View Full Version : not dark enough

09-30-2010, 01:59 AM
I am just about ready to officially open Friday for my first night doing a pro haunt in the mall.

I did a test run last Sat. for friends and family. Not bad. Went well, props held up, actors were on.

Problem is ofcourse I can't make my walls go all the way up to the high ceiling, so the sprinklers will do their job, God forbide we need them. I also can't put a top over the scenes and halls for the same reason. Plus the floors, main walls and celing are white and I can't change that.

Problem is I am getting light bleed over from other scenes. I am going modest on lighting, with just a few little l.e.d.s to hightlight what I want them to see in the scenes. I also have some of the scenes/halls blacklights ect on motion sensors, so the lights are only on when people are in them.

Still there are a few scenes where I can't do the motion sensor thing due to actors being in there. Even though I only have small l.e.d.s I am getting some light. I want it pitch black in some areas. The blues and greens seem to be giving the glow, the reds are no problem. Also I have a tv on static in one room and that really lights it up.

Any ideas?

09-30-2010, 04:36 AM

Seeing as though you can't put a SOLID cover on your rooms you MIGHT want to consider cammo netting. The fire marshal/inspector shoudln't have much of problem(some may some may not) with it since it should allow the water from the sprinklers to come through if there is a fire. Just make sure its not too thickly put on as well as fire retarded/proofed. Granted its not TOTALLY solid but it should give you the effect you want with out compromising too much. And it comes hightly recommended here on the forums.

As far as the Televison .. depending on you setup in the room .. what you COULD do is try either "creepy cloth"( sold at most stores this time of year) OR land scape FABRIC... NOT plastic ... the fabric, depending on how much you cover the tv with , will allow enough light to bleed through into the room but it woudl not be a "blasting light". It basdially would "diffuse" the light from the bright white "static" and would still give the effect you want with out compromising the effect you are trying ot create.

And yes I do speak fron experince with these tricks, been there done it and they worked great.

Just my thoughts.

Howie Slobber Erlich
09-30-2010, 06:57 AM
Couple other ideas for you as well. If your fire inspector is ok with it. You could use wood or plastic lattice to cover some area of the haunt. It would block out about 50 percent of unwanted light. Plus when it's up, people are less likely to actually look up and it make it much more difficult to see light above. Make sure you use flame retardant on it. As far as the TV goes. One simple method is to simply turn down the brightness of the set. usually you can turn it way down and still be able to see the screen when you are in the room.

Hope that helped a bit,

Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Deadly Intentions Haunted Attraction

09-30-2010, 07:11 AM
Are you using colored lighting? and how do you have the lighting set? if your using led's they can be pretty bright at times you can put a cut out coffee can around them to build a canister light effect that should keep it more directional kinda like a spot light. if your useing regular led's and not colored there is some gel film you can buy that you can use to filter the light. Blue light will light what you need but should not bleed over to the next set. if it does it will be alot weaker and add more of an erie glow than white light.

09-30-2010, 07:35 AM
We have been able to partially roof our maze. The key was there needs to be a way for smoke to go up every couple feet, and water to get in. But we were still able to put some roofing up.

09-30-2010, 08:16 AM
Howie ~

You said

"Couple other ideas for you as well. If your fire inspector is ok with it. You could use wood or plastic lattice to cover some area of the haunt."

I totallly forgot about the Lattice aspect.. good call there ..

And Soultrkr you said ~

" if your using led's they can be pretty bright at times you can put a cut out coffee can "

We do that at the cave .. granted we dont use LED's YET .. but we do that for our incandescent ad Florecent lighting .. and it DOES WORK quite well.. I know the comapmny "Mini Spotights" has "diffusers" for thier smaller "pin" spot lights.. not sure if they hav them for thier larger ones ..

Specifially to Jimmyfish~

The other thing you can try to avoid "light bleed" is try gettin a roll of whats known as "cinefoil"

Its a black coated tin foil.. its a bit on the "pricy side" dependng on which vendor you go with .. but its well worth it .. i paid about 20$ for 50 feet of it .. its definately a "god send" when it comes to directing a light where you need it to go .. and alleviates a bit of the "light bleed"

Just some other suggestions..


09-30-2010, 03:43 PM
In the television settings, turn the brightness to low. Maybe even water down some paint and add a layer of filth on the glass. Oh and possibly just put camo netting or lattice work over the areas that you want complete darkness? Would a porch screen material work to help block out light?

09-30-2010, 04:17 PM
Could you rearange the TV room so the TV points away from everything else? Make sure the walls in there are as dark as possible to minimize reflection. Can you put it in an entertainment center, or build a shelf over it to help block some of the light? Sometimes a lot of little things can make a big difference.

