Tuesday, September 30, 2008

An Ode To My Bros

My brothers are the art directors for all of our haunted houses. They are Aaron and Justin Haskell. Now some may say nepotism got them this job, and you would be right, but only in the sense that because i was related to them i was able to identify the talent right in front of my eyes. These guys are amazing. And you will see their talents in spades when you go through Bad Dreams this year. It is an absolutely beautiful house. Our production values are through the roof. It looks like an installation art piece. One can criticize whether it is scary or effective (two things i think it is in a big way), but i challenge anyone who thinks it doesn't look fantastic.

We are different than other haunted houses. We are theatrical. We make everything. these are homegrown set pieces and that can be quite costly. we sometimes get criticized because when you walk through you don't see scores of haunted house props and animitronics everywhere. i could easily create a labyrynth full of things from a haunted house catalog and impress you with with the volume of our stuff. but i am going for something different. i am trying to create a house that you will literally not see anywhere else. you won't because it is wholly original in every way - from our props and set pieces to the room ideas and stories there is absolutely nothing rehashed or stale. Not even from our own houses from past years. This house in particular has nothing the same as last year. it is completely new. We have tried very hard to raise the bar and i am certain you will feel the same way. It pays off.

And my bros have a lot to do with it. they provide installations and props for other haunts around the country as well. They have a company called Brooklyn Art Department that specializes in these kind of things. I am very proud to be working with them, and the house is lucky to have them.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just spoke to our Bad Dreams Production Designer

I just got off the phone with our Production Designer for Nightmare, Paul Smithyman. He was giving me an update about how NY was coming along ( i am in Miami getting this house up) and he was pretty thrilled. He said that this year's haunted house, thanks to an enormous commitment to raising all production values this year, is the closest thing to envisioning what was in my head in the 5 years that we have done this. I cannot wait to see for myself! Maybe you guys can tell me first!. If you have been to the haunts in the past let me know how you feel about this one. I couldn't possibly be more proud of it. I have been proud in year's past, but it was never a true representation of what i was hoping it would be. This year it is and i do believe it is going to make it the most amazing haunted house you have ever been through anywhere. tell me if it isn't.

Miami is Very Humid

So I got the ball a little more than rolling here in NY last week before i flew down to Miami to get our first ever haunt outside of NY up and running. This is of course the revamped Ghost Stories from last year. Man, this GH is friggin' awesome. Whatever i didn't like from the house last year i got rid of and kept the things i really liked and made them bigger, better, stronger and more beautiful and disgusting. You should see the Red Demon room from last year. It was supposed to be a gory delight in 2007, but it quickly became a squat because we didn't account for so many patrons/boneheads actually walking on top of the installation. That room, like all rooms, has become patron proof and twice as wonderful. It is now a 6 foot by 12 foot pile of guts that you can take a jackhammer to and it will remain warm and squishy and gross.

Oh, and i miss the NY fall right now. Miami is like 102 degrees of pure humidity. i don't know how they do it down here. it is some thick air. and yesterday the air conditioning went out in the space because some local transporter blew out in the nabe. i lost 5 pounds of water weight. Feeling so good about my much needed trimming, i have promptly eaten every fatty Cuban delicacy this town has to offer. and it is yummy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Nightmare Way Suckas

I don't believe I have extolled the virtues of one of our greatest additions to this year's revamped Nightmare - "The Nightmare Way" (can be abridged to TNW). What is TNW you ask while talking to a computer out loud in front of people? Well, I'll tell ya weirdo.

In year's past i was not allowed to do things that were too physically compromising because it was unfair to expect people to spend their hard earned money (or even money that was unearned or stolen...who am i to judge?) on something they could potentially, physically, not be capable of executing. I have always wanted to be able to make people crawl, shimmy, climb, duck, avoid, duck again, maneuver, jump, search, abduct, beat, on, the, head, with, club but have been held back by the need to show restraint. But then it dawned on me. what if you suckas actually chose a path that offered all of the aforementioned and more? You could go one of a few ways, but you, with full knowledge of what is in store for you physically, chose to compromise yourself in all ways, and if you didn't you were still going to enjoy the Haunted House to its full extent? How would that sound? well, it sounds like something that's going to happen. The nightmare way is happening. this is happening. Several rooms will have alternative exits. Choose the Nightmare way and be prepared to crawl, climb, fly and eat pierogie because we're gonna git ya!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

SAW V Room in Legends

Say what you want about the Saw movies, if nothing else they are prolific and they have become a Halloween institution. So when creating a haunted house about Legends - called Nightmare Legends, we thought it natural to approach Lionsgate about participating in the house. They jumped all over it, and it is going to be one of the cooler rooms in the house. In the spirit of the movies (and you've gotta admit, the first one was pretty brilliant, and all of the others have had there moments for sure), the room requires the audience to make a choice in regards to whether they will inflict pain on the actor in the room or leave the house. I am sure you sick sons of b*****s are gonna rip that man to shreds. so have fun! All of your tickets include Legends, and i don't think you will be disappointed.