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Archive for Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 08:57 pm GMT -5

Documentary Day

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 08:57 pm GMT -5

Well, I got an email at 2am letting me know that the crew wouldn’t be able to make it… At least not for now.
The plan (I believe) was to film the set up and preparation – then return later in October to film the haunt “in action”. It sounds like the second part may still be very much possible.
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. And this has not demotivated me in the least. As I said earlier – I’m a bit of an antisocial “Monk” type of person and I am not sure how well that would have translated to television.
What I am taking from this is opportunity is a newly redesigned workshop and some new inspiration I wouldn’t have been able to get any other way.
I am reminded of the way I used to clean my kitchen, bathroom and living room when I had a girlfriend coming over for dinner. I always wanted to make a good impression, but I never bothered to clean the basement or the garage because there was no way she would ever see it.
Well, being told that a film crew might put your work area on national tv has the same effect as telling me some girl is coming over for dinner. I have NEVER been so inspired to clean and organize.
Not only has my work room, art room and equipment all been cleaned and organized, but I was inspired to build some new props that would have “wowed” the producers – but now will be saved for my local viewers only.

So, I can’t say anything turned out poorly.

I even got to spend a few hours with Elia who is the Creative Director for the haunted house ride and he got me thinking about making my own documentary. (Anyone wanna follow me around with a camera on the weekends? … At your own risk! Lol!)

The only negative was I was so stressed about meeting new people I didn’t sleep for a few days, So I’m looking forward to crawling into bed tonight and knowing that my normal “Groundhog Day” of a life return when the alarm clock goes off tomorrow.

As for my fifteen minutes of fame? I guess that’ll have to wait for something more exciting!


I-pads and Why I am an Ass

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 08:30 pm GMT -5

Well, it’s that time of year again. I decided to not have a Halloween display to free up some time for the “big” haunted house project… Then at the last minute, I get word of this documentary and my plans change.
It’s a good thing , that for sure. Because I really did want to do something this year. … And I have some awesome ideas of new things to try.
This is my first blog update using my iPad while sitting at Fat Daddy’s on a wednesday night (don’t worry, I’m off tomorrow!)
I love this thing because I can keep track of my thoughts while they are happening. Any ideas, any fleeting moments of inspiration can be recoded and refined rather than forgotten like so many other ideas of mine.
This time, tonight my thoughts are of my friends and family, and even the total stranger I am rude to this time of year. So, this year… I thought I would take a moment to explain myself to all of you before I come across as a jerk.
Every year, I work on my Halloween display right up until the last minute. I remember last year… The sun was setting and the trick-or-treaters were walking up the street while I was putting the last prop in place.
The paint was not even dry… I was not sure if the thing would even work! (yes, it did and was awesome!) but while I was sitting there… Out of breath, covered with paint and sweat… I realized I beat the clock by just one minute.


One minute.
How simple it would have been to save some of the time I wasted earlier in the month than to work right up to the deadline.
I thought about every yellow light I slowed down for, every time someone asked me for a “quick” favor, every misstep I made that eroded the clock for me.
I know this isn’t a healthy way to live, but that’s how I see almost everything. As a race against the clock… Like an Olympic event… The clock counting the .01s of a second… and it’s moving so fast I can barely see it.
It’s how I feel about this project, my job, my life. The clock is ticking. Even sitting here now.

So, this is an apology and an explanation at the same time to all of you that I am short with, or when you feel like I am ignoring your texts, emails or phone calls. I’m just fighting the clock right now, and I am remembering the night I didn’t even have one minute to spare.

Just be patient with me for a month! It’ll all be over with soon.

Not sure if I am out of my mind….

Monday, September 19th, 2011 09:48 am GMT -5

 Well, I’ve raised my hand and said “Please! Please! Pick ME!” and got my wish. The producer of the NBC documentary is going to visit the Sinister Shadows workshop in a week and film some of the preparations we make for Halloween. (See link: HERE.)


I’m so excited and nervous at the same time. I have a lot of pride in what my friends and family do, and what the project means to me – but how will that translate on film?

 Are home haunts THAT interesting that you can make a film about them? Or will the videos have to be edited to “spice-up” the content?

 I can’t help but notice that most people in documentaries look like crack pots! What if I end up looking like a maniac? What if it turns out I AM a maniac?!!?

 There’s only one way to find out – I’m hoping the saying is true: “Any publicity is good publicity!”



First Look at Sinister Shadows Concept Art!

Friday, September 16th, 2011 11:19 am GMT -5

Hot off the press!

 I know it’s been a bit since my last update – but the workshop has been anything but quiet.

On a personal level, I have committed to cut back on the distractions that seem to take the most time and provide the least return. I am a believer that we all need little “side trips” every now and then to keep life interesting… but the side trips I take always seem to land me in a new place WAYYYYYY off the path I need to be on.

 Anyhow –

 As I said in an earlier post, I hired a professional to handle parts of the project that need to be handled by a true professional. His name is Elia Filippone, and he has an unbelievable quantity and range of talents. I am blessed to have met the man quite by accident… and what’s even better, He’s in the “bubble” of York and a real friend.

 We’ve spent many a night at “The Boulevard” talking about the project, the “look and feel” of the ride and the characters you will see… and what we now have is some concept art we are ready to share with everyone.


  These characters all have a specific “feel” to them. The ride will start with the “warm and fuzzy” characters and slowly bring you to the dark and SINISTER ones.

 These are just a few of the robots we will be building – and I will post more as they become available.

Everything… every tree, rock, ride car, every light source will need to be drawn, then rendered in a 3-D program to make the virtual ride-through.

This virtual “blue print” will enable us to make changes in the ride prior to construction, and give everyone the same “vision” to work with when we have various people working separately on props or scenery.

 While Elia continues to draw all the parts of the ride and then make 3-d objects, I am starting to scuplt busts and other cosmatic parts of the characters so that we will not only have the “virtual” ride props, but real working parts of the ride that can be programmed and tested.

I’ll post my progress (or lack thereof) in the sculpting of busts… wish me luck.