Monday, November 29, 2010

Home Haunters Association Home Haunt Of The Year

Well we are officially registered into the Home Haunt of The Year Contest! We received our confirmation tonight for the video entry and pictures we submitted. You can view our video in the post below or go over to the HHA website to see ours and all of the other very talented haunts who have entered.
http://homehauntersassociation.com/

I'm looking forward to the results and wish the best of luck to all  the entries!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Here it is!

I'm finally done! Here is the Grimlock Manor Video for this year. It took a few hours to put together after recording the voice track a few times to get it how I wanted and then getting the short animated scene to load up was a sight pain but I'm pretty happy with the final results so I hope you like it!

I've never been a big photo or movie guy but it's pretty fun to do and hopefully I'll keep at it and get better at it with time. 

I'm off to write up my submission form for the Home Haunters Association Contest now and hopefully with some luck maybe we will win something or at least place in one of the categories, we will see!

video

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

St John The Divine Halloween Extravaganza

Hi All.

So this past weekend I was told about a Halloween Event in New York City that I had never heard of before called the St John The Divine Halloween Extravaganza. You may have heard of the Cathedral Church of St John The Divine in New York which is located at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue but if not here is a little history about it.

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine holds the title of largest Cathedral and Anglican church and fourth largest Christian church in the world. The inside covers 121,000 Sq Ft with the height of the nave being 124 Ft. It's nickname is St. John the Unfinished because it was designed in 1888 and it's construction began in 1892. Through the years it has gone through various stylistic changes and to this day it's construction continues.

The Halloween extravaganza takes place every year and has become a New York institution, providing Halloween entertainment for a myriad of costume-clad New Yorkers. The evening's entertainment begins with a screening of a classic horror film such as The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney. The Cathedral Organist Timothy Brumfield provids an eerie soundtrack for the classic films which creates the perfect haunting atmosphere for watching the film. 

Following the movie, The Grand Procession of Ghouls begins, again accompanied by the Cathedral's outstanding organist. The procession stages an impressive parade of ghoulish characters who slowly work their way down the center aisle, often interacting with the audience members. The costumes are impressive and the ghouls stay perfectly in character, which makes for an enjoying experience for young and old alike.

Below is a quick look at the Extravaganza as it was in 2009. If I can find a 2010 video I'll be sure to upload it. If your in New York I highly suggest going to check out the Cathedral, it's just enormous and so impressive!

Enjoy!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Working on Props Part 1

Hi All!

I wanted to get a new post in today just to keep things fresh. I am currently working on my movie submission for the Home Haunters Association Home Haunt of The Year Contest. You can visit their website here: http://homehauntersassociation.com/

They have quite a few submission already and many of them are really good. I have always admired the Davis Graveyard as well as the House of Stonewell which have both submitted videos and pictures for the contest. I wrote about the Davis's on here awhile back and added their link to my page in case you want to take a look for yourself.

I'm hoping my entry will be interesting. I haven't had much practice making videos and rarely get the chance to video my haunt (which is a bummer) but it's something I want to start doing more of.

Well on to the post!

As my post title says I'm working on props and this is part 1. I will probably jump around to various props as I am working on them because I am doing a few projects at a time but I will definitely be sure to  show everything from start to finish. So today I am starting with a new character prop that I had meant to work into the haunt this year but he only made it as far as a static head with glowing eyes.

I bought a cheap plastic skull from Halloween Adventure, the skull cost maybe $8. It's lightweight and hollow inside which I liked. It would be a great skull to make foam molds from if you wanted to and I might just try that in the future.

Now I don't really like the paint job so the goal here is to re-paint and corpse this skull and give it more texture but what I have started to do is give it some life by adding some eyes from Hauntbots: http://www.hauntbots.com/

Hauntbots makes all sorts of great stuff but what I liked the most where there eye fx eyes which cost $20.00. I've posted a picture below of them on their own. What I love the most is these run off a small 9V battery which can be easily tucked away and hidden in your prop and you also have the freedom to place these eyes anywhere you want without having to use any adapter or being restricted to place the prop near a wall outlet. I have found these same types of eye fx online being offered by other vendors and most require you to purchase an adapter that needs to be plugged into a wall outlet and to me that just restricts the use of them. The other great thing about these eyes is that there are various settings for them such as an eye blink, fade in and out, strobe or just a constant light eye so depending on your use you at least have some options.

So far I have drilled two small holes in the from on the eye sockets of the skull which I ran the eye fx eyes through then in the back off the skull I have opened a small compartment which I can lay the cables and battery. I'll end up sealing this part back up when I'm done but will be sure I can easily open it back up to change out the battery if needed.

Stay tuned for more progress. Next up on the list are some sculpted Gremlins!













