Friday, January 24, 2014

Plans and Schemes (Schematics, anyway)

Finalized our builds for this year's haunt, now we can start acquiring the materials and building a little at a time. The project list looks like:
  • Hard-wiring all the LEDs for the candles
  • Building a free-standing mausoleum
  • Building a free-standing entrance to our crypt
  • Building a crypt inside the garage
  • Creating a burial vault for the other garage door
  • Creating a free-standing tomb in the garage
  • Creating dried-out corpses
The basic plans for the structures are below:
The crypt entrance

The mausoleum

The basic ideas:
This would be perfect for the New Orleans-themed section. 

Image courtesy of the Vatican

Image courtesy of National Geographic

Once the structures are built, they'll be extensively weathered and detailed. The crypt entrance will (ideally) have two wooden doors (foam really) or two wrought-iron (PVC) gates, and a broken section of wall on the side. The trick-or-treaters will enter the front gate, pass through the gap in the wall, and make their way to the front porch. They'll be able to look inside the garage to see the crypt scene, which will be lit with a blue spotlight above (a "moonlight" effect) and candelabras/candles for accent lighting. Inside the crypt entrance is still up in the air. I haven't decided what, if anything, to put in there. I'm debating either a "stained glass" window effect or just a painting on the unbroken wall, with more accent lighting.

The mausoleum for the New Orleans side will have Spanish Moss draped everywhere and maybe some flat tombstones on the driveway to give it a crowded look common in cemetaries in that area. Maybe we'll do a firefly lighting effect, and we'll probably have a static blacklit ghost in the mausoleum itself. Potentially may try a Pepper's Ghost effect in the crypt, we'll see how much time we end up with.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy Hallownewyear

Welcome to 2014!
SpiderWitch, Drac Jr, and your gracious host had a most enjoyable holiday. And now that the Christmas ornaments are put away and everything is back to normal (more or less), it's time to start thinking about Halloween.

If we learned anything from last year, it's that we need more time to accommodate the last-minute projects and the stuff which doesn't work the way we envisioned. So we'll be starting in July. Which means we need to determine the project list, well, now if we're going to be ready to start.

SpiderWitch wants to do a New Orleans-themed vignette on the side of the house opposite the front door. Spanish moss, urns with flowers and candles in front of above-ground crypts, maybe some lightning bugs darting lazily among the trees. If we could open the crypt, perhaps a ghoul inside with a fluorescent light.

In front of the garage, we plan to put up a canopy and build some walls to represent a crypt entrance- wrought iron doors on rusty hinges will open up to a dark enclosed space; the garage door will be up, but blocked off by another wrought iron gate opening up on a crypt with skeletons resting on niches in the walls, and a central sarcophagus. Maybe a Pepper's Ghost type illusion in here.

Exiting through a hole in the "wall", the guests will make their way to the porch, where the front door will have been replaced by Drac's coffin lid. Maybe- this might be too scary, and honestly I'm still on the fence about it.

We're trying to figure out where to put "the girls"- our Weeping Angels. We plan to put at least one of them on a turntable and have her move in response to guests.

We're going to try to use social media to do a "dress rehearsal" where the kids can come out in costume and take pictures ahead of the big day.

Stay tuned, we'll be updating the blog with more projects...