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michilson
08-08-2008, 12:07 AM
A little about the Haunt and me!

Iím 24 and been designing haunts for several years for my parents campground! My day job is a Cad Drafter so I have a lot of Designing tools at my disposal (I can completely design a Haunt In a 3D environment in a couple days with stunning details!

About the haunt: Being a campground this is a temporary display (space is used for winter storage) I have been designing this for several years trying to make improvements where we can. It once was outside threw the woods on a hiking trail due to North western PA Fall weather (Rainy and Cold) we moved this event inside and large improvement over the outdoor event. This was started with ropes hung from ceiling with black plastic.

This doesnít make for a vary scary haunt and we loose a lot of space due to this fact. I have a couple thousand in Dj Quality Sound systems and Lighting and Fog to give some theatrical help to the show. But even with that lacking in Scary punch. We are trying to draw more outside visitors and not just campers but itís been slow without a lot of extra financial help backing the haunt.

Here are the questions?

I had done some design ideas for a Wall system using 2x4 and ľ Ply is this the system of choice? How and where do you store a system like this for non-dedicated space like I have described?

Is there a better alternative to buying pre made motion figures? (Air powered devices) and does anyone have designs and costs to build that they have done? And what pars and where to find them?

And I see a lot of control topics thrown out there! Iíd love to start looking at this too.
Where and what should I be looking at the rooms not that big so single audio source wouldnít be a bad thing or the midi triggering topic Iíve seen sound interesting!

Iíd also like to know how and what software packages if you guys can help do you use to make the web banners and video trailers for promos?

I know there are a lot of questions here. And my budget is vary little I use to help out the high school drama club building seats but a lot of there practices wont work in this format due to weak to resist a bump into!


Thanks for all your help Guys If any of you do have stuff your looking to liquidate please let me know and maybe we can work out some kind of deal!



As a side note If anyone would like to work with me to design a haunt or lay something out for you please let me know at m_chilson@hotmail.com
Please list subject as ## Halloween Design Job ## so that it doesnt get deleted.
Would conside design work for a trade for old un-used props or walls!!

RJ Productions
08-08-2008, 02:25 AM
As almost everyone will tell you, if you are serious you will make arrangements and go to the TW Haunt Show. It will be in St. louis next year and affords a great opportunity to tour the Darkness.
Our first year we made the committment and did TW in Chicago before we even built our forst wall. We did the seminars, met everyone possible and asked tons of questions. It was by far the best business decision we ever made. 10 years later we are still in business, because we treat it as a business.

No matter how little your budget is, factor in a TW trip fisrt even if you must put off opening a year or two. The valuable lessons you learn are well worth the investment.

Good luck.

michilson
08-08-2008, 05:33 PM
Here's the listing of what Iím trying to do this year for my haunt.

Im going to put word in at the local high school's drama class, and Art classes to try to get some volunteer to help get the gowlís and goblins and detail painting done.

Iím going to try to release a media invite for a night before Opening to try to spark interest from local TV news and Radio channels!

As for other forms of advertising Iím making a Myspace Page adding a large number of teens and early college students from 50 mile radius.

I could use a little help from anyone in this area who would be willing to donate there time to help this industry get a footing in NWPA. I need a couple of web banners and I would like to talk to anyone with knowledge about creating a Video Trailer for the Haunt

Iím also going to try to get a few sponsorships from different places in town to get more word out and to help cover a little of the up front cost.

Does anyone have any success getting Loweís or Home Depot to donate Lumber or give a good discount for Sponsorship Plans?

I will keep all informed on my progress and would appreciate help from any of you willing to help get a vary young Haunt get itís feet under it.

shawnc
08-08-2008, 06:28 PM
Welcome! Sounds like you have a great start to something that could become very big.

There is a search link at the top of the page here. It's a great feature because there have been tons of posts on almost any topic you can think of and you can read through them at your leisure.

Do a search for panels. That is the most often term used for temporary walls. Generally, most people will frame their plywood with 2X4s or 2X3s laid on their sides, which saves you a couple of inches of depth on every panel for easier storage. Drill holes in the same spots on every panel and you can easily bolt them together.

There are several sites that have lots of ideas for building props and creating other scares and effects, some pretty lame but some pretty amazing. I have listed some below and others will probably add to the list. Youtube is also a good resource, both for how-tos and for a look at haunts others have built.

