Jeremy D Brooks

Halloween

Halloween Wrap-Up

by on Nov.02, 2010, under Halloween, Writing

First: Business.

I have a giveaway up on Goodreads for AMITY…stop by and enter to win one of three paperback copies!

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Next: Fun stuff.

The haunted house was chaotic, loud, and messy. In all, a success.

The layout worked just like I planned, but the details almost killed me during the setup…plus, I had one fogger and one timer fail in the first hour, one corrupted audio file, a dead speaker system, and I dropped a blacklight an two hours before dusk (my wife found two replacements at Walmart, by some All Hallows Eve miracle).

My neighbor tallies all of the visitors to our houses on a ticker. I didn’t catch him for the final total, but based on his early count, I’m guessing we had close to 725.

Fun, but holy crap am I glad I only do this once a year.

It’s almost getting to be too much for me to set up and break down, though. I need to figure out something new for next year. Something like striking it rich so I can buy a warehouse to keep decorated all year round. Yeah, something like that.

I was so busy that I didn’t get any pictures, but I did take ten minutes to do a walk-through with my video camera. I did one pass in natural light (or lack thereof), and then a second pass with the infrared mode on (which shows way more detail than a visitor would see, but you can see the props in place).

Enjoy…

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Halloween Madness Part II: Cauldron Creep

by on Oct.20, 2010, under Halloween

Yeah…Cauldron Creep. I’m not sure who names these things, but…there ya go.

Wire frame for the cauldron

This is the biggest build I’m doing this year, and my first animatronic.

The cauldron is a wire frame form coated in my favorite Halloween junk: Monster Mud, a mix of black paint and joint compound, which is messy as hell, impossible to work with, and really fun. The bubbling goo is spray foam—Great Stuff. If you get Great Stuff on your hands, you’re stuck with it for about a week…I go through about thirty pairs of latex gloves in October.

The body is PVC pipe, burlap shroud, and a corpsed skull, much like last year’s Jerky Boy. I hit it with a light coat of UV-activated paint so it has a nice greenish glow under a black light.

The action is driven by a plain ol’ windshield wiper motor…notice how his left arm is floppy and his right arm only moves at the wrist—that’s the key to the illusion. In person, you can see the body flex at the joints just slightly, which gives it a bit more realism.


Creepy's skeleton...I used Kate Moss as inspiration.

The video is pretty detailed…I made it for the gang at HalloweenForum, they like seeing the nitty-gritty workings.

One more big prop to showcase this year, and then I’ll post some final walkthroughs around 11/2 or so.

Creepy prepares for his cucumber mask and mango scrub

Cauldron Creep, aka "Lunch Lady"

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Halloween Madness Part I: Spider Victim

by on Oct.11, 2010, under Halloween

If you followed me on my old blog, you’ll know that I’m kind of insane about Halloween props.

Despite having any kind of tangible time to spend, any money to invest, or any real artistic talent, I’ve decided to continue the tradition.

The first prop this year is a quick and dirty one: take a recycled blucky skeleton, throw some clothes on it, wrap it in nylon webbing, hang it up, and drop a few dozen spiders on it.

And you get an instant Spider Victim:

Horrible fate or family picnic? All a matter of perspective.

Horrible fate or family picnic? All a matter of perspective.

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Also, be sure to swing by and check out my guest essay at Aaron Polson’s blog

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