Hello again...been a while since I've updated here so thought I'd put up some post holiday reflections, maybe answer some of the most commonly answered questions, and hint at what nextyear will hold. I still can't believe this year we had to turn people away! For an event that we don't charge for I can't really afford any additional budget for things outside of the haunt which means no advertising outside of the facebook page, this website, or word of mouth. Well that word of mouth must really be spreading! Next year we'll work harder on meeting the schedule so we can open a weekend earlier and also change our start times to open at 630 to make it easier to manage the crowd. I'd like to be able to keep the groups separated without rushing people in too quickly and forming the "conga line" experience...no one from either side (actor or patron) enjoys that. I do get worried of a scenario where we grow too large for the neighborhood before I'm in a place where can afford to host this at a new location. I like being able to do this as a free event for our neighbors and gives me time to keep this project in "incubation" as we grow and get better at our craft. That being said if anyone knows anyone with farmland or building spaces for rent, its never to early to start laying the groundwork for the future! Also - everyone on the crew did such a fantastic job this year. With this project growing larger there is no way I'd be able to manage the build and set up without the help of some fantastic friends. Based on feedback Anna got at the gate and screams I could hear throughout the event, our actors really did a great job this year. Especially for those that stepped out of their comfort zones and helped in the haunt. For a while I was sure we were going to be short actors and have whole sections that were empty, but between people stepping up and kids from the neighborhood coming in like the calvary right before Halloween night we had actors for every critical spot. Now comes the time for tear down, I usually use this time to reflect on how things went and what I want to improve upon next year.
So far this is whats churning in my head:
1) Complete projects in progress. There are still so many pneumatic props and projects that I want to get done each year and never quite get ready in time. Was happy that we did get the coffin popper out and working in time this year, but we have so many more still sitting in the garage. Priority for next year! 2) Sound. We got 75% of our sound out this year, but was hard to hear over air compressor, generator and air blowers. The Sonic-Boom product we use are good for specific scene sounds but don't work that well for larger ambient sounds. Next year need a larger system that can handle multiple zones. 3) Lighting. Only two section were not lit this year like I wanted, we'll get them next year. 4) Upgrades. Much of are builds from 2013-2014 can use some improvements to make them easier to set up and operate. 5) Details. 2015 may not see as large of a growth spurt that we had in 2014 just due to space limitations. But I want to be able to work on more details and layering in each scene, better costumes, and more detailed props to retire some of our store bought items. If we are able to add more, here are a couple things I can think of: 1) Witch House. The 2014 facade in the spider area to be expanded into a full house for our spider witch. 2) Pumpkin Sentinels. The corn field needs an upgrade, want to build several pumpkin sentinels in the vein of Pumpkin Rot. A good winter project right there. 3) Two words: Vortex. Tunnel. See you in 2015!