This was our third year producing haunt videos for some of New Hampshire’s biggest haunted house, and proved to be the best year yet. If you don’t know what a haunt video is, it’s pretty much a 2 minute horror movie created within the haunted house and using the actors and sets provided by the haunted house. Its like have a team of set designers, make up artists, and actors like on a big hollywood production, and the results you get are pretty much just as good. The challenges however are just as great, the biggest challenge being light. When you go into a haunted house, the power of the experience is in the darkness and mystery, in not knowing whats behind the corner. How do you show something on film that gets its impact from not being seen? Thats where creative lighting and compositing come into play, as well as lots and lots of preplanning. When I first started doing haunt videos three years ago, I did alot of preplanning and research into lighting horror films before rolling out the first shoot, and it paid off.
This year we produced videos for both Fright Kingdom, and Spookyworld/Nightmare New England. It was our first year with NNE but our third year working with Fright Kingdom, and they have become more like family than clients. Even though I’ve shot the haunts several times, I still get scared out of my skin every time I go through, and that’s because its the actors that make the haunt, and they have some of the best, hands down. The challenge with shooting Fright Kingdom is just the amount of footage we get, every shot we make is straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster film. From the lighting to the sets to the amazing actors, its always a filmmakers dream to shoot at Fright Kingdom.
Spookyworld / Nightmare New England
It was a lucky and well timed turn of events that led to this years contract filming the broadcast commercials and web videos for Spookyworld/Nightmare New England. One of the unique aspects of Spookyworld is that they are an outside haunted house which gave us some incredibility sets and open up created possibilities in the videos. One thing I always try to do when filming a haunted house video is to tell a story, it can’t be just a combination of scary moments, I’m trying to do a mini 30 second horror film because there is so much back story in these haunts, that helps to draw people in. In addition to the broadcast television commercials and web videos, we also produced 2 guest centered haunt videos for them. This is basically where we get a group of guests together and film them going through the haunt and use that footage to create video expressing the experience of going through the haunt without giving away the scares. This video got upwards of 10k views, and was hands down one of the most popular videos we have ever produced.
We definitely learned a great deal this haunt video season, and the experiences pushed our work forward in several ways. As we head into the ski film season, we know its only a few months before we are looking forward to getting back to the haunted houses again!