Monday, November 16, 2009

This is Halloween, Everybody Make a Scene!! Part 1

Well not everyone but we sure did make a scene...


The Haunted Pumpkin Patch was open Fri and Sat night. Irene was super bummed because we had a crazy wind storm that blew over the cemetery hours sign and broke it. She was bummed that was until a child asked us, 'What ate the sign?!?!' Which we thought was super awesome so that's what we told people. We had some technical difficulties on Friday night. Crappy mic that made the main effect impossible to understand. We solved it and Saturday night went off without a hitch. We had...uh, hundreds of kids and adults stop by to enjoy the show. What we've decided is that for next year we need minions! Irene and I just can't do it all alone anymore. So, we're taking volunteers for next year! It's a super fun wholesome time, scaring the poop outta people.

When driving down our street this 'carved stone' sign was the first thing you'd see. It would be hard not to since Irene attached it to the telephone pole out in front of our house. Much to the chagrin of our neighbor who is a little protective of 'his' power pole...


Irene attached a battery powered strobing string of LED's to the sign to be sure to bring kids in from far away.

Here's our good friend Shannon giving Irene a break from baby duty. Notice the bench on the sidewalk. It was full all night with people watching the show. We even had some neighbors come over and sit down and hand out candy from our bench. If you were a kid you could get 3 houses worth of candy from just one stop!




Irene made this super awesome Lost posters. Last year we had a lost zombie so this year she changed it up a bit and did a 'Lost Zombie Pumpkin'. I have no idea what that would be exactly... Irene put these posters up ALL OVER THE PLACE!!! I think she printed up like 60 of them and put them all up around our neighborhood, around the local grade school and in the fancy-pants Halloween neighborhood. They totally worked we had tons of people who came by just because they saw the poster. One thing we didn't think of, was, a bunch of kids asked us all these serious questions about our lost zombie pumpkin.. Like, when was the last time we saw it, what did it look like exactly, where did we think it had wandered off to! Cause, they were going to find it! It was super-precious and totally caught us off guard... I think next year if we advertise the same way we'll have to make a costume up and have someone peep out at the kids every once in a while...oh wait, brainstorm...maybe we'll take pictures of someone in the costume at different famous spots all over the island and post em on the blog during the month of Oct....like, 'Last Scene in the vicinity of the aircraft carrier hornet...' or last scene prowling Franklin Park looking for a snack...

Here's the completely done graveyard during the daytime...not so scary huh? The kids had to walk down that path defined by the bricks to get the candy and to talk to Bob.







What do you think about it now? You can see the ghost in the window and Bob the giant floating head of doom that appears in the enchanted spider web every Halloween to talk to children. Bob, as always, was the run-away hit of the night. The kids love talking and interacting with him. Bob is a 'digital puppet' from the folks at imagineering and is controlled via laptop.


Here's a shot of some teenagers talking to Bob, they were telling him silly Halloween jokes. I gotta say, that the teenagers in Alameda are pretty well behaved.




Another arty shot looking through the lock.







Daytime shot of the graveyard to show detail.







Same shot at night....spooooooooky. Actually, the graveyard at night was super spooky. HauntNerd Alert-Irene figured out how to author Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks with Adobe Premiere. She burned a DVD with a video of a pumpkin burning and then 4 separate sound tracks. For the graveyard we attached sonic transducers to the tombstones and used 2 of the tracks to output what's called a 'whisper track', which is a spooky track of ghosts whispering-think the others from lost. When you walked through the graveyard you were surrounded by the whispers that seems to move around you as the stereo track panned left and right. When the kids would ask what that was I would say its the whispers of the disturbed dead. They wouldn't believe me of course but I would tell them to bend over and listen near the ground and, viola, the whispers got louder! Cause when they bent over their heads got closer to the tombstone which was actually where the sound was coming from. This freaked a lot of kids, and adults out.

