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pickle
05-12-2012, 08:29 PM
Hello everyone...been following these forums for a little while now & figured I have to jump in sooner or later. Been around this great biz for awhile now. It all started in the late 70's early eighties @ the Brigantine Castle @ the Jersey Shore. Anyone remember that great place? Acted there during high school until the entire pier burnt down. Went on to work at several volunteer haunts over the years along with some pretty elaborate home haunts but I really am looking forward to a "ground up" build. This will be my first run as at professional haunt. I've been a general contractor for 22years and have built & sold various businesses over that time. Now I want to do something I enjoy! One of my "hobbies" includes metal fabrication & have built many custom motorcycles & race cars but I really enjoy designing & building props.

We are looking to lease a 27,000 square foot space in a "strip center" behind one of the largest malls in a 60 mile radius. We are in a densely populated part of New Jersey with no professional style haunts within 40 miles or so. We would like to operate two fully themed, very detailed attractions under one roof with all que lines & concession area as well. We intend to lease this space year round because of the money & complexity of the build out we want to sign a 5 year lease. We have an offer to the mall operators of $3.00 per square foot with a .50 cent per foot increase each year. What we wanted to ask an opinion on is - does that sound about right for leasing prices? This building has been closed for about 10 years but it is in great shape & it does have a full sprinkler system.

Being in the building biz for so long (I don't know if that's good or bad anymore...lol) I have good working relationships with all the inspectors & I am VERY familiar how to approach them. I am well versed with all the rigid requirements (which I am on board with most) and have a near genius friend who handles all our sophisticated wiring, sound & fogging systems & animatronics. We plan on having several large "interactive" props (of course in NJ their called "Amusements!) that should be worth the admission price alone. The designs for these "props" has to be approved by a licensed engineer & inspected by a NJ DCA inspector prior to using each season. We feel the cost to bring these types of "props" to our customers is well worth it...hopefully they will be blown away. Rather than gore, we are more into what naturally scares people...heights, elevators, claustrophobia, etc. and I think we have the right "wrinkles" on some classic ideas.

We're going to start with a $30,000. marketing budget this year. I have been in talks with several sponsors & luckily I'm close friends with a billboard operator & a popular morning show DJ...so we'll being getting some decent discounts. We will be located approximately 5 miles outside of Atlantic City and a short distance to all the popular tourist towns...Wildwood, Ocean City, etc. We were thinking (although probably not this year) to possibly doing some heavy advertising in those shore tourist spots with those millions of tourist in the summer and opening during August. Any opinions on that? I'd like to hear anyone's thoughts on trying something like that.

Lastly, we were thinking of charging $13.00 per attraction or $24.00 for a combo ticket. The attractions should be about 8,000' - 9,000' sq. ft. and very detailed. We estimate about a 15-18 minute "walk-thru" time. We would like any opinions on our pricing...too high...too low...whatever. Although this is a "for profit" haunt we do intend to donate about $1.00 per ticket to the local homeless shelter, one of our favorite charities because there are NO paid positions there...every dollar goes to help the homeless.

Sorry for the long thread...guess I've had all this bottled up for so long! lol Appreciate any thoughts on any matters on opening a new haunt. Glad to finally be a part of the "community". :p

BrotherMysterio
05-12-2012, 08:33 PM
Hello everyone

Welcome to the forum. You've picked an interesting screen-name. Is there a story behind it?

C.

pickle
05-12-2012, 08:40 PM
LOL nah...well @ least nothing I can get into here! LOL I might have to change up that screen name in the future.:D

fright
05-12-2012, 08:48 PM
Welcome to the fourms!

Fright

BrotherMysterio
05-13-2012, 01:41 PM
Appreciate any thoughts on any matters on opening a new haunt.

Calling Dr. Hopps . . . Dr. Allen Hopps . . . Calling Dr. Chrise . . . Dr. Greg Chrise . . .

MovieRelics
05-13-2012, 02:13 PM
Hey Pickel! Good luck with your attraction! I hope that it works out for you! I've just got a couple questions. You say the building is around 27k sq ft and that the attraction will be around 8k. How many attractions were you putting in there and were you making sure to leave enough room for backstage areas like a workshop, makeup rooms, costuming, ticket sales, administration, etc... I was recently looking at a building with around 26k and each themed section I was designing was around 8k also. So just curious to know a little bit more about your plans for the layout. As far as price, I think that depends on what the local area is willing to pay, the quality of the haunt, and your operating cost being covered by the price of the tickets. If your a high quality haunt with a great scare team that's around 15k sq ft scare floor, then I think anywhere between $13 - $16 is fair. But like I said, it depends on what your local area is willing to pay.

Greg Chrise
05-13-2012, 02:41 PM
I'm not seeing anything noobified in anything described so far.

I have paid $23 something for one attraction: Check
Enroute or on the rebound to the many board walks: Check
Construction experience: Check
Tweak on staff: Check
Advertising budget: Check
Know what rent is: Check

In the bigger picture, I would want to see maybe some year round action or summer season as the coast has a season and that is when the people are flying by. Not just October when the boardwalks are a ghost town. Some grande facade work and a road side attraction vibe.

No mention of what the themes of the two haunts would be. What type of customers to expect. Boardwalk travelers are the customers, casino goers are on a one track mind thing.

I'm wondering if two haunts and two themes might actually confuse the we'll stop by because it won't take that long and it will be fun thing. Or if it can be seasonally converted to two attractions in October and one haunt run in Summer only? This might help how much it costs for actors off season. The rent sounds kind of high but on the back end for where it is located, anything less might seem to a land owner that it could do more. It is going to take some serious spectacle to earn several times the rent money. Working two seasons might make up for that?

Greg Chrise
05-13-2012, 03:06 PM
By summer season I'm thinking May June July. Skip August September then open October after sweeping up abit.

BrotherMysterio
05-13-2012, 03:47 PM
By summer season I'm thinking May June July. Skip August September then open October after sweeping up abit.

Boardwalk funhouse type thing? Triangular Mirror Maze?

pickle
05-13-2012, 04:47 PM
Hey C,
Thanks for your reply. What I meant to say is each attraction would be around 8,000' - 9,000' sq. ft. So yes the other 10,000' sq.ft or so is for ticket sales, administration, costuming & make-up, concession area, que lines. Myself & my crew are very detailed oriented...both attractions will be of the highest quality. And when I said "walk-thru time I meant each attraction should take 15-18+ minutes. I think this area can easily handle $13. each or $24. combo pricing. Thanks again for your reply.;)

P.



Greg,
Thanks for your reply. Maybe I didn't explain the location quite right. We are not ON the boardwalk but about 5 miles outside of Atlantic City, 7 miles outside Ocean City & about 30 miles from Wildwood...our three largest shore tourist towns. While Ocean City & Wildwood are mostly made up of families, teens & twenty somethings coming to the shore for family entertainment, Atlantic City is a whole different animal. We weren't really thinking AC type tourist, we were shooting for the demographics in the other tourist towns. As I said it is behind the Mall so it will take so marketing to get them to drive from the boardwalk...but living here my entire life I think when families are here for 7-10 days they look to actually do something "different" than the boards every night. As far as the seasons you brought up, the reason I was thinking August weekends was that is our areas highest concentration of tourist...and those who spent the entire summer here are REALLY looking for something different to do by then. I do like your idea about combining the attractions in the "off" season. I thought if we did operate in August it would kind of be a mini training session for some of the actors to hone their skills.

