PDA

View Full Version : Beware of Camera-pointing "Gypsies!"



Jim Warfield
07-08-2008, 08:37 AM
Trying to look and sound SO important and potentially helpfull to your haunted business, just give them 15 hours of your precious time (right now) and sign those waivers allowing them to make as much free-money off of your hard and creative efforts as they possibly can!
Don't worry, they gave you their phone number and e-mail address, both of which will fall into the great abyss of "Good-By Sucker"! As soon as their back bumper clears your drive way!
That is how they operate. They are out there.
You were warned.

Haunting Copy
08-05-2008, 04:27 AM
Jim, is this what happened to you? Pray tell!

Sarah

FearSeeker
08-05-2008, 11:51 AM
So somebody was taking pictures of your haunt in order to go create their own? And you signed waivers to allow it, thinking you were signing something to allow them to help you improve your haunt? Just trying to understand.

Haunting Copy
08-05-2008, 04:15 PM
Maybe he thought it was for press coverage?

FearSeeker
08-05-2008, 04:26 PM
I guess Jim will fill us in on the details.

Jim Warfield
08-06-2008, 06:30 PM
As I have said many times, just because you have enough money to buy a camera doesn't give you the right to steal all of my ideas, then make money off of them.
(Maybe my family and I should be first in line for compensation from my ideas and long hours of work? Now there's a foreign concept to those people!)
I have helped a fair number of high school and college film students create works about my house that did lead to their further sucesses and measurable rewards in this field. Funny thing is all I ever asked from them in return was a copy with no copyrighted theme music playing in the backround, yet this did not happen.
The "professional" crews can be great or terrible to work with but still not one penny of compensation coming my way(are the cable companys paying the Jackass Boys too much that there is nothing left for me?
"Dog The Booty-Hunter" gets paid, the screaming idiots throwing Harley parts at each other get paid, the guys making hot rods showing us how to go blind welding without goggles get paid, and the roto-rooter guys chasing breaking wind in the dark all get paid. ?
??????????????????

FearSeeker
08-06-2008, 06:54 PM
Sounds like at the very least you need to create your own "contract" that they have to sign in order to take pictures stipulating that they give you a copy (with no copyrighted background theme music) and whatever other stipulations you want to add. Perhaps you should also start charging them to take pictures and to help them out?

Haunting Copy
08-07-2008, 12:59 AM
Jim, most definitely get yourself a lawyer to draw up a contract for such occasions.

When people flinch at the idea, all you have to do is let them know you've been
swindled many times and that by doing this, *all* of you are protected.

You've been very generous with people; it's time to be generous to yourself. :)

Sarah

Jim Warfield
08-07-2008, 03:30 AM
Me getting their social security number from an I.D. would be a beginning move too on my part.
A newspaper reporter would almost always ask me for one hour of my time. It always took 3.
Students with a video camera would need my personal help and input for many continiuos hours , of My Time..that I could be doing something else, maybe making more money or resting up to be able to make more tours possible that night.
Besides the lost time, there would sometimes be things I would have to clean up when they were hitting the road (to their bank) Other times I had to spend money to repair or replace something they had messed with..
I grew up in the generation when if someone had any kind of a camera to point at you it was a rare ocassion not like now when every cell phone, every downtown light post has a camera pointed at you.
So watch your ego, make sure you really need or want that camera's attention.

FearSeeker
08-07-2008, 07:22 PM
And Sarah is correct that it's time to start putting you and your wife first now!

Jim Warfield
08-07-2008, 09:37 PM
I have intentionally tried to create a "Jim-Intensive" experience here that defies duplication simply by it's length of time required to do what I do with the storytelling and long set ups for the gags and scares.
Of course to really be financially successful I should have painted my face bright blue and created a mime act that I could franchise across the country, having myself appearing everywhere at once through imitation actors.
When people commit to seeing my show they usually invest a large amount of time and money to arrive here so I had better not be copying someone else's stuff or chasing them through this place with a chainsaw for a mere few paniced moments.
This house really is haunted and sometimes my goofiness and humor might mask this from those visiting here that are very sensitive and potentially very fearfull of this fact.
Then as a bonus for me I would sometimes be credited with some pretty amazing "Special effects" that only the actual supernatural can do.
Customers have been touched and had their hair messed with in part of the basement and exit tunnel. For me to be able to do any such thing in a solid concrete tunnel under the ground with no hiding places along it would be quite the trick now wouldn't it?
Ghosts go where they please, the tunnel is not 138 years old,like the rest of this place, I built it.

