View Full Version : What are we missing?

09-19-2012, 07:24 AM
As a haunt owner, or actor, what don't you have/what isn't available to you in regards to props/effects/costumes that you WISH could be real?

I am investing in an artist I've been using for a while, and am creating an actual company. We'll have stock and customer service and DIFFERENT products. I met with him last night to go over product ideas/concepts and turned down anything I saw that already existed. We want to create a NEW product line.

So with that being said....what is it you would like to see? What would you like to be done better?
I really want to emphasize that we want NEW ideas and will NOT produce "knock-offs" or "someone else's idea", that is NOT how I want something I'm putting my name and money into to be portrayed. Don't be shy! Any and all ideas welcomed!


09-19-2012, 11:44 AM
Are we revenue sharing?

Greg Chrise
09-19-2012, 05:18 PM
Can you elaborate what you think you would or wouldn't like to create? The word artist to me means anything from glitter to building a skyscraper. From finger painting to thermonuclear chores, brain surgery to carving bears out of wood with a chain saw are all "artists". Circus signage, butter sculptures, scenic designs using only beer cans, costumes using recycled dollar store shopping bags? All art.

09-19-2012, 06:18 PM
How about a cheap mp3 player that automatically starts and plays a default playlist on AC power. :)

09-19-2012, 07:30 PM
We aren't going to be doing many technical pieces (so not animatronics or things using multiple electrical components).

An MP3 player is easy lol, sadly theres many affordable options out there.

We are really striving to do something that could help haunts, that hasn't been made yet.

For example, we have a REALLY neat wall idea for a 4'x8' wall that can fit in your pocket! Imagine, a highly detailed wall panel that fits in a large padded envelope....so you don't pay an arm and a leg for shipping!! I can't reveal the details behind it yet, but it's just outstanding!!

We have a costume piece for your arms that will BLOW you away.

We are really aiming for new and different products that fit just about anyone's budgets. We understand this is a niche market and we won't be making much money but we enjoy it, I like seeing cool things and my artist/designer really deserves the chance to be seen. :)

Greg Chrise
09-19-2012, 10:56 PM
Is that a wall in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Because I have made it my business to be everywhere, I see people who have all sorts of things they hold as serious personal knowledge and skills. Products or things that could be products that they just do, share and teach to haunters for free to make sure the skills are out there.

Recently I had something that made me understand that none of these secrets are really a competitive thing and everyone kind of takes their skills to entirely different levels. Some really get the pumpkin patch family vibe and others are great at building scenes and whole haunts. Others have tremendous skill with the actors and what actors need for costumes and real acting.

Others do the custom thing, some do the mass production 500 units at a time thing. So it is hard to blow anyone away that has been around for a while. Being young it is hard to hurry up and see all of these things. So you just have to design and make things, expose them to the world for some sort of crowd sourced super development and things might happen. Also even in the same exact line of products, everyone has taken a different set of materials and skills to make their offerings. I can honestly say I have not seen anything that has been missed.

Now things that are better, or things that will be the next products that will be reliably available for the next 20 years is what I wonder about. So many people get into being close to living the dream and faulter. Certainly with products and concepts. Lots of things are sub par and way too expensive. Somethings people go crazy buying them just because they are expensive and few actually get them. Perhaps why they cost so much is justifiable. So you sort of just use an artist to make what they have in mind reguardless if it is already around or not. Tweak it to be unique or improved and actually do something.

Like you say, not copy anyone but the real judge is everyone realizing they aren't competing or copying and ultimately if it is haunted houses, it is the customer that comes to a certain kind of haunted house and what THEIR expectations really are. There is all kinds of sad crap that can be done better and even for the same or less price with efficient methods and just not being a greedy pig being willing to work.

Too many think you just get an artist to hang out making things for free for a few years, hit the tradeshow like a rock star and it is magic. Nope, I keep saying, it is more like if you bought a subway sandwich franchise and even though you paid $300,000 for the best location you are still one day going to be stuck there for a day being a sandwich artist.

Thats why people bail. The other reason people bail or are bailing in the recent years being vendors that are being bitched about is because quite frankly they are too old and senile and insane and are otherwise unemployable in the real world anyhow. It isn't hard to the king or something when everyone else is dysfunctional.

So just do anything, even if it is wrong and get it out there. So long as there isn't already lots of something. The big trick is who is actually going to buy something in a do it yourself kind of market. Something people can't do themselves or is better quality or better value compared to their time. Even if something is wrong you can pretty much sell it somewhere. Someone somewhere needs what ever it is in some last minute situation and the trick is to simply have something. Doesn't even have to be stupendous.

