Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kim Graham Studios

Good Morning Frightners!

While thumbing through some of my friends most recent Facebook posts I came across this amazing photo that features a large Tree Troll Sculpture by Kim Graham.

The photo was posted by fellow haunt blogger Brian Foreman of if you have never visited the Scaryvisions website I highly suggest doing so because Brian has some of he most up to date haunt industry and community news out on almost a daily basis.

Now back to Kim Graham and her amazing Tree Troll. What struck me most about this tree troll is that it is entirely made from Paper Mache! The Troll measures in at 12 feet tall and was built by Kim and a group of volunteers with completely non-toxic materials.

There are a lot of Paper Mache artists out there and may (like Kim) I have still yet to stumble upon however when I do I am constantly reminded of the versatility of using mache to create amazing works of art.

As a home haunter we are always looking for creative ways to stretch our money and still be able to create eye catching props for our haunts and what Kim said when asked "Why use Paper Mache for this project" really is spot on. (You can read the full backstory here

Kim explains that most sculptors never get the chance to work large as it can be very expensive. A lot of materials are toxic, require safety equipment and a lot of ventilation or at the very best at least an outdoor site is needed but that is the joy of working with Mache as the sculpture was done in doors in a space no larger than the actual sculpture with no ventilation and only the use of recycled paper products.

I think this Tree Troll is just another great example of how beautiful and sophisticated paper mache can be as a medium to create a number of different props, characters or what have you. It's an easily affordable medium (water, flour, paper) and with some patience you can create just about anything so don't be afraid to give it a try, it's not hard and with some imagination and a little bit of patience I think you will find it to be a great tool you can add to your prop making arsenal.

I have yet to really develop any massive props of my own using paper mache and have mostly worked on smaller items but I would like to take a stab at something lifesize in the near future. I highly suggest checking out Kim's website to learn more about the process of making the Tree Troll and to see all of her other awesome works of art. and if you do happen to create something or have in the past please feel free to share!

Stay Frightful!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Matt Valentine - House of Torment Austin,TX

Hey Frightners!

Well it's a snowy day here in New Jersey and because of the weather our pro haunt meeting with the school board of Secaucus has been cancelled and we are working on setting up a new date to meet with them so I am stuck in doors today working on other projects while catching up on some TV shows like Face Off on SyFy Channel.

I loved watching last years Face Off and if you are not all that familiar with it its a competition/elimination series that explores the world of special-effects make-up artists and the unlimited imagination that allows them to create amazing works of living art.

In each show the contestants are presented with various challenges and themes and are given a limited amount of time to create one of a kind characters that could be featured in any Hollywood film or show. Themes have been Zombie driven, Wizard of Oz re-imaging, Unique Horror villains and more and the contestants do not disappoint with their work.

The skill levels of the contestants have varied. Some have established FX companies and already have worked in the field for a number of years and others are fresh out of school looking to prove themselves so the competition is fierce yet fun!

Being someone who loves Halloween, Horror and the world of special fx I have been instantly drawn to this series since it's conception last year. Many of us who run professional haunted attractions or even us home haunters like to dabble with creating our own props, masks and special fx for our haunts and I have come to find after watching the first two episodes of this years Face Off I have a little more of a reason to route for someone on the show and it is because this contestant happens to be the Art Director of one of my favorite Haunted Attractions The House Of Torment his name is Matt Valentine.

Matt is a completely self taught artist. His philosophy is that horror must be lethal, dangerous and fashionably high end to be worthwhile. Matt has surgical precision with his detail even taking the time to give his creations a unique back story. Matt currently runs his own business Global Fear Enterprises which will make its debut at this years Transworld Haunted Attraction Show yet his handy work can already be seen in one of the top rated professional attractions the House of Torment.

Needless to say it's nice to know there is a haunter on the show to root for. I have always loved the creativity of the house of torment and their unique approach to creating their monsters, sets and overall the level of detail they conjure up and a lot of that is a testament to Matt's creativity.

I am looking forward to this years show and what Matt will bring to the table. His Underwater Creature (Seen Above) was amazing and I can't wait to see what's next. If you want to learn more I suggest spending some time on the Global Fear site (HERE) check out the videos, store, Facebook and more and I hope you enjoy the uniqueness of Matt's design as much as I do and don't forget to check out Face Off on SyFy as it really is a fun show and though I am just highlighting Matt here the artists are all pretty amazing in their own right.

Stay Frightful!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Planning things out.

Hi Frightners!

Well it's good to be back with a new post. Things have been busy on my end. My "Scream Team" of Dave, Rich and Johnny have all been working hard to put together our presentation for our Pro Haunt for Secaucus Highschool. We are meeting with them next weekend and intend on going over every little detail from haunt layout and designs to our full marketing plan and more.

We have been holding our own meetings to discuss our plans and have been each working on various portions of the haunt planning and presentation and are now fully ready to present our idea to the school board, fire marshalls and various other school officals.

It's pretty much go time now. Once we have a seal of approval we can determine the best place to start putting are plans into action and one place we intend on sharing our new pro-haunt venture news is at Hauntcon this May!

Each and every year I have personally been traveling to the National Haunters Convention in Vally Forge PA since it is less than 2 hours away from me and this year on the same weekend Hauntcon is coming to town! It's a hard having to choose between the two but our team has decided to go to Hauntcon since we have never  been not to mention a lot of our haunt industry and community friends seem to be attending. Heck one of you may be reading this right now so if you are attending please let us know in the comments for this posting and we would love to meet up with you!

At the show we will have apparel with our haunts name and graphics, business cards for our company (yes we formed a company!) and hopefully plenty of posters and flyers for our haunt. We hope to spread the word about our new venture and our haunt. It will be the first time we reveal our haunt name and our plans to all our friends so we are very excited!

All of this planning has definitely made it hard to continue to post consistently on the blog so I may not be popping up with a new post every day but I will continue to spread the word of how our process is coming along.

After next weekend I should be able to share our first Trailer for our haunt and possible our new website we have been working on for our company whos name we we reveal soon!

I have to say this whole process thus far has been very exciting. I didn't have as much support my first go round with Grimlock Manor but my current Scream Team has been a blast to work with and I think what we have been cooking up is really going to surprise a lot of people. I am so ready to get things green lit and can't wait to share our first tid bits of info with all of you so please sit tight just a little longer!

Again, if you intend on attending Hauntcon this year please let us know in the comments. We would love to meet as many people as possible!!

Stay Frightful!

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Years Updates!

Hey Frightners,

Did a new vlog this morning to post to my youtube page with some haunt updates and other related news. Lot's of babbling I know but some fun stuff to share!

Happy Boo Year!!