Haunting Copy
08-07-2008, 11:14 PM
Someday, Jim, I'm gonna visit you and your place.

You've been warned. ;)

Sarah

Jim Warfield
08-08-2008, 02:48 PM
The Ravens Grin has often been an "Out of Body" experience for many, but I recommend coming here before you begin to get low on "body".
And if I am dead when you arrive, come on in, the tour will be severely discounted but Very memorable!

damon carson
08-08-2008, 03:10 PM
Jim maybe if you break wind a little more often in your tours and call it a ghost maybe you will get a show out of it? That is if the right person is touring your haunt?! Eat more beans! And good luck!
Damon

FearSeeker
08-08-2008, 09:08 PM
The Ravens Grin has often been an "Out of Body" experience for many, but I recommend coming here before you begin to get low on "body".
And if I am dead when you arrive, come on in, the tour will be severely discounted but Very memorable!

Looks like both Sarah and I will both be coming to surprise you, and no, we don't know each other, but we are both ChrisGM. Kidding! :cool:

Haunting Copy
08-09-2008, 01:22 AM
Aw, thanks, Jim, you're so sweet. But really, you wouldn't have to discount
the tour. I would very much like to see a *real* decaying body. :D

Sarah

Oh, and FearSeeker, if you keep outing me, I'm going to have to cut you off!

Jim Warfield
08-09-2008, 01:48 AM
I scared this guy so badly at the tour's conclusion that his butt filled the exit tunnel with recid stink.
Third time is the "charm", so goes the old saying, I had scared him twice before, just moments before he made stains.
Earlier in another group a middle-aged man, a real free spirit, would scream loudly, then laugh just as loudly. We had quite a string of his wonderfull reaction shots going.
I had to ask him after the tour what he did for a living?
He's a computer tech.
I thought he might be an actor or artist, but then, maybe he is?
He was plenty confidant enough to let loose of any possibly binding ego problems and simply enjoy laughter and life.
FUN NIGHT!

actiondeath
08-09-2008, 10:31 AM
Heh... Just because you have a camera doesn't make you a gypsie. Some of us spent a lot of time and money to learn how to use those cameras properly. Something has to pay off eventually. Obviously, the idea would be to do some good for whatever business we're working for/with and get paid for it. If it doesn't do some good, then usually a misunderstanding is to blame. Differences in 'artistic vision', maybe. I know that I always provide a draft (usually several). I've had to completely re-shoot things to please the client. I'll re-do something 100 times if they're not satisfied.

I don't fully understand the situation, but I assume you were aware they were taping your house so that they could... show it to people? If you agreed to let them shoot there and you didn't buy the footage, then the footage kinda belongs to them. However, if they had any decency, they would give credit where due, in the form of a conspicuous graphic or something that says "Jim Warfield did this" and include your haunt info and web address. I'm guessing they didn't do that.

Or the situation could be that you were bamboozled by a couple of kids who have no business shooting or editing video in the first place. In that case, you'll probably know better next time... Or just leave the next-times in the wake of your carnage... Unleash Mr. Tuxedo and his next-time destroying ray gun.

Jim Warfield
08-09-2008, 11:17 AM
As of this summer I will have owned this house 21 years.
From getting a property that had been abandoned for 2 years, extremenly neglected, condemned, I put in tremendous hours and effort (with almost no money ever) to make it a viable house, structure and eventual successfull business.
I have had VERY little help here from anyone else over these 21 years(couldn't afford to hire anything much done, so I did it.)
Adding to the basics of repair and remodelling are the fun, strange things I have made here along with my artwork and the really different tours I give here which also are the direct product and inspiration of being open for house tours almost every night of the year for 20 years.
I strive to be unique, different, entertaining, stimulating.
The majority of my past customers say such things too, not always as a kind compliment! (Hahahah!)
I know that real, decent amounts of money are not made with a shovel in one's hand while testing death in the 95 degree summer sun, nor in a crawlspace with tools bending your back the wrong way and I know that some people think a photographer does almost "nothing" because "The camera does all the work"!
I operate internally, mentally to respond entertainingly to my customers and this type of "work" is , or at least should be, special and different enough to provide more than average rewards if handled correctly and displayed on a larger venue via media, cameras, microphones and the art of capturing images, telling a story .
It's all skill-intensive ..but with no one infront of the camera..nothing happens, this is all I'm saying or trying to put across.