We do however plan a grand facade...I believe that IS the "first impression" & sets the tone for the customer. We also plan on making our concession area & indoor que lines very detailed & themed to match the facade. The two attractions would be separated by the concession area and have their own facades to match their own themes. We have worked on designs for several themes but I think we are really leaning towards a warehouse basement/boiler room theme with my own version of a "hellavator" and a cavern/catacomb type theme with realistic rock work. We are still kicking around a few others but I like the two I've mentioned. Open to all suggestions though and thanks again for your replies.:D

P.





C,

Yeah, we thought about some type of boardwalk fun house...was actually on the drawing board a while but the other themes got more votes! Maybe down the road we'll do a whole haunted boardwalk theme? But we are sure going to try & get the Jersey Devil in there somewhere! Thanks again for your thoughts.:p

P.

BrotherMysterio
05-13-2012, 09:28 PM
I think we are really leaning towards a warehouse basement/boiler room theme with my own version of a "hellavator" and a cavern/catacomb type theme with realistic rock work.

Boiler rooms and catacombs aren't really "themes". They are more like "settings" or "ideas for set design", but they aren't "themes". And that's fine if that is the beginning of your inspiration, or perhaps part of the "motif" you wish to capture, but eventually in the design process you are going to need to nail down a theme in terms of what you guys will be doing; or two, as the case may be, if you are doing two separate houses.

A theme is a specific genre or sub-genre which helps you make key design decisions early in the process, and gives the audience a context in which to work, in terms of what to expect.

For instance, what kinds of monsters do you want to live in the world you create? What happened in this space? What's it's backstory? Stephen King once said that a place can't be haunted unless it has a history. What is the history of this place?

If you want to have boiler rooms, warehouse basements, and cavernous catacombs, that's great, but what's happening in them? Any number of themes could include all those design elements, but what's the story?

For instance . . .


Insane Asylum: on the upper floors, everything looks proper and probably passes state inspection on a regular basis, but in the basement and/or lower levels, terrible experiments take place (ref: Arkham Asylum from Batman Begins).
Hospital: like above, only in this scenario, in a hospital that specializes in body part transplants, the doctors get an unlimited supply of body parts from the undead bodies of catatonic demons who are buried in the catacombs below.
Circus: when not traveling, this demon circus hibernates in catacombs beneath a warehouse, accessible only thru secret passages in the basement. The circus equipment is stored in the warehouse.
Were-beasts: an evil corporation is developing a serum to turn humans into were-beasts for a military contract to breed super-warriors. This happens in the secret labs in the basement of the corporate headquarters, or perhaps a remote warehouse location.
Alien Invasion: either a) the last humans on Earth are trying to survive by hiding in deep catacombs, or b) the catacombs are actually hives the aliens created (ref: James Cameron's Aliens).
Zombie Apocalypse: in this setting, it practically writes itself. (See "a)" above.)
Victorian Manor: interesting opportunity to try out some steampunk ideas (given the boiler room setting, and whatnot; ref: Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes series).


Those are actual themes, and ways that they can work with set ideas such as a warehouse basement, boiler room, cavern, or catacomb setting. I'd hesitate to call those set ideas "motifs", because usually a "motif" is much more operative, modal, or causal in the design process.

Also, another critical thing is that whatever theme you choose should have naturally occurring fears or phobias built into it, vs. something that you have to go out of your way to manufacture, fear or phobia-wise. For instance, vampires aren't terribly scary these days and don't make for a really good theme because they don't tap into any naturally occurring fears, beyond perhaps xenophobia or "the fear of strangers" (which, incidentally, zombies own, hands down . . . that's the driving fear behind zombies, along with demophobia or "the fear of crowds").

Now, vampires can make a great "motif", and would work wonderfully with any of those themes listed above, but without a driving fear being incorporated into the overall production, you will be fighting an uphill battle. Remember, vampires are hot, and popular, but for all the wrong reasons as far as we are concerned. Thanks to Stephenie Meyer, vampires are no longer evil blood-sucking demons who steal innocent, sleeping newborns in the dead of the night to feed to their hellspawn succubus brides as a midnight snack. Instead , they are gorgeous, pouty lipped male models with glittering skin who are hopelessly romantic and eternally devoted to their human soulmates. The only fear I see them generating these days is in the boyfriends of the girls who attend your haunt in that their girlfriends will want to trade-up.

All of those listed themes have built in fears or phobias, or potentially frightening scenarios that lend themselves very easily to them.

More later.

C.

pickle
05-14-2012, 06:51 PM
Boiler rooms and catacombs aren't really "themes". They are more like "settings" or "ideas for set design", but they aren't "themes". And that's fine if that is the beginning of your inspiration, or perhaps part of the "motif" you wish to capture, but eventually in the design process you are going to need to nail down a theme in terms of what you guys will be doing; or two, as the case may be, if you are doing two separate houses.

A theme is a specific genre or sub-genre which helps you make key design decisions early in the process, and gives the audience a context in which to work, in terms of what to expect.

For instance, what kinds of monsters do you want to live in the world you create? What happened in this space? What's it's backstory? Stephen King once said that a place can't be haunted unless it has a history. What is the history of this place?

If you want to have boiler rooms, warehouse basements, and cavernous catacombs, that's great, but what's happening in them? Any number of themes could include all those design elements, but what's the story?

For instance . . .


Insane Asylum: on the upper floors, everything looks proper and probably passes state inspection on a regular basis, but in the basement and/or lower levels, terrible experiments take place (ref: Arkham Asylum from Batman Begins).
Hospital: like above, only in this scenario, in a hospital that specializes in body part transplants, the doctors get an unlimited supply of body parts from the undead bodies of catatonic demons who are buried in the catacombs below.
Circus: when not traveling, this demon circus hibernates in catacombs beneath a warehouse, accessible only thru secret passages in the basement. The circus equipment is stored in the warehouse.
Were-beasts: an evil corporation is developing a serum to turn humans into were-beasts for a military contract to breed super-warriors. This happens in the secret labs in the basement of the corporate headquarters, or perhaps a remote warehouse location.
Zombie Apocalypse: in this setting, it practically writes itself.
Alien Invasion: either a) the last humans on Earth are trying to survive by hiding in deep catacombs, or b) the catacombs are actually hives the aliens created (ref: James Cameron's Aliens).
Victorian Manor: interesting opportunity to try out some steampunk ideas (given the boiler room setting, and whatnot; ref: Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes series).


Those are actual themes, and ways that they can work with set ideas such as a warehouse basement, boiler room, cavern, or catacomb setting. I'd hesitate to call those set ideas "motifs", because usually a "motif" is much more operative or causal in the design process.

Also, another critical thing is that whatever theme you choose should have naturally occurring fears or phobias built into it, vs. something that you have to go out of your way to manufacture, fear or phobia-wise. For instance, vampires aren't terribly scary these days and don't make for a really good theme because they don't tap into any naturally occurring fears, beyond perhaps xenophobia or "the fear of strangers" (which, incidentally, zombies own, hands down . . . that's the driving fear behind zombies).