10-01-2010, 03:12 AM
Funny thing is, we did put creepy cloth on the tv and it still showed the effect and cut the light down. The tv is one that is controlled with a remote for the functions like brightness, and I don't have the remote. Never thought about the paint idea. the tv is pointed away from the rest of the haunt.

I am using mostly l.e.d.s and no white, just red, blue and green. Some strobes, but activated.

messed around a lot since the last email and it is better now. About as dark as I am going to get it.

Yes the blue and green does put an errie glow out. Problem is, I did not have enough lumber to have tall walls all the way, so I had to get creative on the path and have some pallets,netting and the orange construction barrier for the path, so if there is much light bleeding at all, you can see across the room and see the backs of the walls ect. But now that is pretty much not possible.

Thanks for all the ideas. Like the camo netting idea and the latice, did not realize that would cut lighting bleed in half. Will put that in the budget for next year.

Thanks again for the ideas. Good luck this season. I am excited as my first real night as a pro haunter is tonight (Fri.)! I am ready!

10-08-2010, 10:11 AM
So how did your first weekend as a pro Haunter go??

10-08-2010, 10:25 AM
My haunt was set up at a mall in 2003. We had tall ceilings with white walls as well. We bought the fire rated plastic from Americover and covered the walls. If you haven't checked that out, you may want to. The price wasn't bad either and the fire marshals shouldn't have a problem with it being fire rated.

10-09-2010, 01:05 AM
Thanks for all the ideas. I am putting some to use. I do use the fire retardant black plastic for walls on 4 by 8 2 by 4 frames. I hated having to do that, but the deal i had for the lumber fell through right as we were to start building. So I used all my budget to make the maze walls happen, did not think about doing the white walls in it though, would not have had the budget. Next year hope to have the maze walls in wood and then save the plastic for the actuall mall white walls. Thanks for that advice.

Fisrt weekend was terrible. Had about 30 on both Fri/Sat. Did not have the signs out though.

This Fri we had 80! For around here that is not bad. We made our budget based on a realistic 100 per night. Was getting worried. I think Sat will be even better. So we may make that up since more people come out closer to Halloween.

Thanks again.

Twin Locusts
10-22-2010, 10:08 PM
Jimmy, You may be already doing this but if not it's not too late. Depending on the property managment at the mall you should be able to get significant leeway in promoting to mall foot traffic outside your in line location.

Some ways the mall might let you promote if you ask would be:

Have a costumed character walk around with an escort that hands out location cards or maybe a low ball promotion coupon.

They should let you have a costumed barker outside your location with some basic rules on how to solicit.

They will let you create marketing kiosk displays in areas far away from your location if they have unoccupied kiosks, and this time of year I am certain they have them. They won't likely dress up a display for you but they will definately let you do it. You should have a themed display with location and promo. If they try to charge you for this refuse and ask why they won't help you succeed with resources they have laying around.

Most tenant liason or sales people for the mgmt company will want to help you, they have an impetus for you to do well. The smaller the market the more likely they are to help.

If you will get out in the mall and drive traffic your way you should definately pick up some ticket sales from it. Best of luck :)

10-24-2010, 01:24 AM
thanks to everyone and Twin Locusts for the marketing advice.

I am def not real good at marketing. Getting about an average of 100 people per night. We are in a town of abot 20,000 and have another town of about 50,000 with a college about 15 miles away. While the numbers are about what we projected, we would like double.

The mall has been totally cool with anything I have asked, they never say no. I have a few signs inside and signs all around outside. Have had a few guys hand out our cards arond the mall. Have some flyers out. Good idea on the kiosk displays, missed the boat on that one.

So I really need to do better marketing next year.

11-13-2010, 03:20 AM
If anyone caught any of my lighting seminars at any of the conventions this year this will sound repetitive. You should light a haunt in shades of darkness. I recommend reading some of the "lighting for haunters" series that rolling out HERE (http://etherealfx.com/pages/classroom) but in the meantime I recommend a lighting controller that allows true dimming as apposed to on/off. Haunts are theaters, odd theaters but theaters the same. lights, actors, sets, audience, scripts, sounds like a theater to me. Theaters have those big DMX light boards because you almost never have a light at 100%. Check out our basic controllers (EH16) and they have a hi/lo setting for each channel and the EH16-DMX has full dimming capabilities. You can dim those LED's to any brightness you'd like to avoid those nasty bleed over issues. In addition the entire system is super simple, no tools required and even kids who have no idea what an ohm meter is can plug them together yet they are flexible enough that many haunts, theme parks and professional theaters use them for all sorts of accent lighting. Check them out and feel free to ask questions.

www.ETHEREALFX.com (http:// www.ETHEREALFX.com)