Yes! “It” is done. Please check out the video on YouTube. It was finished on October 3rd leaving plenty of time to work on the other props before the dry run and party on the 30th. The grand finale is between the hours of 6 PM and 9 PM on Halloween night. Primarily, I do this for the kids on Halloween but I have to admit that I love showing off my skills and to gain some recognition and perhaps admiration from my friends. (If I’m to be a nerd, at least I’m a high functioning one.)
The night before party is also a celebration that I look forward to every year and it has become a tradition. Unfortunately, the party often occurs on a “school night.” By tradition and by necessity, the party has to happen on the night BEFORE Halloween. There are vandals in the neighborhood and having the displays up a few days early is a bad idea. Life would be much better without the vandals. I could set up things over a week and have the party on a weekend day. The current situation makes it necessary for me to set up most everything on one day. Some things that are high up can be placed ahead of time because the vandals don’t usually travel with ladders. This year there will be a few things placed higher up not because of the vandals but because I’m running out of real estate. The old grave yard is getting quite crowded. This year will also require some reorganizing to get everything to fit. Last year’s “new thing” the Zombie Pit won’t be displayed. Instead the bars that covered the pit will be placed vertically and there will be a clown hanging from his wrists within the make-shift jail.
Here are some pictures from the final stages of the build:
Skinning the prop involved cutting repurposed political signs, attaching the pieces to the framework, and painting them black. The “culvert” is made out of silver colored insulation material laid over bent fiberglass rods. The fiberglass rods are perfect in all ways but one. They are light and easy to bend into a smooth pipe-like shape. What is less than ideal is the fact that they must be handled with gloves. Fiberglass splinters are sharp, painful, and difficult to find and remove.
I’ve only received one tongue-in-cheek negative comment, “Aren’t you just a creative guy. If only all that talent could have been used for the good of mankind.” To which I replied, “Well…it’s part of an effort to get people to my house to donate to EMERGE a group that stands against domestic abuse…does that count?” He admitted that it did.
Most people who have viewed the video so far ask the same question, “Did you build that?” They never ask the harder question, “Why?”
Why? The short answer is that I enjoy it. It’s a pleasurable challenge and a chance to do something new. When I’m in the workshop concentrating on the latest build, the outside world goes away—I’m in the “zone.”