Now, vampires can make a great "motif", and would work wonderfully with any of those themes listed above, but without a driving fear being incorporated into the overall production, you will be fighting an uphill battle. Remember, vampires are hot, and popular, but for all the wrong reasons as far as we are concerned. Thanks to Stephenie Meyer, vampires are no longer evil blood-sucking demons who steal innocent, sleeping newborns in the dead of the night to feed to their hellspawn succubus brides as a midnight snack. Instead , they are gorgeous, pouty lipped male models with glittering skin who are hopelessly romantic and eternally devoted to their human soulmates. The only fear I see them generating these days is in the boyfriends of the girls who attend your haunt that the their girlfriends will want to trade-up.

All of those listed themes have built in fears or phobias, or potentially frightening scenarios that lend themselves very easily to them.

More later.

C.

Hey C,

WOOOW! Love the details...that'll help us finalize our "Themes". Appreciate the time & thought you put into that reply. We're working on a "history" or "story line" and work our settings around those. Thanks again.:)

BrotherMysterio
05-14-2012, 07:32 PM
Hey C,

WOOOW! Love the details...that'll help us finalize our "Themes". Appreciate the time & thought you put into that reply. We're working on a "history" or "story line" and work our settings around those. Thanks again.:)

Excellent! Glad to be of service. Incidentally, what did you have in mind? You mentioned a "hellavator". Am I correct in surmising that maybe it's a bit of a Dante's Inferno type thing, with what evil is lurking beneath?

Also, what kind of monsters were you going to include?

C.

pickle
05-14-2012, 09:05 PM
Excellent! Glad to be of service. Incidentally, what did you have in mind? You mentioned a "hellavator". Am I correct in surmising that maybe it's a bit of a Dante's Inferno type thing, with what evil is lurking beneath?

Also, what kind of monsters were you going to include?

C.

I'm thinking something along the lines of "mutants in the basement", an actual shallow bubbling green pool, boiler room, loading docks, steam pipe area, etc. In the other side still a little on the fence...was leaning towards "zombies" in the catacombs with actual "shot-crete" walls and stalagmites (I spell that right? lol) Then again, I keep going back to some sort of mine shaft setting? Any ideas?

P.

Jim Warfield
05-15-2012, 09:55 PM
I must be a real lazy person because I just bought a haunted house to make it into my Haunted House.
"Don't buy that house!"
"You shouldn't buy that house!" Said numerous elderly citizens of Mount Carroll, Illinois.
"Why not?"
"Because... IT'S HAUNTED! They warned me..
The wine cellar below the basement doesn't really need much "work" on my part, it is a scary looking room, a huge stone-arched ceiling, solid rock floor, not exactly a common piece of urban or rural architecture that most will feel comfortable being surrounded by.
It does have an anti-gravity ceiling!
"What keeps those big rocks from hitting us and killing us?"
"Gravity".
I have always tried to Not copy other haunt's ideas.
This house is full of my own artwork and devices . Anybody else's "Monsters" don't play here, I have my own in a bun Dance! hahah!
Some of the things I do here to scare or entertain others have evolved over many years of adjusting everything from wording, lighting,or just the timing of the actions I do.
I am fortunate enough to have some October actors who can be handed a very mundane script of mere information and using their voice(s) and a odd sense of timing can have 15 strangers all laughing at something that has been said the same way here for a decade or two!

Allen H
05-16-2012, 12:11 AM
Pickle,
it sounds like you are not a newbie at all and you have most of your bases covered. I am working on a haunt design DVD that will be released at MHC- it might be of help to you.
Themes consist of three things
Setting- the where
Situation- The what, in our case often the type of monster
characters- individuals that you can build off of for your stories.
Mysterio was right on on his advice to you. I wish you the best of luck.
Allen H

DarkTikiEntertainment
05-16-2012, 02:02 PM
I'm going to attempt my first pro haunt in 2013... What I wouldn't give to be licensed contractor, already know the inspectors, have someone with deep electrical and animatronic knowledge on staff, and have $30k for marketing!! To me it sounds like you have the least-resistant path towards establishing a new pro haunt that you could possibly have (short of being a millionaire and/or inheriting a pro haunt)! Of course a ton of hard work and a bit of luck will still be required, but I'd say you are very solidly on your way. Will you be posting pics and/or videos of your process? Maybe a blog? I'd love to track your progress! Best of luck to you!!

pickle
05-16-2012, 04:53 PM
I'm going to attempt my first pro haunt in 2013... What I wouldn't give to be licensed contractor, already know the inspectors, have someone with deep electrical and animatronic knowledge on staff, and have $30k for marketing!! To me it sounds like you have the least-resistant path towards establishing a new pro haunt that you could possibly have (short of being a millionaire and/or inheriting a pro haunt)! Of course a ton of hard work and a bit of luck will still be required, but I'd say you are very solidly on your way. Will you be posting pics and/or videos of your process? Maybe a blog? I'd love to track your progress! Best of luck to you!!

Thanks...been wanting to go pro for a while now...turning fifty Saturday (yikes!) & spent my whole career in the GC biz...frankly sick of it & decided time to do something fun! My father always said "nothing worthwhile will ever come easy"...man was he on point! WE are going to put every ounce of energy we have into this project & pray for the best. Our area is prime for this type of thing. I will try & post as many pics & vids as I can...we have some really cool things planned. Thanks again.:D

P.

BrotherMysterio
05-25-2012, 12:07 AM
I will try & post as many pics & vids as I can...we have some really cool things planned. Thanks again.:D

Did you ever sort out your theme?

C.

pickle
05-31-2012, 08:37 PM
Did you ever sort out your theme?

C.

I think so...LOL :confused: We think were going to do a Manor (as you suggested) or a Motel with the back story being that the elderly couple that ran the "Inn" all those years secretly hid all their children in the basement until they finally broke out & no one has seen the parents since. I know it may not be the most original theme but we have a great design, facade & a chance to try various "sub plots" throughout the attraction including that boiler room/steampunk idea. For the second attraction I think I really want to go with the old Plantation/Swamp People type thing with mutant swamp people & creatures. A giant abandoned Plantation facade will greet the visitors as they wait in the queue lines. The majority of that attraction will have various water features, ponds, swamps, etc. with rope bridges, "collapsing" bridges (well it will feel like it) misters (since we can't use fog) & some cool FX I believe will be very original. All queue lines will be inside and fully "themed", each attraction should be about 8,000' sq. ft. with a great concession area dividing the two which will have a realistic facade carried over from the exterior as an old abandoned factory. The thought process was once you entered the "factory", "where we manufacture nightmares", you enter a place your imagination never wanted to visit! This is our first full go @ this...opinions are welcome!:p

P.

BrotherMysterio
05-31-2012, 11:49 PM
I think so...LOL :confused: We think were going to do a Manor (as you suggested) or a Motel with the back story being that the elderly couple that ran the "Inn" all those years secretly hid all their children in the basement until they finally broke out & no one has seen the parents since. I know it may not be the most original theme but we have a great design, facade & a chance to try various "sub plots" throughout the attraction including that boiler room/steampunk idea. For the second attraction I think I really want to go with the old Plantation/Swamp People type thing with mutant swamp people & creatures. A giant abandoned Plantation facade will greet the visitors as they wait in the queue lines. The majority of that attraction will have various water features, ponds, swamps, etc. with rope bridges, "collapsing" bridges (well it will feel like it) misters (since we can't use fog) & some cool FX I believe will be very original. All queue lines will be inside and fully "themed", each attraction should be about 8,000' sq. ft. with a great concession area dividing the two which will have a realistic facade carried over from the exterior as an old abandoned factory. The thought process was once you entered the "factory", "where we manufacture nightmares", you enter a place your imagination never wanted to visit! This is our first full go @ this...opinions are welcome!:p

P.

