Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Haunted Trail Begins

For many years (possibly too many), the team affectionately  known as "The Sick Puppies" (Rob, Jeff, Bob, and myself) built and ran the haunted trail at the Museum's annual Haunted Howl.  We loved it--too put it honestly, we were obsessed with it.  Our dream was to have a professional level of haunt--the type that is actually installed year-round, added to each year, with a budget of many thousands of dollars.  Of course, our little team would have a month to build all the sets from scratch, and the term "thousands" never applied to our budget.  Every year we tried to top the year before--more and bigger sets, more elaborate props, more special effects.  Of course, the bigger and more elaborate it was, the more work it was to tear it all down and put it away.   We burned out, and in 2010, after our biggest and best trail ever, we retired.  We loved the trail, but it had kicked our butts. 

In 2011 Bob and I went to Oaxaca for Day of the Dead, and Rob and Jeff did a beautiful static display on the museum grounds.  In 2012 we did the Cabinet of Curiosities which was brilliant and we loved it--but we still thought of the trail. Each of those years someone else had done the trail--and had sort of called it in (which is a phrase which means "did a half-assed job").  We tried to let it go--but it bugged us.

2013--a friend of ours has been named the new Director of Education for the museum--and responsible for the Halloween Howl.  We want her to look good.  Retirement has failed--the Sick Puppies are back on the trail.  Uh . . .

But we made a pinkie promise (for real--I made the guys link pinky fingers) that we wouldn't kill ourselves.  In 2010 we had 13 large scenes.  We decided that you really only need three big scenes (beginning, end, and one in the middle).  The rest can be fillers.

So far, so good.  The build has begun. 

The campground is ready for the bloody campers. 

Bob has started arranging his dolls (it's a little disturbing that Bob not only collects dolls but does
some very strange things with them--I try to avoid thinking about it).  He still has another 30-40 dolls to add to the scene.

My fishnet (which Jeff insists is "the Hive") has been built of erosion fabric.  I will be making
costumes covered in the same material, so that the actors will be invisible.

The haunted vineyard has been started.

The toxic waste dump is finished--but I forgot to take the picture.

The final scene will be "The Farm."  We thought if we put everything we have into the last scene, that
will be the one people remember.  It will have drop panels, a tipping wall, a maze--and some things I don't even know about yet.  Rob and Jeff start with the infrastructure, which will later be filled in.  At the moment is just looks like a forest of 2 x 4s.

In short, not too bad!

More next week as the we continue to create the magic.

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