminated and worked into your setting. Very effective. Really nice job and thanks for sharing it.
 

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Outstanding! Great continuity of theme, the lighting was nigh professional! LikeGoS, I could recognize bought props, but you worked them into the theme very well (Like the skelly bust out of the ground holding the treasure)!
What's your neighbors responses, and do you get many ToTers?
Great pics and video, thanks for posting!
 

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Incredible - well done

That was just fantastic. Great video capture and editing to get all the elements.

I love the overall show quality and cohesiveness.

My neighbor wants to do a joint pirates theme for next year and my 5 year old wants to be a pirate-princess so I guess I know what my theme will be!

Freshly Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the kind words!

To answer some questions:

I try to limit the amount of store-bought props to items I know I can incorporate into the theme, or modify to fit. The ground poppers are probably the most obvious, but they're cheap and effective. I try to get as much of that as I can during post-halloween sales for the following season. This year's haul wasn't very good (just a few faux-flame lights from Spirit), as I wasn't particularly impressed with the selections this year. I guess I'm starting to get picky since you can typically make something yourself that's much better.

I like to say that I build most of it myself. All of the animations, most of the static creatures, and tombstones (except one) are of my own creation with assistance from all the great talent here on this forum. It's awesome what you can do with some PVC, pool noodles, bubble wrap, and a costume and mask. I have a total of four buckys and two barts, and I tend to add one or two a year, usually for an animation.

The response from the neighborhood has been fantastic. We closed off the road this year for the first time, and it was a huge success. Our neighborhood association president volunteered to serve up lemonade, and one neighbor grilled 150 hotdogs and handed them out. After eight years of working to build up a reputation, we're becoming a must-see in the 'hood!

We handed out about 250 glow-bracelets to ToTs that made it to the door, and we likely had over 1000 visitors. Some were still showing up after 10:00.

Thanks again for the compliments. I couldn't have done it without you!

-dgm


P.S.: halloween71, the popup skelly was a hoot! I startled more adults with that than ever. It was quite funny to watch.
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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Thanks for the kind words!


The response from the neighborhood has been fantastic. We closed off the road this year for the first time, and it was a huge success. Our neighborhood association president volunteered to serve up lemonade, and one neighbor grilled 150 hotdogs and handed them out. After eight years of working to build up a reputation, we're becoming a must-see in the 'hood!

We handed out about 250 glow-bracelets to ToTs that made it to the door, and we likely had over 1000 visitors. Some were still showing up after 10:00.


.
To garner that much support from your neighbors is incredible! That pretty much sums it up right there, IMO. What a fantastic display! So much detail, very "Disneyesque" (in a good spooky way, of course).
 

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Captain o'th Black Pearl
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Dad.. 'tis th' most piratey display o' pirat-tude these eyes 'ave seen in 'long time.. Each section better than th' last.. I must be sure ta fly a trip ta DC next year ta see yer build in person!! I think I did once sail wit' those two drunkards singin' togather.. an' I owe them all money too.. a most excellent build 'mate!! ya done piratin' proud!

Capt. Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #13
jdubbya,

yeah, we were really pleased with the support. Next year should be even better since Halloween falls on a Saturday. I'm going to try to turn it into an all-day event for the whole neighborhood.


Captn,

Your group buys and cat5 wiring schema definitely helped me complete the 3-axis project this season. Thanks for the tips! Let me know if you're in town next October, we're not far from DCA.

-dgm
 

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That was great. I especially love the animated pirates with voices, the giant skull near the house, the lightning and the overall music. Great job!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
UknowMyname,

Glad you liked it. I can't really do how-tos on all the animations, but I can point you in the right direction on the skellys. The singing pirates were done with the Scary Terry board for the jaw movements and eyes, and a wiper motor was used to rock a teeter-totter back and forth under the pallet to make them move. I use 1/2" black pipe and a floor flange to make the buckys stand. Pipe clamps and zip ties keep them in place.

For the skeleton greeter pirate, I followed the 3-axis skull thread . GYM_ghost sells great kits for this project. You'll need to learn to use VSA, which I also used to sequence my talking props so they weren't talking over one another. There is a lot of information on this forum about this topic, just search around.

Let me know if there's something else you're interested in knowing about. I'll be happy to provide some more detail.

-DGM
 

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Discussion Starter #19
DetroitGrass,

Thanks. Lighting can make or break a display's effectiveness.

I use a number of different lights. I have two oscillating flood lights in the graveyard, one blue, one green. The oscillating motion creates great moving shadows and constant color shifts, strobe lights on the startle props (pneumatics), and photo floods for my lightning flashes. But what you're probably interested in are the spot lights.

I use submersible pond lights as spots on most my props. You can get them from a number of manufacturers, but I've found the SunTerra lights from Target.com are the most affordable. They're small, come with different colored gels that you simply snap into place, and are weatherproof (they were designed to work underwater, afterall). It's cold enough here in VA during Halloween that I don't worry about them overheating. You can get them in single- or triple-light configurations. The separation on the triple set leaves a bit to be desired, and they're hard wired to eachother so placement can be tricky, and the gels could have a bit more saturation. These are best for the budget.

I do have one set of Cal EggLites. They're significantly more expensive, and the glass gels are a pain to swap in and out (I've broken a few), but the colors are much better, and the focus is less diffused. Additionally, each light has its own connector, and the wire lengths are significantly longer. You can connect one or many of these to a single transformer. These are best for overall flexibility.

Pond lights can be dimmed with a DMX dimmer pack, are easily concealed, and offer several color options. The weatherproof feature lets me keep them out as long as I need to, so all in all, they're a great lighting solution. I used 11 lights in this display (three sets of 3, and two singles).

-DGM
 
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