Okay, so, the "parents" haven't been seen since, but it's the children and their descendents that are "haunting" the place? Who exactly is haunting the manor? Also, who exactly is haunting the plantation?

The collapsing bridge sounds intereseting. Why can't you do fog again?

C.

pickle
06-01-2012, 06:11 AM
Okay, so, the "parents" haven't been seen since, but it's the children and their descendents that are "haunting" the place? Who exactly is haunting the manor? Also, who exactly is haunting the plantation?

The collapsing bridge sounds intereseting. Why can't you do fog again?

C.

Sorry if I wasn't too clear on that...but yes, its the children (now adults)who now haunt the manor. Down on the plantation its the former forced workers who rebelled against the plantation owners & have now come back to settle the score. We are working on these back stories still fine tuning but we "have a guy" (lol) that is super creative putting together these back stories to loop through our queue lines via old static filled tvs/radios )possibly a news report or a film crew) Still tweaking things but thats the overall ideas. Bridge should be great...I'll post some pics once the build starts. FM said no turning off smokes & from what I've been told the fog WILL set off the smoke alarms so I guess were kinda screwed on the fog! I really wanted some low lying fog too! Oh well...

P.

screamforadream
06-01-2012, 12:57 PM
Hey Pickle,

I own a DJ company here in Connecticut, and I run into people who want fog ALL of time but are afraid of setting the smoke alarms off, or who have hall management who don't allow fog for that reason.

Theres two things to check on, is your fire system smoke detection or heat detection? If it's a heat detection system it has those little glass vials near the sprinklers with a red liquid in it, if that liquid gets too hot it breaks the glass and sets off the sprinkler, in that case, fog won't be an issue because it's theatrical fog not fire smoke.

Secondly, if you want low lying fog, use this, http://www.froggysfog.com/category/10-fluid.10-fog.40-fast-indoor-ground-fog/ It will not rise and set off the detectors, just chill it for a low lying effect and it will dissipate before it rises, it's made a lot of brides happy! Look into it and play around with a few different set up BEFORE you open, that way it isn't a big deal if you set anything off, just let the FD know that you're testing and not to show if anything goes off.

BrotherMysterio
06-01-2012, 03:56 PM
Sorry if I wasn't too clear on that...but yes, its the children (now adults)who now haunt the manor. Down on the plantation its the former forced workers who rebelled against the plantation owners & have now come back to settle the score. We are working on these back stories still fine tuning but we "have a guy" (lol) that is super creative putting together these back stories to loop through our queue lines via old static filled tvs/radios )possibly a news report or a film crew) Still tweaking things but thats the overall ideas. Bridge should be great...I'll post some pics once the build starts.

Sounds like you have some good queue line material working, but I'm still not getting the premise or theme. Disgruntled workers and kids with parent issues don't really have a lot of pop. I'm not sure what the danger is there, unless you are talking about postal workers or the Menendez brothers.

And with the plantation, you may have a serious issue. When you use the terms "plantation" and "former forced workers" in the same sentence or paragraph, the first thing that comes to people's minds are "black slaves". So, is the idea of the plantation theme that former black slaves, or the ghosts of former black slaves, are going to take over the plantation and kill everyone? I think if people think or assume that you are pitching black slaves as the villains then that could present some very serious issues. Obviously you're not suggesting that, but even tho, you might find yourself having to explain that.

The problem I'm seeing is that these themes seem to lack clarity. I'm not really sure what they are supposed to be. A good theme can be summed up in 10 words or less; ideally 7 words or less. The cognitive term is "72". Our short term memory can only hold onto 7 chunks of information, plus or minus 2. That's the reason why phone number are only 7 digits long. Easier to remember and recall. In some parts of the country, like here in DFW, we need to enter the area code, but we tend to think of that as just another chunk, rather than individual digits. Iow, we think of it as "(972)" rather than "9, 7, 2". Some people even abbreviate it as "9)" to make it easier.

Hollywood applies this same principle all the time with the working titles of movies and their accompanying loglines (a brief summary of a film, providing a synopsis of the plot, and an emotional hook to stimulate interest). Very often the title of the movie and the logline is all you have to sell a movie before a single dime is spent (of what may be 100s' of millions of dollars spent). Very often a movie pitch will be nothing more than giving the movie title, the logline, and maybe answering a question or two, or mentioning an A-Lister to consider for the lead role, and that's it. Five minutes to sell your multi-million dollar movie with a few lines of info. And those ideas then need to penetrate into the ranks as the would-be producer you pitched to relates the idea to others and sees if there is financial interest. It's obviously a much more involved process, but you get the idea.

Likewise, your haunt's theme needs to have that kind of clarity. What is the logline for your haunt? As an example, there is an excellent haunt down here in DFW called "Zombie Manor". The idea is that a southern plantation owner back in the day had taken advantage of one of the slave girls, whose mother just so happened to be a voodoo priestess, and was none too happy about it. In retaliation, she cursed the entire plantation, turning everyone into zombies. It's a brilliant idea, and I've never seen it done before, and that simple sentence tells you everything you need to know. The title and logline could easily be "Zombie Manor: Voodoo Priestess Curses Plantation", or something along those lines. Now, that's a logline that pops, and a haunt I wanna go see!

Also, again, there's nothing really scary about disgruntled workers and kids with parent issues, unless you are indeed talking about postal workers or the Menendez brothers. Remember, you are competing with zombies, psycho-clowns, vampires, werewolves, creatures from outer-space, and I'm not even talking about haunts. I'm talking about the cinema on any given Saturday night, with shorter lines, cheaper tickets, really great concessions, guaranteed fun, and no stupid teenagers in masks spazzing out (unless you count a Star Wars or Star Trek premiere . . . and yes, I fall into both camps, sans dorky mask).

You are also competing against a lot of great halloween parties with lots of beer and chicks in slutty outfits. That seems to be a staple of adult halloween costuming these days, particularly at Spirit and other seasonal halloween superstores: "Sexy *cough*slutty*cough* [random occupation or character]". Sexy nurse, sexy maid, sexy witch, sexy vampire, and so on.

Factor in other FEC's and amusement parks doing a special Halloween promotion, and that's your non-haunt competition. Add to that whatever popular haunts are around you within driving distance, and you can see how it stacks up.

So, that said, you don't want to be in the least bit maudlin or insipid in your theme choice. You want it to pop, you want people to get it right away, you want the concept to get into their heads like a thought virus, and you want them to become patrons, and being your best street-team, telling all their friends and family about your haunt.

Also, one of the best mnemonic devices, which helps promote awareness, is to connect a certain thought to another thought that someone already has, so that they can relate to it more easily. That's why themes work around popular archetypes that people can readily relate to, and also why you see these themes or motifs pop up in movies all the time. Themes such as Hospitals, Asylums, Circuses, Alien Invasions, Zombie Apocalypses, Victorian Mansions, Serial Killers, and Were-Beasts (which unfortunately may be going the way of Vampires as a theme). These themes serve as memes which people can readily relate to.

So, referencing the logline example above, for the first haunt, you might do a "Welcome To The Family" theme, which is basically what "Psycho", "House of 1000 Corpses", "The Devil's Rejects", and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" all fall under. In fact, here's an original idea which I don't think I've ever seen done before which ties in beautifully with WTTF and what you said you were thinking about doing.

