Zombie Photo Shoot
This past weekend I experimented with a Zombie Photo Shoot at the Midnight Sun Festival here in Fairbanks. And yes the sun is as bright at midnight as it is at noon. I threw up a Green Screen and had approximately 25 different apocalyptic backgrounds for people to choose from. I had 5 different zombies and a whole slew of different weapons for people to use in defense from the zombie horde. I gave them the opportunity to either fight off the Zombies, or I had my make-up artist there and they could become zombies themselves.
The reason I am writing all of this is because we did extremely well.(Other than the guy selling the Tye Dye Shirts and Moo Moos.) I found it was fantastic way to get the community involved with something and get them thinking about this coming season and get them talking about us. Also it was a great way to build some revenue to help with modifications and marketing for the upcoming season. And I was curious if anyone else had tried something similar out there and what kind of results they were receiving from it.
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I'm glad to hear you did well with it, we were just recently discussing doing this at an event over the summer. What did you charge for it? How did you get people to come over? One of my concerns was that I wasn't sure if just putting the screen up would be enough to really pull people in. Could they see the backgrounds on-site? We were thinking about trying to hook up a monitor or two to show examples of the pictures with the different backgrounds. How much editing did it take for each picture?
Well we charged 20.00 for an 8X10 and 15.00 for a 5X7. My photographer would snap several shots, let them pick which one they liked most and run with it. We had all the backgrounds posted there for people to pick out with examples laid out in front of them so they could get a good idea of what they would be getting. We also did candy, t-shirts and masks on the other side of the tent. It helped to draw people in as well had my team of zombies and a couple other characters out roaming in front of the booth engaging people and bringing them in. On the other side of that, it did help to have some Hot zombies too...
Now for some of the specifics. We bought a dedicated system for the pictures. Along with a program called Photokey 6. Which is designed for the green screen and I have to say it is an amazing program, My team keeps playing with it and discovering more and more of what it can do. Definitely worth the money. Having a touch screen laptop helped a lot too. made things easier to manipulate. I also bought some cool weapons for people to use. The most used was the Rubber Duck M-4 with the Zombie Chainsaw attachment. We have a lot of photos from the day over on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FairbanksAsylum
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Fairbanks, I second your praise of Photokey. By far the most amazing program out there for green screen. I've tried several different green screen plugins over the years for photoshop and Lightroom, and this standalone is definitely the fastest, cheapest, and most effective.
Glad to see someone that is using photography to really boost sales and interest with your business. It truly is an untapped marketing angle that really should be capitalized on before the zombie fad blows over in the next 5-10 yrs. Great concept and idea. I will actually be passing this post along to a few other haunt friends.
Thanks for the post!
Lastly, the ONLY suggestion for PK6 to work just slightly smoother would be to tighten up the screen a bit to remove many of those shadows around the screen that make the software work just a little harder. I understand that this was a "field expedient" setup that was thrown up quickly in an outdoor venue, but a few extra clips to tighten up the screen will help the rendering to go just slightly quicker, I've found.
Thanks again for this great concept!
Thanks for the praise! We were just talking last night about tightening up the screen. Were going to design a system where the screen will attach to a PVC pipe frame within the confines of the tent. Also I have to say that having the whit tent really worked well for diffusing the light so we didn't need to set up our own lights at all. 24 hours of sunlight helped too... I'm also playing with the idea of having something similar at our haunt this year. Or doing it Disney style that everyone gets a photo with a character and as they are done they can look at the photo on a set background and opt to buy it or not.
It doesn't cost anything to take the pictures. If your photographer is there make them work...