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Thread: Warning system for actors (question)

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  1. Default Warning system for actors (question) 
    #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Frederick, Maryland
    Posts
    194
    More and more I hear and see actors waiting to pounce on someone who may or may not be coming down the dark hallway. On those slow periods where the actor is face planted against plywood peeking through the tiny peep-holes I ask this question:
    Would it be a good idea to have a warning system for actors?
    Some actors have sounds from props for letting them know people are coming. But other actors just wait and wait especially just before closing time.
    Here is an interesting fact. Depends on who you ask this question to you get different answers.
    The owners of haunts (the ones I know) would say there is little need to make them as there is such a little need for them.
    The actors (the ones I asked) would say, hell yes it would be nice to have a warning system.

    There is a need for an actor warning system but I don’t see it being useful during the busy times until closing time. The warning system could be something as simple as a dim LED that goes on where the actor needs to be. When a person comes near the actor can be ready and waiting, without that waiting and waiting feeling that takes down the testosterone actors have.

    Very interested in your thoughts on this.
    RIP

    ~The Imagineer~

    Andrew de Ruiter

    Download part 1 of Andrew's Black Book of ideas for haunts here:
    http://www.epubbud.com/book.php?g=EGQDK8HZ
     

  2. Default  
    #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mesquite, TX
    Posts
    2,788
    I use peepholes, not just where the scare is but also at an advanced position so they can see them coming. As long as the expense is low I think a warning system is a good idea- have you seen these? I stab the speaker so it stops working, then the red LEDs are the warning for the actors.
    http://www.harborfreight.com/wireles...tem-93068.html

    they also have this one but you need to rewire the LED so it can be on the other side of the wall.
    I have done both as actor alarm and they both work well.
    Allen H
     

  3. Default Great link 
    #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Frederick, Maryland
    Posts
    194
    Thanks Allen this is a great link. And its good to know you are pro warning system too.

    I like this as a warning unit but someone out there reading this should remake these and sell them to haunters. Maybe remove the LEDs and use a single green light. Or even better, use a yellow for a 'get ready' setting and then a green LED for 'go'.

    Andrew
    RIP

    ~The Imagineer~

    Andrew de Ruiter

    Download part 1 of Andrew's Black Book of ideas for haunts here:
    http://www.epubbud.com/book.php?g=EGQDK8HZ
     

  4. Default  
    #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    150
    or how about have an animatronic jump out at the actor to let him know it's time to jump out at the customers!

     

  5. Default  
    #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Bluff City, TN
    Posts
    97
    This is actually a good idea I think. Too many times I have actors left standing in ready positions when no one is coming right then. Really kills their excitement level. Currently we use a few sounds and each actor along a chain listens for them. But that's easy to miss over the sound of props and distance. I was thinking of just hooking several small lights together on a strand and go through each room. Our outside actor just pushes a button to make them blink once or twice giving a " here they come " signal that is quiet and won't be noticed.
     

  6. Default Maybe "design" would help? 
    #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    Posts
    12,798
    The Scare-Actor has more than one hiding place to keep them using that "Testy-Stuff". I know,"I'm bored" gets quickly replaced by ,"I can't do THAT!"
    I have never been able to understand boredum when you are waiting to scare someone? Just ME, I guess? As a small kid I had patience to out-wait others when that meant that you would "Win" and they would be Losing.
    Maybe my other personality quirks and short-comings need to be off-set by this, or..... something?
     

  7. Default  
    #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Bluff City, TN
    Posts
    97
    I can wait myself with little problem and so can a few other actors I have. We basically are our characters..we patrol our areas and keep in the mindset even when we aren't scaring someone.. Others just can't. When they get bored they wander off to find others to talk with or do something. Not a problem when we're slammed but when we aren't it's gets annoying.
     

  8. Default  
    #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    DFW, Texas
    Posts
    72
    I've also seen this done with a basic motion sensor security light from Home Depot. Using the sensor, The light it triggers could be in the next scene with your actor(s) and made a practical light in the scene, such as a desk lamp, or LED candle. They know when this light in their room comes on it's go time.
     

  9. Default  
    #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    388
    I use effects and noises, and even specific commands actors shout out at unsuspecting visitors. For example, in one room I have an antique telephone on a stand (next to our coffin). The actor in the coffin has a plunger switch in the coffin with them that rings the phone. This lets the person in the next room know someone is coming in. And it adds a little to the room with the coffin.

    In another room, I have an actor that yells to passing patrons to "Look at me" as they begin to enter the next room, alerting the actor in the next room to drop a panel. Works every time!
    Travis "Big T" Russell
    President
    Big T Productions Inc

    Owner and Operator of "The Plague" and "Camp Nightmare"

    Customer Quote of the year: "Damn, I pissed myself"
     

  10. Default  
    #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Prattville Alabama
    Posts
    133
    Years ago I put a lot of thought into building a system that would track patrons as they moved through the house with the use of motion sensors, door switches and switch mats. I started drawing up plans for units that had multiple LEDs, ones that could be numbered to represent each room in the house and would light up as customers went through the house. I wanted each room to be linked to a central unit that could relay triggers and signals out to all the other room units so that they would all be displaying the same information. This really wouldn’t be that hard to configure. So I started thinking of what else I could use these units for. A panic or trouble button came to mind. Another set of LEDs that could light up red for trouble, and indicate where the problem was in the house. Then I figured I could add a siren to the central unit that would go off whenever someone pushed a panic or trouble button in the house. I kept adding additional functionality like additional LEDs to each unit to indicate when the house was in run or stop mode, break times, etc… I really thought that I could build this system that would keep everyone up to speed on what was going on in the house. I even had an idea to incorporate a telephone system into the units so rooms could talk to one another if they wanted.

    Then I started adding up the cost of the components; LEDs, relays, switches, connectors, wire, project boxes, etc… It added up to well over $1000.00. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for me to decide that this wasn’t a cost effective solution. I still think something like this would be great to have in a haunt and possibly someone that has connections in the home security industry might be able to put something similar together at a much more cost effective price.
     

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