actiondeath
08-09-2008, 11:56 AM
I operate internally, mentally to respond entertainingly to my customers and this type of "work" is , or at least should be, special and different enough to provide more than average rewards if handled correctly and displayed on a larger venue via media, cameras, microphones and the art of capturing images, telling a story .
It's all skill-intensive ..but with no one infront of the camera..nothing happens, this is all I'm saying or trying to put across.

You are absolutely right. I'm doing a HUGE promotion for a car dealership in a couple of weeks that will include a multi-camera live webcast of the event. We're trying like hell to find a "host" of sorts to speak to the contestants and work the viewing audience a little bit. It's not something that everyone can do convincingly and it's really not something that can be taught (at least that's my experience). I just get the feeling that somehow somewhere along the line, you have been screwed by substandard representation of what you do and that you condemn photo/video people because of it. My point was that, though it's not a necessity by any stretch of the imagination (I've never seen photos or video of your show and I'd LOVE to come see it sometime), if it's done well it usually yields positive results.

Greg Chrise
08-09-2008, 12:10 PM
Those silly Japanese are at it again.

http://www.asylum.com/2008/08/07/japanese-prison-theme-restaurant/

It looks like some time was spent on the decor, the prison cells, the experience but, the camera makes it look stupid. The lighting is not what would be great on a sound bite on the CBS news and so it goes to viral video only a few minutes long.

They may have been there for days. Getting a crowd that actually laughed at the prison break antics.

I fear the Raven's Grin Inn is so complex that an editor wouldn't know where to start or what the over all statement should be. Once you get past the first two rooms it would take hollywood lighting to capture anything and a few hours setting up for it to not be a grainy piece of crap. Then there is the interaction factor as opposed to here are a few inanimate objects.

Somehow the entire jist these days must match the attention span of about 2 minutes and written word no longer than 2 paragraphs or unfrotunately it ends up in someone's private collection or the cutting room floor.

Article I have seen generally tend to be about 18 paragraphs before the reporter thinks they have said something or described it properly. And of course each viewer might have an one of 30 possible ideas of what the Raven's Grin Inn is there for or about. Not meeting any of the other 29 catagories that the general public would find truely entertaining and worth the trip.

So, in a way it is better to not be spending time with hopeful exposure. Only videos you participated in might provide some end product. The only thing missing in the deal is perhaps a copy of raw footage must be provided before they leave! If nothing comes of it you can use it. If they are making money from it, you have an origional copy of the content and you are the guy in the video and that kind of implies it is your content and your copywrite, so where is your money?

Where is your $100 per hour for 15 hours work? No deposit and a percentage of production gains, no deal. Unless you want raw footage to have in your private collection fo future creations. You could have been running a tour for 10 people in those same hours. It might be interupting this normal operation or you being available to see tours at the front of the house as usual.

Now that you have seen the prison restaurant video, does it make you want to go there and be treated like a prisoner? How fun is that? I know it wouldn't be popular here as it seems everyone besides me has been in prison. And I'm not going.

Greg Chrise
08-09-2008, 12:40 PM
We had two news crews go through. One put only the cute objects in some of the halls on camera and it attracted lots of parents with 2 year old kids. Not what the other 17 rooms were about. The other camera crew went all the way through while it was in action and no report was made from it.

So, the following year neither crew came out. The fire cheif of the haunted event fame, was pissed. He is expected to get in front of the camera at every fire and accident and explain what happened and that relationship was now over since they wouldn't cover his haunted house fund raiser.

Even if you had paid for their involvement it would not have worked.

No matter what, this limited time frame made it not work properly. Even these travel channel shows about haunted houses take the same 5 clips and run the same ones over and over in between supposed know it alls. It's like sesame street. Can you name the 5 clips?

I'm afraid the only one's that felt good about it would be those getting a paycheck for their effort. Maybe those feeding an ego to be considered an authority. Look I'm somebody. It says so on my resume. I'm in the phone book!