What is missing is people capable and really set up with the make it custom right now environment. So many purchase you don't see on Hauntworld or pictures anywhere on the internet because they were made for a place that will only be live entertainment. So many people do not have the skill to think about it, do some research and make it right now above what was expected in a certain budget. So you go through 20 years of making things to order and you don't chose the products, the market kind of picks out your skills and sends you money and you go with the flow. Plus this changed over the years and every piece of crap has a history to it and why it was replaced with something else, a better material, a better machine that makes something cheaper but just as good.

And people develop real skills and knowledge that they think is common knowledge and not worth anything when it actually is something not anyone can grasp or do properly. You just have to do something and do it well.

Just being the guy who actually has a bunch of things in stock in this day and age is somehow what is missing. Plus it is actually easier and more cost effective to spend long cycles stocking up on something then popping into action rather than trying to be on the phone or internet 80% of the time and 20% of the time making things. And still not having something that is antiquated. What ever it is, it has to be demonstrated as to why you do it, why you need it. Somethings are a skill set that it is better to call someone that does this every day rather than I'm going to do something that may or may not work out financially. So you be the people who do it every day and sometimes that is enough.

It may exist but where. Sometime shipping versus it is 100 miles away is where the decision is made. You just have to have stuff or skills or perhaps the show is the thing. Or the simplicity of the show is the thing. What ever it is, I'll bet it used to be something someone would make but don't anymore. A lot of products and general looks that were great have gone way because people have died, have poisoned themselves with bad working conditions, not necessarily because they couldn't make a buck. Yet sometimes new blood with an old idea is just what the whole industry really needs.

So I'm gonna say, don't be so quick to stiffle this arist guy because he has no idea what already exists. Maybe test him to have a completely different take on something and it might be intuitively great. That what art really is, taking the first most intuitive thing and going with it. Something so obvious in a lots of cases that it takes weeks for someone to realize how right on it is.

What is missing is alot of stuff just plain sucks. How tough is it to do better. Sometimes it is a challenge but, not really tough to actually do better. It takes time to develop things of higher level. Lots of people are just faced with eah I could build that but it costs money and would be work. That work thing is what people always seem to avoid. The entire concept of developing things over time and them going with it is another concept no one seems to want to deal with. Everyone expects something that only takes a few hours to come up with to be worth thousands of dollars.

I'm not in your conversations with the artist guy, I'm just saying to record what you come up with even in brain storming and do some research. Ask around secretly to someone that knows that sort of thing. Plus don't get all stretched out, if you have a show to do, focus on that and use that as your demo for what ever you want to make. You still need to really see lots of things. How they apply and how the real customers react to things.

09-20-2012, 05:14 AM
An MP3 player is easy lol, sadly theres many affordable options out there.

Links or it didn't happen.

09-20-2012, 11:22 AM
Greg, I'd love to buy you a beer some time. So long as you promised not to talk so much... ;) ;)

09-20-2012, 03:30 PM
So what is cheap when it come to an MP3 player that uses an adapter for AC power? One with an auto play track and a triggerable effect track that then defaults back to the primary track when finished playing?

09-21-2012, 10:28 AM
i asked only because i hack together these for about $6.00 each in parts. so to made it look pretty and be worth the time, they would have to sell for $15 - $20

09-21-2012, 11:55 AM
I don't think there's links?

I mean, doing a cheap MP3 player is $6 just like randy said, super cheap, and just set it to repeat on whatever track and with a bit of tinkering I'm sure it would be simple to set up a sensor to trigger the "play effect" or even easier having the sensor trigger the speaker and just keep the loop playing nonstop.

I don't want to market anything that I could really tell someone how to do and have them be able to do it. That isn't fair. Why would I charge you for something I could tell you how to do? Lol. I'm not that greedy! ;) haha

This endeavor is something I'm taking on so I can see more "x,y,z did awesome and were great communicating to me!" And less "that stupid SOB mutha trucka piece of $#!7 never gave me my order and stolen money!" Lol. I want to learn from this awesome artist, and network and benefit a community I care more about than my ex girlfriend lol (there's a reason she's an ex!)

09-21-2012, 02:37 PM
it is a pretty cheap DIY but plug and play is something else. What i do plays off an SD card, auto plays a single track and can be triggered to play an efx track and then resume. I have a ac adapter plug on it so none of the recharge/battery issues.
I try to set all my stuff up plug and play for set up efficiency.
Definitely not on the market anywhere