Los Angeles Haunted Hayride Photos 2014

by  on Oct.21, 2014, under Canon 5D Mark III, Haunted Houses, HDR photography

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creepygirl_busI flew out to Los Angeles to shoot the very cool and unique Los Angeles Haunted Hayride just a couple weeks ago.  This event is always a treat to check out and simply one of the best Haunted Hayrides out there!  Hayrides are fairly difficult to make scary because the audience is sitting in a hayrack and fairly safe from the monsters and creatures in the scenes.  But LA Hayride manages to make people scream every year with their amazing scenes and intense actors!  This year was no different!

The theme is called “Tales from the Rift” and it all deals with the underworld and the apocalypse.  The scenes range from spooky to outright terrifying and they ramp up in intensity as they go.  One scene has these women carrying babies around the hayrack while wailing and crying.  They take the babies and give them in sacrifice to a demon in a decaying dilapidated church while an angel watches from overhead.  Its chilling and made even more so when the women return to the hayrack revealing their faces as distorted creepy doll like features!

My favorite scene however was the Rift itself.  I wont’ reveal too much but it feels like hell is opening up in front of you when you see it while demonic music feature the band Otep pumps in the background!

HD_churchSpeaking of music, I want to mention the awesome soundtrack this haunt has!  The event features a custom music piece for every scene at the event.  Each scene is set to play out with the music and it make the experience all the more intense and awesome.  I can’t recommend this enough to haunts that really want to step up their game.  having your scene perfectly timed to music makes it all the more terrifying and memorable for the audience.  The composer of the LA hayride has become a good friend of mine! His name is Chris Thomas and he’s worked on some popular TV shows but his true passion is doing haunt soundtracks!   You can learn more about Chris and download his albums at his website!

Check out All the LA Haunted Hayride photos on my Flickr site

and Visit LA Haunted Hayride’s Website for ticket information!

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Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare Chicago Photos

by  on Oct.16, 2014, under Haunted Houses, Rob Zombie

heidi_sweater2concert_zombieOpening weekend at Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare in Chicago was an awesome experience!  I was invited out to shoot photos and video of the opening night where Rob Zombie himself played to a sold out crowd!  The concert was amazing even though Rob wasn’t able to do some of his more advanced stage effects such as the pyrotechnics but it was still an amazing show!  I think regardless of whether or not you like Rob’s music you’ll still love his show. He’s a true entertainer and really gets into his performances!  The night was a little extra special since it was Shari Moon Zombie’s Birthday as well!

The haunts are of course stunning and highly detailed!  The murder ride features all the murderer’s from House of 1000 corpses and then some including John Wayne Gacy which has been causing quite a stir in the Chicago area since that’s where the murders took place.  However this is a haunted house and more over its a Rob Zombie Haunted House so if you are expecting puppy dogs and fairy tales then you should probably go somewhere else. Rob’s never shied away from controversy so its only fitting that John Wayne Gacy be a comical addition to the “Sick, Twisted, Haunted House” that the event advertises!

capt_spauldingThe event also includes the Haunted World of El Superbeasto in 3D as well as the Lords of Salem in Blackout.  Its a full night of “sick and twisted” entertainment and once I highly recommend Chicagoland check out especially for fans of Rob’s music or films!

You can find lots more photos I took at the event on my Flickr Album Here! Check them out!

 

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Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare Scottsdale

by  on Oct.15, 2014, under Haunted Houses, Rob Zombie

fireflyhouse_angleHDRIspaulding had the opportunity to fly out to Arizona for the opening weekend of Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare Scottsdale in September.  For 2014 The Great American Nightmare expanded to two locations, One in Scottsdale AZ and one in Chicago IL, more on the Chicago location later in the week.  The Scottsdale location has 3 attractions including The Lords of Salem in Blackout, Captain Spaulding’s Clown School, and the Devils Rejects.  The Lords of Salem Blackout is the only attraction that was also used last year in LA but its been update with a much better intro and a facade that looks like the apartment building from the film.  The Clown School is an all new 3D attraction that combines the crude humor of Captain Spaulding with amazing cutting edge 3D effects and props.

My favorite attraction however had to be the Devils Rejects.  This attraction follows the film closely and begins with a shootout between the Firefly clan and the cops while the queue line waits to get into the attraction.  The cops play out the scene just like in the movie complete with real cop cars, lights, pyrotechnic effects and smoke.  When the shootout starts all hell breaks looks and the crowd is stuck in the middle of this huge old rundown house and a bunch of 1970’s style cops.  Its a pretty amazing scene and one of the coolest I’ve been witness to at any haunted house!

After that there’s the firefly house where you run into Otis, Baby, Mother Firefly and Tiny.  Once you getrob through the horrors of the house you’ll end up at the motel from The Devils Rejects where you’ll be shoved into a room and locked in there with some crazy motel guests!

If you’re a Rob Zombie fan then you’ll love this event!  Its like being in the movies and its pretty amazing to see the films recreated as attractions!  I honestly can’t wait to see where these attractions go.  Its no secret now that Rob is working on a new film that was inspired by the haunted houses.  31 starts filming soon and I’m excited to see if it becomes an attraction in the future as well!

Lots More Photos from the event can be found on my Flickr album here!