The family of this manor (mansion, hotel, truck-stop, bed 'n' breakfast, etc.) are really big on family "inheritance" and "heritage" and "keeping it within the family", and it's the custom of this family that each generation of children, in order to "keep it within the family" and "keep the family strong", cannibalizes their parents when their parents reach a certain age. That's why the parents were never found. They were served up to their children to pass on the life essence to the next generation. Also, because they keep it within the family, you can also incorporate inbreeding. If you want to add a crazy cult religion to the equation, all the better. Make it some pagan religion that no one's ever heard of, or their own homespun cult that doesn't involve anything Judea-Christian. In fact, you could even add some Cthulhu cult type stuff, which gradually develops as you near the end. You don't have to go paranormal with it, or incorporate demons. Just the fact that this crazy family believes it is enough.

"Psycho, Inbred, Cannibalistic, Cthulhu-Cult Family Runs Truck-Stop/Bed-'n'-Breakfast." How's that for a logline? ;)


FM said no turning off smokes & from what I've been told the fog WILL set off the smoke alarms so I guess were kinda screwed on the fog! I really wanted some low lying fog too! Oh well . . . .

What Bobby said.

Btw, even if you can work out the fog, still keep the misters and water effects. Clever idea and I don't often see it being done. Worth experimenting with if you can get it right.

C.

pickle
06-02-2012, 09:43 AM
Hey Pickle,

I own a DJ company here in Connecticut, and I run into people who want fog ALL of time but are afraid of setting the smoke alarms off, or who have hall management who don't allow fog for that reason.

Theres two things to check on, is your fire system smoke detection or heat detection? If it's a heat detection system it has those little glass vials near the sprinklers with a red liquid in it, if that liquid gets too hot it breaks the glass and sets off the sprinkler, in that case, fog won't be an issue because it's theatrical fog not fire smoke.

Secondly, if you want low lying fog, use this, http://www.froggysfog.com/category/10-fluid.10-fog.40-fast-indoor-ground-fog/ It will not rise and set off the detectors, just chill it for a low lying effect and it will dissipate before it rises, it's made a lot of brides happy! Look into it and play around with a few different set up BEFORE you open, that way it isn't a big deal if you set anything off, just let the FD know that you're testing and not to show if anything goes off.

Hey Bobby,

Thanks for that info. We are going to look into the smokes. I'm hopefully meeting with the FM & alarm company in about a week. I did speak to someone @ Froggy's & he said that it is possible that certain alarm systems can be triggered by his products...just depends, he said. We're taking your suggestion & going to experiment. Thanks again for the advice.:D

P.

pickle
06-02-2012, 09:59 AM
Sounds like you have some good queue line material working, but I'm still not getting the premise or theme. Disgruntled workers and kids with parent issues don't really have a lot of pop. I'm not sure what the danger is there, unless you are talking about postal workers or the Menendez brothers.

And with the plantation, you may have a serious issue. When you use the terms "plantation" and "former forced workers" in the same sentence or paragraph, the first thing that comes to people's minds are "black slaves". So, is the idea of the plantation theme that former black slaves, or the ghosts of former black slaves, are going to take over the plantation and kill everyone? I think if people think or assume that you are pitching black slaves as the villains then that could present some very serious issues. Obviously you're not suggesting that, but even tho, you might find yourself having to explain that.

The problem I'm seeing is that these themes seem to lack clarity. I'm not really sure what they are supposed to be. A good theme can be summed up in 10 words or less; ideally 7 words or less. The cognitive term is "72". Our short term memory can only hold onto 7 chunks of information, plus or minus 2. That's the reason why phone number are only 7 digits long. Easier to remember and recall. In some parts of the country, like here in DFW, we need to enter the area code, but we tend to think of that as just another chunk, rather than individual digits. Iow, we think of it as "(972)" rather than "9, 7, 2". Some people even abbreviate it as "9)" to make it easier.

Hollywood applies this same principle all the time with the working titles of movies and their accompanying loglines (a brief summary of a film, providing a synopsis of the plot, and an emotional hook to stimulate interest). Very often the title of the movie and the logline is all you have to sell a movie before a single dime is spent (of what may be 100s' of millions of dollars spent). Very often a movie pitch will be nothing more than giving the movie title, the logline, and maybe answering a question or two, or mentioning an A-Lister to consider for the lead role, and that's it. Five minutes to sell your multi-million dollar movie with a few lines of info. And those ideas then need to penetrate into the ranks as the would-be producer you pitched to relates the idea to others and sees if there is financial interest. It's obviously a much more involved process, but you get the idea.

Likewise, your haunt's theme needs to have that kind of clarity. What is the logline for your haunt? As an example, there is an excellent haunt down here in DFW called "Zombie Manor". The idea is that a southern plantation owner back in the day had taken advantage of one of the slave girls, whose mother just so happened to be a voodoo priestess, and was none too happy about it. In retaliation, she cursed the entire plantation, turning everyone into zombies. It's a brilliant idea, and I've never see it done before, and that simple sentence tells you everything you need to know. The title and logline could easily be "Zombie Manor: Voodoo Priestess Curses Plantation", or something along those lines. Now, that's a logline that pops, and a haunt I wanna go see!

Also, again, there's nothing really scary about disgruntled workers and kids with parent issues, unless you are indeed talking about postal workers or the Menendez brothers. Remember, you are competing with zombies, psycho-clowns, vampires, werewolves, creatures from outer-space, and I'm not even talking about haunts. I'm talking about the cinema on any given Saturday night, with shorter lines, cheaper tickets, really great concessions, guaranteed fun, and no stupid teenagers in masks spazzing out (unless you count a Star Wars or Star Trek premiere . . . and yes, I fall into both camps, sans dorky masks).

You are also competing against a lot of great halloween parties with lots of beer and chicks in slutty outfits. That seems to be a staple of adult halloween costuming these days, particularly at Spirit and other seasonal halloween superstores: "Sexy *cough*slutty*cough [random occupation or character]". Sexy nurse, sexy maid, sexy witch, sexy vampire, and so on.

Factor in other FEC's and amusement parks doing a special Halloween promotion, and that's your non-haunt competition. Add to that whatever popular haunts are around you within driving distance, and you can see how it stacks up.

So, that said, you don't want to be in the least bit maudlin in your theme choice. You want it to pop, you want people to get it right away, you want the concept to get into their heads like a thought virus, and you want them to become patrons, and also your best street-team, telling all their friends about your haunt.

Also, one of the best mnemonic devices, which helps promote awareness, is to connect a certain thought to a thought that someone already has, so that they can relate to it more easily. That's why themes work around popular archetypes that people can readily relate to, and also why you see these themes or motifs pop up in movies all the time. Themes such as Hospitals, Asylums, Circuses, Alien Invasions, Zombie Apocalypses, Victorian Mansions, Serial Killers, and Were-Beasts (which unfortunately may be going the way of Vampires as a theme). These themes serve as memes which people can readily relate to.

So, referencing the logline example above, for the first haunt, you might do a "Welcome To The Family" theme, which is basically what "Psycho", "House of 1000 Corpses", "The Devil's Rejects", and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" all fall under. In fact, here's an original idea which I don't think I've ever seen done before which ties in beautifully with WTTF and what you said you were thinking about doing.

