Friday, January 4, 2013

2013 Goals Part I

We have survived the insanity!

While trying to pack away Christmas into it's respective boxes and tubs and consolidating them into the closets and antic space, the furthest thing from my mind is cluttering up the house and work shop with Halloween prop construction... but, I do find my mind wandering towards the possibilities for this year's Shingle Creek Manor. I mean,  it's the beginning of a new year, seems like an appropriate time for dreaming!

 So anyways, I thought a draft of our Halloween related goals for 2013 would be appropriate for the first couple blog entries of the year....

2013 Yard Haunt (related) Goals  part I

1. Transworld - Since we first heard of it, attending the Transworld Halloween and Attractions Show of professional and commercial haunters has sounded like a hell of a lot of fun. Getting to see the latest and greatest of Halloween props and meeting some of the renowned individuals in the industry has to be incredibly inspiring for the home haunter. As it's in March, we might not be able to do this one for financial reasons but it's at the top of the 2013 dream list.

2. Lights - With MAYBE the exception of a good fogger, nothing has had more impact in our graveyard than the lighting. Each year for the past three years we have purchased DMX LED "can lights" of the size and variety that music DJ's use. Our goal has always been to use them with a DMX controller so we could change the lighting to whatever color or intensity we like at any point during the night. We have been using them manually and setting the color on each individual light to date. The LED's color is incredible! I think we have enough now that cabling and a DMX controller is a good possibility this year. Sitting on our porch and controlling the lighting and prop activation from one location has always been the end dream.

3. Thunder and Lightning Machine - a "must have" especially if we can use a DMX controller and kill all the lights in the graveyard and turn on the lightning and thunder at any point during a Trick or Treater's walk through the graveyard.  I'm thinking awesome scary! This is another one of those financial hurdles I'm not sure about especially if we can get the DMX controller together. I'm Hoping we can see something spectacular and affordable at Transworld or some other show

4. New Props - This year we will probably limit ourselves to building one or two larger props for the graveyard although Belinda ( not me! ) has been wanting  to do a small walk through haunt in the garage. We do both agree that 3D has some fun potential though. I'm just afraid it's a bit much for two people. I need some "friends"! Prop ideas evolve from one thing to another so I have nothing specific in mind this early, just a whole bunch of ideas. The one thing we have agreed on since the start has been it's better to do several well constructed props than a bunch that are just thrown together without regard for any detail.

Although I am pleased with the result of our corpsified skeleton for 2012, the goal was that he should pop up a bit from the top of his coffin. I didn't have time to learn and assemble a pneumatic cylinder and couldn't figure another way to do it in time for Halloween, so besides any prop repairs that are needed, improving this prop is high on our list of goals as well.

(to be continued)


  1. Wow, that Transworld show looks great! I hope you are able to go. It was inspiring to read your plans for 2013. New Year's resolutions seem to provoke a certain amount of scorn from some people these days, but I love the potential of a New Year's life reboot and the setting of goals. :)

    Happy New Year, Mark!