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Archive for Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 03:02 pm GMT -5

And the next phase begins….

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 03:02 pm GMT -5

I have long wanted to make a 3D virtual “fly through” of the haunted house ride so people could see what has been in my head all these year. Well – it’s time to make that happen… or at least go down that path.

 A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a very talented artist at the Valley Forge Convention Center. He told me he could do exactly what I wanted. It took us a while to schedule something, but on 7/25 we finally had our first real meeting.

 What happened at that meeting can only be described as magical. I seldom “click” with people artistically – because I have my own vision of what I want. But not only did we click, but he took the meeting and brought the project some direction I desperately needed.

 Rather than just taking my money and giving me what I want – he explained there was a better “path” to get better results. This path is concept art.

 Concept art is something I have always been aware of and a fan of for years. I was aware the Disney always started with the artists drawing what the projects should look like – then the imagineers would build from the artwork… kinda like a creative blueprint.

 Here’s some concept work for the Country Bear Jamboree:

     And here’s the final product:   

 As you can see the two look exactly like each other… and what finally “clicked” with me was that it is going to me MUCH easier to re-draw a piece of artwork than to rebuild an animatronic robot that I built incorrectly. (This is all happening at the same time I am now re sculpting a mask because I didn’t plan properly last year… and wasted a month sculpting an unusable mask!)

 Of corse this is not free – and to be honest, it’s the most money I’ve put into this project in years – but it’s going to be well worth it. I am excited to share the artwork with everyone…..

Stay tuned….

I’m looking for some suggestions….

Friday, July 22nd, 2011 01:08 pm GMT -5

Ok, I gotta share some of my ride ideas in order to get the correct feedback…

 One of my ideas was to have a robotic band entertain guests in line for the ride, most of the places around here use real bands on SOME nights for a FEW hours… I wanted to have more  entertainment available… and I wanted to make the “waiting in line” part to be almost as entertaining as the ride.

 Long story short – I ended up getting an old Rock Afire Explosion band from ShowBiz Pizza. (Kinda like Chuck E Cheese – only cool!)  But there are a couple of reasons I can’t use it as it is today…:

 1) Copyright – The copyright holder has made it clear he doesn’t want people using his characters to play any new material for commercial reasons unless he has control of it… and I can’t afford that.

2) Theme – this is the most important part to me. The “feel” of my haunted house is very “Dark Shadows”ish…. Victorian, Gothic, maybe even a little Steam-punk…. but not singing animals.

 So, I need to either scrap the idea all together – or re-theme the robots in a way to get them to fit into my attraction.

  I have thought about stripping them down to their Terminator-Looking frames…. but that doesn’t fit Victorian-Gothic idea any more than singing animals! I’ve thought about sculpting new masks/feet/hands to make the characters human but the main structure of the robots wouldn’t allow the masks to be sculpted realistically… the bots would have to look like charactertures. (Cartoon-ish people…. see next picture)

  I also though about simply making up a “back story” as to why the band is made up of singing animals… (The crazy mad scientist created a potion that animated his dead daughter’s stuffed animals…?)

 So, although I can stomache most of the ideas (singing Terminator robots…. possessed stuffed animals) none of the ideas turn me on.

 I am looking for any suggestions you may have as to a way I can use this robotic show to entertain people, without a major re-engineering of the entire thing.

 It’s in your hands…. thoughts?

I’m soooooo busy!

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 05:00 pm GMT -5

I can’t even begin to think about an update of any significance… but I did want everyone to know I am not just “vanishing” and working on something else… I am honestly still working feverishly on this project.

 The newest thing I have to share is the completed plastic logo for the sides of the ride cars.

 I made a silicone mold of the original sculpture and then poured polyurethane plastic into it… followed by a quick coat of stain…

 More to follow soon… honest!

My First Video Post…

Monday, July 11th, 2011 04:05 pm GMT -5

The Hat Box Ghost….

I’ll probably delete this in a day or so. I found this on Facebook and thought a few people I know might like to see it.

I found it facinating that even after all these years, there are still discoveries being made about the history of the Haunted Mansion.