The family of this manor (mansion, hotel, truck-stop, bed 'n' breakfast, etc.) are really big on family "inheritance" and "heritage" and "keeping it within the family", and it's the custom of this family that each generation of children, in order to "keep it within the family" and "keep the family strong", cannibalizes their parents when their parents reach a certain age. That's why the parents were never found. They were served up to their children to pass on the life essence to the next generation. Also, because they keep it within the family, you can also incorporate inbreeding. If you want to add a crazy cult religion to the equation, all the better. Make it some pagan religion that no one's ever heard of, or their own homespun cult that doesn't involve anything Judea-Christian. In fact, you could even add some Cthulhu cult type stuff, which gradually develops as you near the end. You don't have to go paranormal with it, or incorporate demons. Just the fact that this crazy family believes it is enough.

"Psycho, Inbred, Cannibalistic, Cthulhu-Cult Family Runs Truck-Stop/Bed-'n'-Breakfast." How's that for a logline? ;)



What Bobby said.

Btw, even if you can work out the fog, still keep the misters and water effects. Clever idea and I don't often see it being done. Worth experimenting with if you can get it right.

C.


Hey C,

Thanks for the input...I appreciate the thought you put into your reply. I can see your point more clearly now. I'm going to discuss in greater detail with my partner & the guy working on the back stories. Your "dead" on (pun intended) that I wasn't referring to the "old slave days", I guess more along the lines of "swamp people". Either way I get you point on the 7 +/- 2.
Something we have to sort out. I should just get you to write our themes lol, you have some creative ideas. Now you have me thinking about changing the manor to a truck stop...that's a great idea! C , I'm more of a hands on fabricator, design/idea guy...this "theme thing" is all new to me...actually writing the story line. Appreciate your invaluable input. If you come up with anything regarding our plantation/swamp attraction, please let me know...I can easily adapt. Thanks again.:D

P.

BrotherMysterio
06-02-2012, 05:10 PM
Thanks for the input...I appreciate the thought you put into your reply. I can see your point more clearly now. I'm going to discuss in greater detail with my partner & the guy working on the back stories. Your "dead" on (pun intended) that I wasn't referring to the "old slave days", I guess more along the lines of "swamp people". Either way I get you point on the 7 +/- 2.
Something we have to sort out. I should just get you to write our themes lol, you have some creative ideas. Now you have me thinking about changing the manor to a truck stop...that's a great idea! C , I'm more of a hands on fabricator, design/idea guy...this "theme thing" is all new to me...actually writing the story line. Appreciate your invaluable input. If you come up with anything regarding our plantation/swamp attraction, please let me know...I can easily adapt. Thanks again.:D

Well, first, thanks for the compliment and glad to be of service. Second, I would suggest the following . . .

Go ahead and use the basic logline I outlined; use a manor with a small truck-stop in front of it, like Bates Manor with the Motel in front. Here you have two choices. First, you can use the truck-stop out in front as part of the queue line to add all sorts of atmosphere and then the high impact stuff happens inside the manor, which might also double as a bed 'n' breakfast, which gives you all sorts of opportunities to show previous guests who checked in but never checked out. If you have the space, then that would be the route that I would take (no pun intended). Btw, in front of the truck-stop, you can put up a sign for Route 66, with someone having sprayed an extra "6" on the sign (or smeared it in blood).

If the truck-stop in front isn't practical, your second choice is having the patrons enter from the back of the manor, and the truck-stop would still be in "front" but would, in essence, be one of the backrooms or sets of the haunt. Grand plantation style houses, while not a proper plantation like you want your second haunt to be, pretty much look the same, either front or back, so you'll still have the same basic facade which will still give you an impressive visual.

In fact, going with the the truck stop in front, you can actually snake the queue line thru the truck-stop. The inside diner doesn't have to be too big; just a lunch counter and maybe 2-3 three seats and a booth. Lots of opportunity to develop backstory, with newspapers lying about, missing signs posted in the windows, flyers for "family barbeques" with "mama's secret recipe", one or two TV's with newsreels like you were mentioning, one at either end with moderate volume so they don't compete with each other, and so on.

Now, as far as the logline itself, consider the ease with which you can implement each of the elements.

"Psycho, Inbred, Cannibalistic, Cthulhu-Cult Family Runs Truck-Stop/Bed-'n'-Breakfast."

To wit:

Psycho: in the backstory and in the acting. Iow, free.
Inbred: in the backstory, acting, and perhaps some freaky make-up. Character faces and maybe some basic make-up should be enough. No fancy airbrush jobs or latex needed. Free and low cost.
Cannibalistic: backstory, acting, and set-design. Free and low cost, depending on creativity in design and sourcing materials. Allen would be a good person to talk to about this. Use his human pelts.
Cthulhu-Cult: a little added extra paint in the set design to make cryptic symbols. Free.
Truck-Stop/Bed-'n'-Breakfast: see above.


Once you have those basics sorted out, the rest is easy.

C.

pickle
06-02-2012, 06:58 PM
Hey C.,

That's some great stuff...appreciate it. I think we might have enough room in our queue line area to build out a truck stop set! I'm still not certain on the whole plantation deal? My original thoughts were to bring the people thru the plantation (2-3 rooms) out thru the rear porch & the remainder of the haunt to be in swampy areas (& various outside scenes). Maybe I should forego the plantation theme since it may look to similar to the "Manor"? Maybe a facade mimicking a series of old cabins (can't recall that movies name?) than they would exit the cabin (interior scenes) into the bog swamp. Yeah, I think I'm liking that. Than maybe use your idea about "keeping it in the family" (similar to that movie...again?:confused:) for the story line. Maybe do the whole Truck Stop/Manor facade with a back story of the dead (zombie) staff now running it? Am I getting any closer? lol:)

P.

Greg Chrise
06-02-2012, 07:12 PM
How about the truck stop facade, the bee hived waitresses and all that are the cover facade for a burial mound or ancient temple with some ancient evil really being fed off of the passers by. It might be a massive undertaking to make a swamp but there could be a really evil, tremendously collosally evil mister turtle pool where the ancient virus came from and made them all officially evil. Before that they were happy people thinking about a chariot stop baking bread and stuff. Now 2,000 years later they are still at it with a bad attitude and pie that isn't really fresh.

For 2,000 years of victims there are all kinds of things from history they had to hide behind the truck stop. The circus came through town, they ate them. A parade came through town, they ate them. The military was dispatched to quarantine the area, they ate them. It turned out someone used bath salts in the turtle pool.

Greg Chrise
06-02-2012, 07:29 PM
But since you have entered the forbidden area of antiquities, you can either bid on something or you must die. And since they haven't exactly had cable for the last 2,000 years, they have all kinds of carnival games to determine how you will die. Spin the wheel, throw the bag of sand, toss the hoop, put a roman coin into the plate from 10 feet. Occasionally you come up on a game and the last players were declared losers and drug off screaming.

You can expand on that, I have been sick for a few days.

pickle
06-02-2012, 07:45 PM
Hey Greg,

Thanks, we may just expand off that swamp story line...I like that. The bath salts thing is rrreally scary!!! :x Thanks for your suggestions. ..hope your feeling better. Any other ideas out there???

BrotherMysterio
06-03-2012, 12:59 AM
Jeeze-louize! We are definitely mapping out some seriously crazy terroritory . . . I like it!!

