Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A paean to the folks that make me look good

This year's haunted house has been very vindicating. Killers is an unequivocal critical darling. Not the least of which is this rave NY Times review. Audiences are loving it even more. After last years Fairy Tales which was not as well received, and several media outlets trying to stir up trouble over our theme this year, it has been a bit taxing. The response to Killers just blows me away and couldn't make me happier or prouder.

But I certainly cannot take sole credit for its success. I need to acknowledge those who have made this the best designed, best made, best directed, best produced house we have ever done.

First, I would like to acknowledge my brother, Justin Haskell, one of two art directors, for his beautiful vision. He led his team in making some of the most beautiful sculptures, masks, body suits and props that Nightmare has ever been blessed with.

Next, John Harlacher who is my co-director, idea man and a force to be reckoned with. We bounce ideas off each other and he is responsible for some of the most clever bits in the house (the dahmer head bit was his idea). He has these actors acting their asses off in a haunted house. It is the best acted haunted house in the world I would imagine. These actor are fracking nailing it and it is largely due to Harlacher. He is also the model for the Jack the Ripper installation.

Next is Paul Smithyman. All of my designers in fact (David Roy sound design, Garin Marshall lighting design, Candice Thompson costume design), but Paul is my production designer and he has surpassed his already immeasurable talents with what he has come up with here. And he busted his ass to help get this up in a way that he never has before. His lending his craft and skill to this house in the way that he did is one of the main reasons Nightmare has been taken to a whole other level.

Next my new partner Steve Kopelman. His 30 years of haunt experience has been nothing but a godsend. He always knew a better place to get something, a better way to do it, a better way to buy it, and a better way to run it. I am so happy to have him as my producing partner and his contributions cannot be overlooked.

And finally, david Hinkle. Last and certainly not least. This man was both the production manager and the other art director. And he is a genius methinks. David Hinkle can figure out how to do anything and do ut affordably, efficiently, beautifully and smartly. This is one of the most talented men I have ever met and someone will try and swoop him away from me someday in the film and television industry. Nightmare is incredibly lucky to have him.

Thank you Justin Haskell, John Harlacher, Paul Smithyman, Candice Thompson, david Roy, Garin Marshall, Steve Kopelman and david Hinkle. You helped make Killers the best haunted house Nightmare has ever done.

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