Hope all this helps.

http://www.hauntproject.com/

http://www.halloweenmonsterlist.info/

http://www.phantasmechanics.com/

http://www.caryn.com/holiday/haunted-house/diy.html

Jim Warfield
08-08-2008, 06:59 PM
..and after you have done about 25 minutes of reading you will realise that there is really nothing to this business and that's where the insecurity comes from, anybody can do this and just sit there taking in the money with negliable effort, everything, the advertising , hiring the helpless, running the place will all just fall into place after about 10 minutes of concentrating on the problems involved. We just pound these squeaky little keys for other reasons, (Don't we!) We are all aliens communicating in codes, we really aren't discussing the haunted house business at all, who would really need to do that?
We will be over tonight, visiting you as you sleep to adjust your DNA to match ours. I doesn't hurt, well it does hurt but we erase your memory of the pain later, if we remember.
We did screw up once, we went to Shane's bedroom, it was dark, we grabbed his teddy bear by mistake. That Teddy is now running for congress, successfully too!

FearSeeker
08-08-2008, 09:11 PM
Oh, Jim. It's too early to scare the newbie. :)

MMManiac
08-08-2008, 10:12 PM
All I can say is THANK GOD i love haunting otherwise i would have ran away a LOOOOONG time ago.... :-D

FearSeeker
08-09-2008, 12:25 AM
I hear you, Sean! So far, so good on keeping your haunt for this year??? I hope so!!!!!

Haunting Copy
08-09-2008, 01:17 AM
Iím going to try to release a media invite for a night before Opening to try to spark interest from local TV news and Radio channels!

Someone in the forums mentioned they had done this, and to
generally good effect.

Problem was, the haunt hadn't been through any trials yet. The little
difficulties and problem areas that inevitably pop up during those
first run-throughs were witnessed by the press.

Now that haunt owner waits until a couple days after opening night to
show the press.

Just something to think about. :)

Sarah

Jim Warfield
08-09-2008, 11:35 AM
I think it paid off (20 yrs.later, still here) before I went seeking major-media notice.
"You never get a second chance to make a first impression."
Do people give a new restaurant a second chance if the food was crapp?
Customers will feel their investment in time, travel and ticket price was wasted if there is little "show" for all of their effort$.
Some real haunt fans will be back arriving to se what you have improved, what good work may have happened?
I hope as a newbie you have not (knot?) tied your thinking too tightly to all the old monsters that have went before and the same old storylines, but then, defining your audience and show can be the most important thinking that you will be doing.
"Showmanship" will carry you passed weak or mild displays. "Storyline" (if you are telling a story?) will also have the potential to lift your efforts into a place within your patron's memory banks, insuring a returning, eager cusromer who doesn't need to badger you for a discounted ticket price because you have already made a "Believer" in them.
Selling tickets can be so quick without whinning, bartering and trading in a good laying hen in leu of real money.
Then you can begin their show quicker too!
(Storing live chickens is a pain, I wonder how Larry K. does it?)

FearSeeker
08-09-2008, 12:31 PM
Someone in the forums mentioned they had done this, and to
generally good effect.

Problem was, the haunt hadn't been through any trials yet. The little
difficulties and problem areas that inevitably pop up during those
first run-throughs were witnessed by the press.

Now that haunt owner waits until a couple days after opening night to
show the press.

Just something to think about. :)

Sarah

I actually have attended some of these events for a haunt where the media, etc., are invited, and I agree with Sarah that you should have definitely gone through several actual run-throughs before inviting them.

I also want to say that if you are serving food and/or drinks at this event or having anything catered in, please make sure it's at least decent and served while still hot, or else cater in something that is not supposed to be hot. At times we have ended up having to wait a really long time for these events to get started because they haven't done their prior run-throughs. Sometimes by the time the food is served, it is cold and not very appetizing. And the drinks can be the same way, warm when they are supposed to be ice cold, etc. And sometimes they run out of food for the people at the end of buffet lines at these events. You don't want people to remember the long wait or yucky food or drinks that were served but instead how great the haunt was. ;)

michilson
10-17-2008, 09:46 AM
Thanks for all the Ideas and Help. Im looking into a Trailer Haunt Set-up for 2009 to help with not having to tear down each year. And Im looking at a Air Powered Props also.

I'll keep checkin in and providing Updates and sharing a few Design Ideas and 3D CAD renderings of some of the Plans Im going to Build!