Okay, new idea (while I go off and have a bit of a think about this). In the simpliest of terms, since you started kinda close to there to begin with, and since the ideas were kinda converging anyway, why not simply have a matched set? Iow, have what might be a megahaunt in two parts. The first haunt is the plantation idea, or, rather plantation style house . . . doesn't need to be real plantation-y, if you will, but can be more along the lines of . . . . eh, wait . . .

OKAY, GOT IT!!!!!! SWEET!!! :D

Alright, two haunts: a) The Family Home; & b) The Truck-Stop out front, which heads off into the swamp campground, a la Greg's brill suggestion. Greg's "ancient evil"? Cthulhu, the Ancient One!

The two themes: a) Welcome To The Family (Psycho, House of 1000 Corpses, TTCM); & b) Ancient Evil Awoken (From Dusk Til Dawn, Prince of Darkness, In the Mouth of Madness, Exorcist, Omen).

The two settings: a) Plantation Style Manor (ref: '03 Texas Chainsaw Massacre) fashioned into a "cozy" B'n'B, with flesh and bone furniture; & b) Truck-Stop fronting Greg's crazy swamp horrors.

The two motifs: a) '03 "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" meets Arkham Asylum & Miskatonic U; & b) '09 "Friday the 13th" meets "From Dusk Til Dawn" meets "Gator Bait" meets Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.

The two sets of monsters: a) "The Family" - cult high priests/esses and usual suspects; & b) ". . . and Their Minions" - worshipers of their Cthulhu-Cult, who do their bidding, plus various swamp monsters.

The parents could be prepping to be sacrificed when they are interrupted by the hitchhikers or broken down travellers (the patrons). "Oh, why, do drop in!" The Ancient Evil is alluded to in the first haunt and is perhaps only a figment of their imaginations, or derrangement, or delusions. Watch the '03 "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" for reference, and re-imagine them as stereotypical "bible-thumpin' fundamentalists", only they are "necronomicon-thumpin' cthulhuists", if you will (ref: last scenes of "Rosemary's Baby"), and gradually you can salt the sets with torn out pages from the necronomicon, and then start smearing cthulhu incantation glyphs on the walls in blood, and so on.

You can even sneak a little black-light or UV into the mix by having a room lit only with a TV left on, to a blank station with white static, illuminating a wall of blood smeared glyphs, and then when the patrons get halfway thru the room, a UV strobe hidden in the TV starts strobing, revealing hidden writing in UV sensitive paint that says "Y'all R Dead!" and "Hiz Got Yer Soul!" emblazoned all across the wall in various print sizes. That's a very cheap effect to achieve, and it would look wicked cool. You could even scrawl a thumb nail sketch of Cthulhu in amongst the UV captions, which would be rather unsettling. You might want to also offset this with a loud animal roar of some sort, like a cross between a pig squeal and Regan's demonic, possessed caterwaul from "The Exorcist", hitting them from behind from where ever their attention is directed. Whatever the sound is, just make sure it's loud and shrill, like running fingernails across a chalkboard.

In the second haunt, we discover that apparently that Ancient Evil is, in fact, real. Not only that, the campground behind the Truck-Stop is built over the resting place of Ancient Ones who are hibernating deep in the ground, waiting to be awoken so they can reek havoc on the Earth. If you want to add zombies to the mix, have them be proper voodoo zombies, under a spell to do their Masters' bidding, and showing signs of hosting the Ancient Evil; vs. simply being undead or infected by a virus (which, frankly, is way overdone, unless of course you are making a proper go of doing a Zombie Apocalypse). We have all of the evil minions doing their psychotic thrall thing, and that would adequate, but if budget permits, you could also have all sorts of various swamp creatures, like that hogzilla animatronic you were asking about, tho I wouldn't blow big bucks on that until you can determine if you can make it yourself for less.

If you can get more into swamp creatures along with the possessed minions, you can start with basic animals and then evolve into more demonic Lovecraftian creatures. You might also be able to work in some sort of Lovecraftian styled Were-Boar, for instance, which would be interesting. That would take the concept of Hogzilla to a whole new level. There is also the temptation to do a stilt-costumed Cthulhu, but unless you can pull that off convincingly, I wouldn't go there. He'd have to be at least 10' to be convincing, and he would have to look super cool. Some cheapo bat wings and a rubber octopus on someone's head would definitely not cut it.

To recap, in the first haunt, you have the plantation style home straight out of TTCM, the horror within superficially disguised as a B'n'B, where different rooms have the remains of past guests, and we gradually go from Psycho to Delusional as we start seeing a cult scenario start to unfold, and realize that this family is not only cannibalizing, but self-cannibalizing, not to mention self-messianic.

In the second haunt, we go thru the Family's truck-stop, and things don't seem right, building atmosphere. Nothing scary needs to happen. We just build anticipation, and set the stage. The TV in the diner is left on, which starts setting up the story. This could be queue line, or this could be the first room. I'd keep it first room, so you don't break up the cool atmosphere with a hall monitor reciting the rules. Either way, the hard core scares start coming when we make our way thru the kitchen, out the back door of the truck-stop and into a picnic area, where we get a closer look at the various food and fixin's, seeing evidence of cannibalism, and encounter our first victim, or perhaps our first monster. We walk thru that section, and follow a trail leading into a campground which was ill-advisedly built into a swamp, and over the resting place of some Lovecraft "Ancient Ones", and then gradually everything goes downhill from there, devolving into swamp-bait madness, per Greg's various ideas.

See, you now have all the proper elements to make a great haunt, and you haven't spent a single dime. That, my friend, is the $4 Fix. :D

More in a bit . . .

C.

Btw, the Family's name? "The Geinys." The name of the Truck-Stop? "Mama Geiny's Happy Highway Hospitality Truck-Stop, Campgrounds, and Grill."

Greg Chrise
06-03-2012, 03:54 AM
Under the swamp where no one can actually see, is a portal to another planet in another dimension and this is where all this crap really lives and has crept into this area. The hyroglyphs warning of all of these things is more like several wall sized stone tablets the size of stonehenge with carvings (a tribute to the vampire bible in the Blade movies)

A relatively small RV trailer seems to have had a large hole ripped out of one side and by going inside you walk through and is is a vortex tunnel in a parallel time line. The military had decades earlier been canning Chulthu in 55 gallon drums and it looks like a few broke open and some are steaming with fog coming out. The evil can appear and disappear because they have command of this time like shift and being right next to you in another dimensional frequency.

The locals have known just how often to feed the evil ones and that is how they stay safe, by being good servants but those that wander by are there for feeding time.

Then for no reason what so ever (because there is a movie coming out) Abraham Lincoln shows up and kills everything and leads the groups to safety. Everyone is relieved and calms down a little then come to find the happy birthday clowns are really evil too and have chainsaws and for some reason also have photon backs from Ghostbusters. Little diaramas of dogs and cats living together end the walk out. You can have $2 photos taken with Zule, the ancient summarian god mentioned in the Tobein spirit guide.

Everyone leaves with a token decoder ring that they will need to decipher any messages they might get by text message a year later around this time. Feeding season.

Other little details are the zombies come back up because they were in the ground and that is how they were effected and some come up like the James Bond Movie, You only live twice on little elevators and everyone does a dance.

The pamphlete with the complete back story is available in the gift shop for $4. There is also a Chulthu repellant spray available for $2.99 per can. Along with plush toys of all of the monsters ranging from $5.99 to $32.99 boasting only domestic fillers.

