let the scare do the talking

Bones designed the first major of the haunt to have two drop portraits be the scare.

A ‘drop portrait’ is an elegantly simple haunted house effect, and I’m going to let my friends over at explain exactly what that is, for those who don’t know what I’m talking about. Generally speaking, the hardest part about building a drop portrait is designing something that won’t either fall apart from the weight of the fall or won’t injure the actor, who’ll be expected to operate the mechanism in the dark. It’s usually a loud CRASH!!! kind of a scare, so it doesn’t require much from the operator as far as being additionally scary.

For us, the hardest part – in my not at all humble opinion – was creating something that looked awesome and believably solid.

Bones spent a good deal of time working on the mechanism…
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…and then looked around for some artwork we both liked for what we were creating, which was a ‘stained glass window’ rather than a portrait. We projected the image onto a piece of white plywood..
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..I sketched out the projected images…
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..and then I started trying to duplicate the colours of the original art. The first one was pretty straightforward.
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The second one? Wellllll, it ended up that we’d chosen an image that was a bit too detailed and small to allow me to really see what was going on with it. The end result is ok, but a little too, “O HAI THAR!!” for my taste, to be honest.
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Still…yay, they were done! We then took some of the pieces Bones had previously created..
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..and realized that the initial design would have meant gluing that header directly onto the plywood wall. Which is fine if you have a permanent haunt. But we don’t. This all has to come down in a few weeks and go into storage. So Bones ended up backing this with thin wood so it could be mounted via screws above the portrait.

The final result? Pretty dang spiffy!
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