The overwhelming part is, you know how many tours I saw at the Raven's Grin Inn and still left overwhelmed with being able to make sense of what I had witnessed. All the varied ways people interact is not cut and dried like having 30 drop panels. One can't take one specific fomula away and those that think they have figured it all out are idiots. So, you end up with an idiotic view out there in the world.

Like the guy who told me he could do a Raven's Grin Inn and all the while be running his other businesses and be paying off a $650,000 mortgage just because of a good location. So I spent an hour explaining how it must be your 100% devotion hundreds of hours a week to succeed.

So over the past few years even you have made more than 8700 posts and haven't even scratched the surface of what it is you do. Can you put it all into one meaningful paragraph? In a lot of ways those "spy videos" I found on Utube are better than any scripted, thought out production.

FearSeeker
08-09-2008, 12:54 PM
First, just to be clear, Action, I don't think that everyone with a camera is out to get you, and Greg, you are correct that the Japanese prison restaurant video definitely did not make me want to go there and be treated like a prisoner. However, it did remind me of a couple of things that I did as a kid when visiting relatives in Texas, and I'm wondering if these are still around and if they would work today.

First, I remember going to a rustic country restaurant where they would have shootouts acted out during the course of the meal. It traumatized me so much as a kid, I really think my parents had to at least take me outside until all of the shooting stopped.

Second, I remember going through something similar on a train ride that was overtaken by bandits wearing masks (I think bandanas) and cowboy hats. Again, the gunfire was traumatizing, and they had people chasing them up and down the train aisles and they were all shooting at each other. Surely they were shooting blanks. It was like in both cases, they were reenacting the Old West.

I'm just wondering if something like this could be recreated into a haunt today and whether it would work. Let's bring back the Old West and traumatize all of the kids who visit. Maybe that's why I'm so screwed up. :)

actiondeath
08-09-2008, 04:01 PM
I fear the Raven's Grin Inn is so complex that an editor wouldn't know where to start or what the over all statement should be.

See, in my world, Jim would be the editor. I'm having trouble with this... Have any of you actually paid someone or allowed someone to represent your business in some form of mass communication without making sure that you had the final say? That would seem like a huge risk to me. It's usually one of the first things my new clients ask.


Somehow the entire jist these days must match the attention span of about 2 minutes and written word no longer than 2 paragraphs or unfrotunately it ends up in someone's private collection or the cutting room floor.

That seems to be the case, but it's not destructive. Many businesses have responded by simply making more articles and videos or splitting them into shorter attention grabbing sections ("True Netherworld Story - Harvestman" for example). I think it's easier to highlight EVERY aspect of the subject matter that way. Sure you can't describe the ENTIRE haunt in two minutes, but you can describe one scene, or one snippet of it's history. It's easier to keep people's attention that way too. Take advantage of involuntary impulses and make them WANT to see more. It's the same concept TV has been using for years just to keep people in their seats between commercials.


The only thing missing in the deal is perhaps a copy of raw footage must be provided before they leave! If nothing comes of it you can use it. If they are making money from it, you have an origional copy of the content and you are the guy in the video and that kind of implies it is your content and your copywrite, so where is your money? Where is your $100 per hour for 15 hours work? No deposit and a percentage of production gains, no deal.

Exactly! No shooting can occur without your say so. Therefore, you have TOTAL control. A production company on site should never hinder operation or cost you customers. I'm like a fly on the wall at every event that I do. This should be discussed along with all intentions for the footage during the initial proposal. If all they want is stock footage for future use, they should pay you in some form or another, but amount and frequency should be set fourth and maybe even written out and signed before any shooting takes place. If they are producing a promo featuring you and your actors and that promo says "my haunted house is like this" and "you should come here" then you should at least appreciate it, if not give them a little something for it. Even if they are just kids. If they were simply given permission to shoot there and that's all that was discussed, that's dangerous ground to walk on. Your control slips out the window. The first meeting should make it or break it.

I'm speaking strictly about aspiring film-makers and practical production folks here... If we are talking about the media or, not to pick on the handicapped, but... *gulp* haunt reviewers, you're on your own. With them, it's ALL risk. It could be really good, it could be really bad. You just have to realize that and make that call before you ever let them in.