And in the parking lot you only then know it is over because a fat lady sings.

Greg Chrise
06-03-2012, 04:02 AM
Okay, you have 19 days until the TV cameras are here, BUILD IT!

pickle
06-03-2012, 07:41 PM
Okay, you have 19 days until the TV cameras are here, BUILD IT!

Greg & C.,

Holy smokes...don't you guys ever sleep?!:) You two have some great ideas. C, I've already re-drawn the whole print to incorporate the Truck Stop & Swamp on one side with the TCM type house on the other...love it! We are going to do some sort of "to be continued" or "this way to the B & B" on the way out of the Truck Stop. Absolutely tying the two attractions together is the way to go here. With "Pa" tending to the farm house / B & B while bee hive "Ma" runs the Truck Stop. Pa trying to keep the family secrets (TCM) & Ma trying to keep the lid on whats boiling over at the swamp. You two have been great helping me get off on the right foot...truly appreciate it!:) With those imaginations you two should write children's books! LOL;) And Greg your not kidding 19 days...sure feels like what I'm up against. Well I'm fine tuning before I fly out to Ohio on Thursday afternoon...my first time there, really looking forward to it. Either one of you two going to the convention? I better get back to the drawing board...literally!

P.

screamforadream
06-03-2012, 07:57 PM
Thanks for giving them the courage to write children's books......everyone pray for all those innocent children...LOL. ;-)

If I'm ever around, I'd love to check out your attraction while you're up and running, sounds like you're really going all out! I can't wait to see it come to life, don't forget to post construction pics up here!

BrotherMysterio
06-03-2012, 08:17 PM
Greg & C.,

Holy smokes...don't you guys ever sleep?!:) You two have some great ideas. C, I've already re-drawn the whole print to incorporate the Truck Stop & Swamp on one side with the TCM type house on the other...love it! We are going to do some sort of "to be continued" or "this way to the B & B" on the way out of the Truck Stop. Absolutely tying the two attractions together is the way to go here. With "Pa" tending to the farm house / B & B while bee hive "Ma" runs the Truck Stop. Pa trying to keep the family secrets (TCM) & Ma trying to keep the lid on whats boiling over at the swamp. You two have been great helping me get off on the right foot...truly appreciate it!:) With those imaginations you two should write children's books! LOL;) And Greg your not kidding 19 days...sure feels like what I'm up against. Well I'm fine tuning before I fly out to Ohio on Thursday afternoon...my first time there, really looking forward to it. Either one of you two going to the convention? I better get back to the drawing board...literally!

P.

Excellent.

Incidentally, I think it's stronger having patrons queue into the Manor first, see the initial carnage, see the occult stuff hinted at, and then, after having established that, the patrons go into the Truck-Stop next, and, having had those initial elements established, then just totally blow the lid off of it, where these supernatural elements are real, the carnage is more extensive than we thought, and pretty much anything goes.

I wouldn't treat the two sections as two separate haunts, but rather two parts or phases of the same haunt, given that there is a definite sequence. You don't want two queue lines, with customers arbitrarily picking one over the other, and then explaining to them that they have to go thru the one haunt to fully appreciate the other. I know Necropolis has three attractions, but it starts with the main one, and then when you finish that one, you enter a waiting area where you can go to the other two haunts. You might try that, or some version of that.

C.

Greg Chrise
06-04-2012, 12:50 AM
You kids get away from my ice cream truck! It's all mine! Said the man. The children looked at each other trying to understand what was said.

pickle
06-05-2012, 04:11 PM
Excellent.

Incidentally, I think it's stronger having patrons queue into the Manor first, see the initial carnage, see the occult stuff hinted at, and then, after having established that, the patrons go into the Truck-Stop next, and, having had those initial elements established, then just totally blow the lid off of it, where these supernatural elements are real, the carnage is more extensive than we thought, and pretty much anything goes.

I wouldn't treat the two sections as two separate haunts, but rather two parts or phases of the same haunt, given that there is a definite sequence. You don't want two queue lines, with customers arbitrarily picking one over the other, and then explaining to them that they have to go thru the one haunt to fully appreciate the other. I know Necropolis has three attractions, but it starts with the main one, and then when you finish that one, you enter a waiting area where you can go to the other two haunts. You might try that, or some version of that.

C.

Hey C,

Yeah that's the way were approaching it...two phases. The natural flow of our haunt should pretty much direct the traffic to the Manor/B&B first than to the Truck Stop...should work great together. The facade of our haunt mimics an old factory hence our overall haunt name...FEAR FACTORY. Anyone have any suggestions for some clever names for the two attractions? The first mimicking an old Manor/Bed & Breakfast & the second attraction is a Truck Stop/Grill/Campground? Thanks again for the insight & theme ideas C...very helpful. I've got a lot work ahead of me but looking forward to it. :D

BrotherMysterio
06-05-2012, 06:11 PM
Hey C,

Yeah that's the way were approaching it...two phases. The natural flow of our haunt should pretty much direct the traffic to the Manor/B&B first than to the Truck Stop...should work great together. The facade of our haunt mimics an old factory hence our overall haunt name...FEAR FACTORY. Anyone have any suggestions for some clever names for the two attractions? The first mimicking an old Manor/Bed & Breakfast & the second attraction is a Truck Stop/Grill/Campground? Thanks again for the insight & theme ideas C...very helpful. I've got a lot work ahead of me but looking forward to it. :D

Well, once they get inside, the set dressing and design around both haunts can act like the facade for each. Will there be an actual plantation house facade?

I think the name "Geiny Manor and Bed 'n' Breakfast" might work for the first one, or "Ma Geiny's Dewdrop Inn". "Geiny" is a play off of "Gein", as in Ed Gein. Do you know who Ed Gein (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Gein) is/was?

What you might do is just have the attraction be what it is inside, without any fancy facades or marquees, apart from the naturally occurring facade that the set design of the house and the truck-stop make for.

Then, outside, on the main facade, have "Fear Factory presents . . ." and then the name of the two haunts, such as "Evil's B 'n' B" and "Satan's Truck-Stop" or whatever, under it. You could then have artwork evocative of something like Stephen King's "Maximum Overdrive" or something from "Joyride", and so on. In fact, a very evocative look would basically be a billboard, with "Fear Factory presents" in a smaller font in the middle top of the billboard, and then on the left half of the billboard you have the picture of the plantation house with "Hotel from Hell" or whathaveyou emblazoned on the bottom, and on the right side a picture of a truck-stop in front with "truck-stop of terror" emblazoned under that as well. That would be your outside facade, and then when they get inside, they basically see that same scene played out in front of them in the pairing of the two haunts side by side, but without the campy marquees.

Something like this . . .

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. . . mixed with this . . .

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Iow, you can have a splashy, campy, provocative, sensationalist title for each of the haunts on the outside, and then nothing seemingly exploitative or sensationalist inside, rather letting the atmosphere and setting do the talking (like in the above photos). That way, while a somewhat over the top or campy marquee on the outside will help get customers, you won't have any campy marquees distract from the attraction once the customers are inside.

I would also steer clear of any crazy fonts for "Fear Factory presents . . .", and just let the Haunts speak for themselves.

As way of reference, think of how George Lucas and Steven Spielberg title their films with that 50's B-film sensationalist panache, but they don't play for exploitation when you actually see the film. Titles such as Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and so on.

More in a bit.

C.