Sunday, November 14, 2010

Old Promo Videos

I wanted to post our first year promo videos for Grimlock Manor. I'm sure they were on here or still are but since I am working on putting together a new slide show video of all our pictures from this years haunt I thought it would be nice to look back a little at what we did in 2009. 

I like both of these videos and credit goes out to Matt Holt for putting them together for us. Matt work on Grimlock Manor with me and was my partner in crime that first year. He has a lot of talent and was able to get these two videos together on very short notice.

I hope you enjoy and I hope to post the new video by the end of this week. There won't be much live video since we mainly have only photos but I'm hoping it will still be interesting and fun to watch.


Friday, November 12, 2010

New Links

Hi all!

Happy Friday! I am so ready to relax this weekend. I'm currently in the process of rearranging my work room/office/haunt lair so hopefully once that is done I'll start to get to work on some small props or at least some sketches for some ideas I have for next years haunt.

I've been checking out a lot of great pictures from some fellow haunters on hauntforum.com and man are people getting more and more creative each and every year. It's really inspiring to see some of the work that is being pumped out and to be honest I'm so overwhelmed right now by all the prop goodness that is going on by everyone on hauntforum that I don't know what to do first. I highly encourage you to check out hauntforum.com and just lurk around and take a peek at some of the pictures people are posting of their home made props and home haunts. When I tell you that some of these home haunts can rival some of the pro ones out there I am not kidding, it is just really cool to see and I hope to up my game next year for sure.

I posted a few new links that I'd like to suggest to everyone if you haven't checked them out or come upon them already.

The first is Hauntcast. Hauntcast is a pod cast that you can download straight from their website www.hauntcast.net or  from iTunes. They usually post a new cast once every month and focus on the home haunter and halloween enthusiast. There are a lot of great segments during the cast like "Fright Flicks" horror movie reviews with Johnny Thunder,  The Charmed Pot with The Mistress of Mayhem Shellhawk who talks about various Halloween related stories both new and old, Theater Of The Mind with Revenant who gives some really creative insight to the art of haunting and they always end with and interview with a Haunting Guru in the community. Guests have included The Davis's of The Davis Graveyard, The Mitchell's of The Mitchell Cemetery and Authors of the How To Haunt Your House Book Series, Stolloween, Bruce Stanton of The Reign of Terror Haunted house and many, many more. The Ghost Host or "G-Host" is Chris Baker who does an excellent job and is a Home Haunter himself. His haunt is the Village Mire and you can follow a lot of what he does by searching for Hauntcast on YouTube. Chris will often post videos of the props he makes each year and will explain step by step how he made them, he also has video of his home haunt in action with all the props in place which is really neat to see. Overall there is so much that can be said about the show because it is so fun to sit back and listen to and it goes great with a cold beer so if you love Halloween or are a home haunter then please check out Hauntcast if you haven't already.

The second new link is for The Haunt at Hellizondo. I LOVE this haunt but before I talk about it I should tell you a little about the back story. This haunt started as Haunted Tiki Island which (if I am correct) lasted for three years. Each year it got bigger, better and more creative. There is a great amount of attention to detail in this haunt and you can tell how much thought went into everything. What I think I like the best and what inspires me each and every time I look at their blog and their pictures is that the majority of their props are all hand made by them. I mean when you think of it you can't just go to the store and buy cool haunted tiki stuff because they just don't make it so you have to make it yourself. A lot of the characters are made with PVC that you can get at a local hardware store and paper mache. It is SOoooo cool what you can come up with with paper mache and Haunted Tiki Island is proof of that so check out their blog here at http://hauntedtikiisland.blogspot.com/. After the third year of Haunted Tiki Island they decide to started a new theme and created The Haunt at Hellizondo which is a Russian Circus Theme. I've posted the link to their site in the links list. I started to follow the blog for the Hellizondo Haunt from the beginning and it's so great to see the process from start to finish. You can really appreciate the amount of time and effort they put into doing this. I mean they are working on this for months! Now I usually work on my haunt for maybe 1-2 months so I can tell you that it is hard work and these guys and gals really get to it! Just like with the Tiki Island haunt they pay super close attention to detail and really try to stay true to their theme and even though it is a circus you won't see any scary clowns, dot rooms or your average run of the mill psycho circus haunt props but instead they made a really unique "Scareousel" also known as a Carousel (us haunters love to make normal words more scary!) The Scareousel featured some great paper mache creatures, classic mirrors and some pretty cool bejeweled carnival masks. The haunt also has a cool Rasputins Head Facade complete with spinning eyes, various concession and game stands and some great carnival lighting to boot. I can't say enough good things about this haunt and with Grimlock Manor just adding "The Carnival of Souls" to our haunt this year I can say that the Haunt at Hellizondo is sure to be a great source of inspiration for us. These guys rock and you should definitely check out both their blogs and all their videos.