Here's our Scare-Crow. Check out the corn behind it. Our neighbor on the corner grew this crazy corn that literally grew as tall as a two story house! He let us have as much as we wanted!! Doesn't it make the Scare-Crow look uh, more Scare-Crowy? One of the 5.1 audio tracks was for the scarecrow. He pleaded for people to unchain him, that he would be good unlike last year, and that he wouldn't eat anyones brains this year... The Scare-Crow had a single acting pneumatic cylinder in his back that was controlled by the person handing out candy. When his audio track got to the scary part or just whenever the person felt like it they could activate him and he shook and looked like he was trying to free himself from his chains. It worked okay but I shoulda used a double acting cylinder with a longer throw to really get him shaking. It did really scare my VERY pregnant neighbor....which I realized after the fact probably wasn't the smartest thing to do.....

Mr. Scare-Crow at night. This alone was so scary a lot of kids wouldn't even walk down the path past him to get to the candy! Its all about the lighting.







Here's the far side of the house and the 'Hell Hole'. We went crazy this year for the 'carved stone' signs. I love this sign as it can be used year round for our house because it is an unfinished, 'hell hole'!! Actually, Irene was a bit peeved that I used the word Hell, she thought that it was kinda swear-wordy for the kids.. The big demon is kinda the backdrop and up on the right are two smaller demons that fly into view over the 'hell mouth' which was two fake fire bowls and a string of orange rope lights.






The Hell Hole at night! Spoooky, You can see the demon in motion overhead and the orange flames flickering on the white walls. I initially just wanted 'something' on this side of the house so it wouldn't look bare and of course got a little bit carried away... We think it turned out really great thought.







Big shot of the house during the day time. You can see the spiders that took over the front of the house and another winged demon flying over the driveway...and our trash cans, not very goth Azazel...







The house at night with everything on. Love that moon in the upper right corner. You can just barely see in the middle window this giant eyeball that would appear and look around. We back projected a couple of avi's onto the white lace curtain and it looked pretty good. Notice the rats on the stairway again.


Here's me in my madscientist get-up getting the spiced cider ready for the big night. We put a table in the driveway with healthier snacks for the adults and hot spiced cider for everyone. It was a big hit with us going through a ton of cider, it was a little chilly that night so people seemed pretty grateful for the warmth.

Another night time shot with everything 'on'. The avi in the window has morphed into this creepy demon face where spiders came out of his mouth.

Here's our lazy grave digger Slappy, he's new to the graveyard this year. You can see he's taking a break from digging the poor fellow's grave. He's snoozing on his shovel! One of the 5.1 tracks was just a snoring loop for slappy. When you got up close enough you could hear him snoring. Also, notice at Slappy's feet the half drunk bottle of Thunderbird! We actually found this in the house when we were cleaning it out after we bought it...and now its a Halloween prop! He doesn't look so scary in the daylight but...


At night it was a different matter! The poor fellow at Slappy's feet would spring to life, jumping up at the people talking to Bob. Bob called him his pet zombie Zack. Zack scared the bejesus out of a lot of kids...and adults...one kid literally went screaming down the street! Which I felt kinda bad about...not!


Here's the obligatory shot of The MadScientist, and Misses MadScientist and Baby MadScientist!!! This was towards the end on Halloween night, we were tired but happy.. also a bit outta focus!





Another blury shot of the family MadScientist at the end of a long night...did I mention that we need minions!








This is Part 1 Part 2 will have more pictures and videos of the big night and maybe some 'making of' stuff...

4 comments:

Mom said...

Wow! What did your neighbors have to say about all this? You really did a lot in the week between when we were there to "help" and Halloween. It looked great!!!

PerfessorEvil said...

Love the pumpkin zombie idea.

Auntie Sue said...

I second the "WOW!" Was Natasha scared by any of this? You guys are really amazing!

LLinNYC said...

Please enter a contest; you guys are unbeatable! Amazing. Amazingly spooooooooky, I mean.