 

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House of Shock Photos 2014

by  on Oct.13, 2014, under Canon 5D Mark III, Haunted Houses, photography

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I had the honor of going to a haunt I’ve always wanted to see for 15 years! The House of Shock in New Orleans has been one of those infamous haunts that has had more than its share of controversy due to its themes of Satanism.  Its also one of those haunts that’s just as well known for its amazing sets and awesome stage show with pyrotechnics!  It was a real honor to get asked to come out and shoot some photos this year, their final year, for use on their site and promotions.  I have to say the show lives up to its legend!

bad_priest2When you first visit the House of Shock you’re treated to a stage show that is mind blowing! Its something out of the most intense heavy metal concert ever seen.  Lord Belial, the satanic priest comes out and talks about how the Antichrist was born at the House of Shock and now they’re ready to take on God and bring about the apocalypse! Jesus shows up, nailed to a cross, and blows away the Antichrist and a televangelist preacher in a huge pyrotechnic explosion of fire and sparks!  It’s just as crazy as it sounds and then some.  Its something that has to be seen to be believed and now that its in its final year your chance to go see it is quickly coming to an end!

The rooms are some of the most detailed I’ve ever seen in any haunt.  The Voodoo priestess house with its intricate statues, paintings, and ritual paraphernalia is awesome!  There’s so much to take in and I was very glad I had time to shoot the haunt before it opened so I could document as much of it as I could.  But the photos don’t do justice to what its like actually being in that room and experiencing it with all your senses.  The actors are intense and really into what they do!  Again its something you have to see to fully appreciate.

templeThe Satanic themes are pretty heavy in the house and there’s an amazing satanic temple room that just seems to explode into chaos when you walk into it and its all due to the amazing performances of the actors!  There’s screaming chained up woman, a satanic priest preaching at you and of course the Antichrist himself watches you from above!

The House of Shock is one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever been to! It’s a nightmarish trip through a dark vision of New Orleans fused with the underworld and its like nothing I’ve seen before!  Now that its ending I highly recommend you go see this haunt before its gone forever!

Visit House of Shock.com for details and tickets

To Check out more Photos from my trip please visit my Flickr album!

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New Video Tagsylvania (2014)

by  on Aug.26, 2014, under Canon 5D Mark III, haunted house commercials, Haunted Houses, HDSLR Filmmaking

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New Video trailer we shot for Tagsylvania Haunted Houses in New York state.  This is a great event with one of my favorite haunted trails!  There’s some very creative things going on here with the set  design including a real crashed plane that someone died in!  Creepy Dolls, amazing make up and one of the best 3D scenes I’ve ever witnessed in person!  Its well worth your time if you live near Big Flats NY!

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Indiana Fear Farm Trailer (2014)

by  on Aug.25, 2014, under Canon 5D Mark III, haunted house commercials, Haunted Houses, HDSLR Filmmaking

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Here’s another new video I shot on site at The Indiana Fear Farm last October. It was one of the final events I went to that season and it was a breath of fresh air!  I had been to several big budget big name events with major effects and Indiana Fear Farm was a nice home spun event that did amazing things with its location.  The hayride featured actors on ziplines, dancing skeletons, evil possessed pick up trucks, exploding gas stations and of course a headless horseman that chased down the hay rack!  Its a creative and smart event that does so much with custom made props an sets. If you live in the Indianapolis area I can’t recommend this one enough! Go check it out and be charmed and terrified by a truly fun and unique haunted house!

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The Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride 2013 Trailer

by  on Oct.21, 2013, under Canon 5D Mark III, haunted house commercials, Haunted Houses, HDSLR Filmmaking, trailers

Check out our new Trailer for The Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride in Pennsylvania!

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A Rant about Funny Viral attempts at Haunted House Videos

by  on Jan.30, 2013, under Halloween, haunted house commercials, Haunted Houses, Rant

scarySo there seems to be a growing trend in the Haunted House industry to do silly funny videos in hopes of becoming the next “Gangnam Style” or “Harlem Shake” viral sensation. I’ve done videos before in hopes of them becoming viral and I’ve pretty much given up on it. I’ve actually listened to so called “web professionals” offer advice on doing viral style videos to let more people know about your business. In the past I’ve done videos with the intention of creating something funny that might go viral. I can tell you now this is exactly the wrong approach for any video project!

 

First the most OBVIOUS reason: The chances of your video going viral are astronomical. There’s very little you can personally do to facilitate a video going viral. It all depends on chance. I hear professionals say that all it takes is one person spreading it to some friends to get the ball rolling but that’s a lie. It takes thousands of people finding something funny or interesting enough about YOUR video to take the time to tweet it, facebook it, or email it to a their friends. The chances of that are microscopic so why should you base your entire production on creating something that in all likelihood will languish in Youtube obscurity? Why waste all that creative effort on something that you think might be funny or clever enough to go viral?

The Most important reason however, is your brand. Let’s say you own a haunted house that’s known for being Terrifying. People make the trek from miles away just to see a truly scary haunted attraction. But then you have some actor or web professional convince you that you need to have a viral video. So you get all your scariest actors in make up and have them dancing around and singing. Boom! There goes the scary from all your featured monsters!

This really really bothers me and I’m seeing so many haunted attractions doing it lately. STOP! Why are you diminishing your brand? The whole point of going to a haunted house is to get scared and have fun. Its not to watch actors in masks frolicking around to the latest pop music sensation! You’re doing it wrong and missing the point. I don’t care how slick and professional your video looks your not selling soda pop your selling fear! So make something that compliments what you do! Make something that’s scary!

Here’s the key: Go into a video project with the intention of making something creative and representative of your attraction. If you think it should be funny because your haunted house is funny then go for it. But if you are doing a serious event that’s seriously scary then make a video that represents that. Don’t ruin your scary characters by having them acting like clowns. There’s nothing wrong with having some comedy in your attraction but that’s not going to be the biggest selling point. People go see horror movies because they want to be scared. You don’t see horror movie trailers promoting the funny bits and one liners that might be in the movie.

Bottom line: Make videos that sell your haunt. Not videos that promote a fad or humor in hopes of internet gold.

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