My last two links I will combine here. The first is Shellhawk's Nest. Shellhawk is a part of the Hauntcast team and does a segment on the show called the Charmed Pot which I quickly explained above. Her blog feels like an extension of this segment as it covers various halloween related topics and is a really fun read. Shellhawk also is a crafter and has her own Etsy shop which you can visit here at http://www.etsy.com/shop/ShellHawk.

Lastly, I've added the Home Haunters Association link to my list of links. I posted awhile back about Grimlock Manor registering our haunt with the HHA. The HHA is currently running their Annual Home Haunters Contest which features different categories such as Best Home Haunt Walkthrough, Party Haunt, Static display etc. We will be submitting a video which will be judged by a few well known people in the haunt industry so stay tuned for the results but please feel free to check out their site and view the other entries for the contest and also browse the various home haunts around the USA to see cool pictures of their displays over the years.

Well that's it for tonight. I hope you enjoy the new links. I wanted to post something new as I continue to update the blog and our website. Hopefully in the next few days I'll have a new project started that I can start to post about but until then stay scary and enjoy the weekend!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Humble Beginnings.

I was looking back at our first party in 2008 which basically was the party that I decided I wanted to really get into decorating for Halloween every year and do a full haunt. We didn't have many props at the time and I didn't know much about the haunt community or industry for that matter but it's fun to see what it all started with. I'll post more pictures from this party as soon as I go through them all but these were the basic decorations we had.

Enjoy!










Saturday, November 6, 2010

It's Been Awhile!

Hello there fellow Haunters!

Man it's been awhile since I posted on here and I feel bad about it but I hope to change that and be more active in the coming months.

The last we left off we weren't really sure what we would be doing with Grimlock Manor this year. Unfortunately we couldn't obtain enough people to help set up and run the haunt at the Metuchen EMS again this year so we had to settle for a home/party haunt which was still a ton of fun and in many ways a lot less stressful to put together.

We kept with the manor theme but added a new twist to it this year and that twist was the Carnival of Souls. The story goes a little something like this:

( It has been over a year since Billionaire Griswald Grimlock created a machine that he hoped would bring back his beloved Lucilla from the dead unfortunately his attempt went horribly wrong! Various paranormal research groups and scientists tried to enter the mansion and shut down the machine but none returned. With little hope to stop the madness within and no other solution in site the remaining members of the PRDT (Paranormal Research Defense Team) decided to lock up and quarantine the property at which time the PRDT disbanded and never spoke of the event again.

The property later became owned by the town and was put up for sale. It has been rumored that famous world renowned entertainment proprietor Aldus Adderhat of Adderhat Entertainment© has come to an agreement with the town to purchase the property.  It appears as if Mr. Adderhat is creating a new spectacle for any who are brave enough to come attend. Below is a small news clipping that has recently been run in the towns paper…

“Come one, come all, to the Newest most Excitingly Creative Show on Earth, Adderhat’s Carnival of Souls! Do you seek adventure or crave thrills of an otherworldly kind? Do you wish to walk into a world where the lines of reality are blurred and your wildest dreams will come true? If so than do not hesitate to attend The Carnival of Souls! Open one Night only. Admission is Free, Simply RSVP!)

We attached this back story to the invites we sent out to our friends and family just to help get them into the mood of the haunt and also to help everything make some more sense. In order to tie into the evolving story line we began adding some new rooms to the haunt and had two new fun house style rooms.

We decorated with blacklights and had blacklight reflective techno bubbles, plenty of glowing and flashing lights and of course some fun yet scary clown entertainers to spook and great the guests of the mansion. After the fun house you entered the Manor itself where most of the scenes that we had last year were present. We tried to refinish a few props and reposition things as well as add new lighting to the scenes that we didn't have last year. I think all in all it all came out ok, of course I am overly critical of things and there is plenty that we did not have time to do as well as plenty that we couldn't do due to windy conditions that we could have done without but in the end we had fun like always.

Below are a few pictures of the haunt. We have production, setup and final shots all mixed in along with the invite cases that we sent out. Hopefully next year we can have some better quality pictures also accompanied by some video which is a must for me. I always feel like we never leave ourself enough time to photograph or video our haunt but I'm going to be sure we get it done for 2011!

We intend on continuing the Carnival theme and expanding it next year which we hope to be our best yet and to ensure that it is we are going to get started on it now! I hope to log the entire process from here on out until we open next Halloween so please keep your eye out.

I hope everyone had a great Halloween and for now enjoy some pics of this years Carnival of Souls, presented by Grimlock Manor!