HauntWorld Home - Forums Home - Live Chat - Find Haunted Houses - Hauntworld Magazine - Haunted House Supplies - America's Best Haunts - Find Vendors
Haunted House News - Haunted Tradeshows - Join Hauntworld Facebook - Hauntworld Twitter - Advertise - Contact Us

Thread: Newbie!!!

Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 40
  1. Default  
    #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    613
    Quote Originally Posted by pickle View Post
    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.
    Last edited by BrotherMysterio; 06-03-2012 at 12:49 AM.
     

  2. Default  
    #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Atlantic City (area), NJ
    Posts
    180
    Quote Originally Posted by BrotherMysterio View Post
    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.
     

  3. Default  
    #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    613
    Quote Originally Posted by pickle View Post
    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.
     

  4. Default  
    #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Atlantic City (area), NJ
    Posts
    180
    Quote Originally Posted by BrotherMysterio View Post
    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.
     

  5. Default I Guess That "theme" Stuff Can Be tricky? 
    #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    Posts
    12,783
    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!
     

  6. Default  
    #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mesquite, TX
    Posts
    2,788
    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
     

  7. Default  
    #17
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Mount Pleasant, MI
    Posts
    349
    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!!
     

  8. Default  
    #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Atlantic City (area), NJ
    Posts
    180
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkTikiEntertainment View Post
    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.

    P.
     

  9. Default  
    #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    613
    Quote Originally Posted by pickle View Post
    I will try & post as many pics & vids as I can...we have some really cool things planned. Thanks again.
    Did you ever sort out your theme?

    C.
     

  10. Default  
    #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Atlantic City (area), NJ
    Posts
    180
    Quote Originally Posted by BrotherMysterio View Post
    Did you ever sort out your theme?

    C.
    I think so...LOL 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.
     

Thread Information
Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •