December 8, 2006

Time for Christmas Ghosts!

I managed to get my hands on a rare copy of Richards Williams' Academy Award winning animated short, "A Christmas Carol" from 1971! This 28 minute long animation was first aired on American TV on December 21, 1971, and only aired once or twice afterwards, probably due to the rather horrifying depictions of some of the spirits.

The art and animation of this production is stunning and beautiful, using a hand-drawn pen and ink style that gives a ghostly shimmer to every scene. I saw this program once, when I was 8 years old and I NEVER forgot it! I started to doubt whether my childhood memories were true, and that maybe I made up the whole thing. As it turns out, my memories were amazingly accurate!

Scrooge is voiced by everybody's favorite Ebenezer. Alastair Sim!
This production is universally regarded as the best animated version of the Dickens classic ever, and it is a crime that networks have neglected it all these years!

Who do you have to call to get this thing back on TV?!

If you are as big a fan of "A Christmas Carol" as I am, I recommend getting 

November 9, 2006

Our Living Dead Doll Mordechai Sold !

On Halloween night we went to the Living Dead Doll Art Show in Manhattan and  discovered that our submission, "Mordechai", had sold!
We have no idea who purchased him, but hopefully the new owners will contact me. I would love to know where he is going!  Here is shot of Mordechai on display at the art the art show.

Before the show we spent the early evening sitting at a sidewalk cafe on lower 7th Ave., drinking wine, and watching the New York City trick-or-treater pass.  It was a wonderful site!

November 8, 2006

Our Living Dead Doll

We managed to get our Living Dead Doll completed and shipped to the "Living Dead Dolls Art Show" in NYC. My wife created the clothes (otherwise he would be wearing nothing but a black felt poncho!), and I sculpted and painted the rest. I even built a nice, little wooden coffin for him. We went to the opening gala on Halloween night, and had a chance to meet some of the awesome artists who participated. It was a lot of fun!
Thanks, Mezco, for inviting me to participate! 
Click images to enlarge

November 2, 2006

"ScreamHouse" on Tour

Here is the first photo of a completed ScreamHouse model, built by none other than "The Caretaker" himself! Ken (chainsawwolf) is a Universal scareactor who played the part of "The Caretaker" in the actual attraction, and here he is standing in front of the real ScreamHouse, with his model ScreamHouse!
Thanks Chainsaw!
The model in front of the real thing!

November 1, 2006

Halloween Horror Nights Paper : "Psychoscareapy"

My second Universal Halloween Horror Nights paper model "Psychoscareapy" has been released.

"If you think you know insane,
you don't know JACK!" 

October 27, 2006

Halloween Horror Nights Paper Model me!

I usually try to offer some sort of Halloween goodies at this time of year, but I've been very busy with "other" projects lately, which have taken all of my Halloween project time.
Univeral Studios, Orlando asked me to create a couple of paper model versions of their Halloween Horror Nights haunted house facades, which will be offered on the HHN site.
Well, the first kit has been released! It is "ScreamHouse: Resurrection".

"Through blood, bone and ash, evil has risen again.
Abandoned for years, this gothic mortuary contains the eternally 
tormented souls of the Caretaker’s victims. Aided by a
cultish group of Followers, the Caretaker assures
that you will enter on your own two feet,
but leave sealed in a casket."

Click image to enlarge

This is a relatively simple model to build, and it is only 3 inches deep, so it will fit nicely on a shelf or mantle.

Photo of actual "ScreamHouse" facade.

October 7, 2006

I'm Back Home

What was originally supposed to be a four-week gig at Universal, Orlando turned into a four month gig, and what an amazing four months is was! Truly the best work experience I have ever had! The people I worked with in the art and design department are not only amazingly talented, they are also extremely nice and fun to be around, and what could be cooler than being totally immersed in all things Halloween Horror Nights? 
Not only did I work on HHN web site graphics. I was also involved with many other aspects of the Halloween Horror Nights productions, such as creating an animation for "Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure", creating a variety of HHN park signs and 3D displays, and even making a very short appearance in the "Share the Scare" online video, playing a victim of "The Storyteller"!

Below are a few shots of my 1 second of fame in Universal, Orlando's "Share the Scare"
Halloween Horror Nights video.  The third frame is the flash of my eyes as my tongue is ripped out!

September 26th marked the two-year anniversary of Haunted Dimensions. Thanks for the visits! I could have never imagined the success of this site when I first created it!

Now that I'm back in my Pennsylvania routine, you should expect more frequent updates and projects.

August 19, 2006

Keys to the Kingdom

Today I went to the Magic Kingdom to take "The Keys to the Kingdom" backstage tour.
Our tour guide, Daniel, did a wonderful job showing us the hidden side of the Magic Kingdom and revealing some of the secrets behind the magic!
The 4+ hour tour included an exclusive trip on the Jungle Cruise, with the usual skipper spiel replaced by a technical explanation of how the attraction works. We also visited the underground utility corridors, known as "utilidors", visited the backstage buildings which house the various parade floats, and yes, went to the Haunted Mansion.

While we were in the Utilidors, we ran into "Mayor Weaver" (the Mayor of Main Street USA who I watched officiate the opening of the park that morning) and two of his lady friends. They had just come down from being "on stage" and were still in costume, although one the ladies was holding her wig in her hat (saying it was her pet Shitzu). Even though we were "off stage", the Mayor and the ladies jumped into character . They sang a hormonized "Happy Birthday" to one of the men in our group, told jokes, and made conversations. It was a great moment, in an unusual setting, and they left us all smiling!

If you are a fan of Imagineering, I highly recommend this tour!
You have to make reservations ahead of time, and cameras and bags are not allowed. Lunch was included at the Colombia House, and we all received a beautiful "Keys to the Kingdom" gold pin!

July 12, 2006

Czech This Out !

Joe sent me an email to let me know that he spotted a magazine article mentioning Haunted Dimensions.
A recent issue of the Czech magazine "ABC" suggests Haunted Dimensions, and in particular, my paper mo del of the Pirate's of the Caribbean, Torre del Cielo, as a web pick.
Thanks Joe! And thanks ABC! 
Click image to enlarge

June 27, 2006

More Nice Words

"The finest Haunted Mansion model ever."
~Jeff "Chef Mayhem" Baham, founder of the Haunted Mansion supersite,
Thanks, Chef!

March 7, 2006

Pepper's Ghost in the Ballroom

I received an email from Dustin asking,
"I am trying to figure out how the Imagineer’s got the ghosts in the ballroom to be reflected to
the balcony where guests look into the room. I was hoping you could send me a side view of the ballroom showing where the glass and animatronics are placed."

I am asked that question very often, so click the link below to get a simplified explanation.
If you do not wish to know the secrets of the ballroom effects, please DO NOT click the link below!

A Question of Model Scale

Recently I have received a number of email from model railroad enthusiasts who want to build my models for inclusion on their scale railroad layouts, and wanted to know to what scale I designed my models. For those who do not know w hat I am talking about, the scale of a model is the relation of it's size, to that of the origina l structure. For instance if you had a 12 inch tall model of a structure which is 12 feet tall in real life, then the scale would be 1 inch = one foot.

I do not design my models with any particular scale in mind, but rather, I design them to be as large as possible, while keeping the pieces within an 8x10 inch printable space. I also do not know the measurements of the mansion with 100% accuracy, however, I believe the Liberty Square haunted mansion paper model is approximately
1 inch = 5.5 feet.
In model train terms it is
1/66 (which means 1 inch equals 66 inches).

The large versions of the Crypts, and Entrance Pillar models are approximately
1 inch = 1.4 feet
With the proper math, you should be able to figure out at what percentage to print your models, in order for them to be the scale you require. But please don't ask me what the percentages should be! All of this has already overextended my primitive knowledge of math!
Click image to enlarge

February 23, 2006

Disney World Map 1979

While rummaging in my basement I found a large Disney World Magic Kingdom map from 1979. I do not know how I came by it, considering my first trip to The Magic Kingdom was not until 1986, but it was a great discovery. (Wow! My 20th Haunted Mansion anniversary is this year!) 
The representation of the Liberty Square Haunted Mansion is very well done!
I especially like the ghostly faces found on the trees.
 But why does the man standing at the entrance look so unhappy?
Maybe the ride is closed for renovations again.

January 31, 2006

Haunted Mansions from Space

Thanks to Google maps, I was able to find, and compare the overhead views of the 4 Disney haunted mansion attractions.
These satellite shots clearly show the various layouts of the show buildings, and the relatively small mansion facades (circled in yellow). You will also notice the similarities between Tokyo's haunted mansion, and Liberty Square in Disney World, which are nearly identical. 

January 10, 2006

Magic Kingdom 1977

I liked this mini map found in a 1977 Disney World brochure. I especially like the representation of the Liberty Square Haunted Mansion!

And, of course, in 1977 we were still dealing with flash bulbs!
I love the factoid that a camera would require 100,000 flash bulbs to illuminate the castle!

January 5, 2006

When Worlds Collide

Did you know that the Liberty Square Haunted Mansion at Disney World is directly next to It's a Small World?The ingenious layout of the park makes it seem like the two attractions are worlds apart, but this satellite view from Google proves otherwise.
So the next time you are riding through the cemetery in your doombuggie, and watching the singing busts, take a moment to realize that true horror, and insanity are just a few yards behind you!

And pray that your doombuggie doesn't make an unexpected left turn, taking you into "a 
of laughter, and a world of tears"!

January 2, 2006

Prototype #1 Complete!

Well, it is a bit wobbly, and skewed, but the first prototype of my
New Orleans Square paper model is finished!
I discovered a few problems which I hope are minor.
The pillars were about 4 mm too short.
The third storey is about 1 cm too short, causing the pediments to
partially cover the third floor windows.
The verandah roof seems to have some conflicting angles.
But it sure looks like it is supposed too!
There are a couple more photos of the final prototype on the construction page, including a side by side comparison of my Liberty Square model and this one (link below).