View Full Version : 2008 Rot

The Mad Hatter
12-09-2008, 11:47 PM
Hi there, my name is Frank Balzer. I have been helping Bruce Stanton with his haunted house, the Reign of Terror for the last five years. I was introduced to Bruce in 2003 and with my help his haunt began to increase not only in size but also with props and staging. I have personally grown with the experience of working with Bruce. I have learned many things about construction of haunt sets and social skills while working side by side with Stanton. He has always listened to my new and innovative ideas and has always encouraged my creativity. I do not require a big pat on the back or even credit for my work, just working on a haunt with Stanton and having my ideas respected is the best complement. Bruce and I are the builders and designers of the haunted house, we have a crew to help with the set up. With the creative license Stanton has given me, I was able to introduce a more realistic look to the haunt. I personally don't like things just thrown into a room just because we have it. I prefer if it fits the staging and mood of the room! I also like it when rooms flow with one another. Does it sound as though I am also part owner? Maybe one could say in a way I am. I loan personal sets I have built to the Reign Of Terror Haunted House. I design, build and paint these sets myself. I also loan many other props to ROT, such as old chairs, trunks, books, numerous props and other vintage set dressings.

Now to get to the main point on why I wrote this thread. I would like to share with you my latest massive project. I thought it would be more impressive if the Reign of Terror had a new face, a new facade. I decided to design, build, and paint a realistic facade for the ROT. I even decided gingerbread and motifs would work with the realism. I worked on this facade by MYSELF for 8 days completing it on time What do you think? I Would like to hear your input. I was pleased with the outcome but will be giving it another face lift for next year. I will most likely add onto it and make it larger. It will probably end up being scrapped the year after that and be replaced by a better facade.

Most importantly, this Victorian facade is designed to come apart into smaller sections so it will be easier to storage. The Victorian facade was also designed so you would not see the gaps between the panels. It fits into a 6 x 10 foot space. The facade is three stories tall or 24ʼ tall by 21ʼ wide. By the way I am 19 years old.

The Mad Hatter
12-09-2008, 11:53 PM
Photos of facade

The Mad Hatter
12-09-2008, 11:57 PM
Construction photos

The Mad Hatter
12-10-2008, 12:01 AM
Construction photos pt 2

Front Yard Fright
12-10-2008, 01:07 AM
That's fantastic!
Wonderfull job! Do you have any pictures of the whole thing broken down?
Great job!

Jim Warfield
12-10-2008, 01:48 AM
Sorry to tell you this but you might have peaked too soon!
Where you going to go from here? hahahahah!
Very nice looking work. Really.
Did you create this facade to handle any gusts of wind?
October where I live can be very windy.
When I was in the JCs and their first haunted house we had a piece of plywood which was a sign for the house blow over and scratch the paint on a woman's car, oops!
Never stop asking yourself:"What else might hapen?" After you think that you have it all figured out.
The odds are good that you are already doing this.
Once again, Nice Job!

12-10-2008, 05:06 AM
Awesome! Your abilities and dedication will take you a long way in life.

12-10-2008, 05:51 AM
Jealous of you. Not for your work but your only 19. Just kidding but wished I was that again with the opportunity that you are given on a haunted house.
When I was that age I struggled just to survive and haunted house's were not as
sophisticated as they are now.
Sounds like you have a good work ethic and as it looks the talent to go along with it. Be proud of what you do and enjoy life as much as you can.

Good Luck,

Jim @ Colwood Enterprises

12-10-2008, 06:13 AM
Frank, That's impressive!

Youth is surely an important factor because you still have that creativity that many lose as they get older. You obviously also have the skills to back that creativity up, and I bet you will go far.

Good job. I can't wait to see what you come up with next.

Jim Warfield
12-10-2008, 07:41 AM
This could be a whole book.
Creativity as defined by some is having many ideas running through your head.
I have met many people who might qualify as creative then.......BUT if those ideas go spilling through one's head at a high rate and you never do any of them...what does this count for?
Someone could write a book..maybe?
90 ideas an hour, every hour won't leave anything behind to show creativity.
Deciding what to focus upon of your numerous ideas might actually prove something like genious though, compared to most people.
Inspiration is great to begin with but the follow-through is the tuffy.

12-10-2008, 09:47 AM
That looks great!!!!


12-10-2008, 10:09 AM
That looks awesome! Good job, you will be going places in this industry. I too am jealous of your age, LOL!

Keep up the good work and thanks for posting. Bruce is lucky to have you on his team. It's cool he gives you that freedom to design and build what you want.


The Mad Hatter
12-10-2008, 09:11 PM
Jim Warfield,

Yes, this facade was built to withstand the forces of wind. It withstood the Santa Susanna winds here in California without budging a inch. The structure behind the facade was made up of about 200 2x4's. The first floor protruded back 8 feet and the top was sheeted with plywood. on top of that the second floor protruded back 4 feet with plywood sheeting on top. On the third floor, the roof, 2x4's braced the panels at a 45 degree angle.
All throughout this structure about 90 of the 200 2x4's were criss crossed to keep the facade from racking back and forth. This surely was a sight too see I wish i took some photos of the bracing before disassembling it. Ill be sure to take photos of the bracing next year.

12-10-2008, 10:50 PM
Awesome job Frank..... Can't wait to see what else you come up with. Keep em coming.