Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Haunt Theory: Point Of View

I've often said that even if I didn't get one child trick-or-treating on Halloween night, I'd still do my yard haunt. And I would.

But since I probably don't have to worry about that happening at the current suburban location of my haunt, I started to think about an aspect of my display that I've never really spoken about - it's designed for kids. Not in the dripping dried-up organs and armless zombies sort of way, but rather in the way I build the props and display them.

During the construction process of a prop, I'll find myself lowering my point of view to the height of a child to see what they'd see. I use that technique to determine the height of my props, or the tilt of a head, or the height of a reaching arm. The Hollowmen scarecrows were placed lower on their posts so a non-adult could see more details. I didn't want trick-or-treaters looking up and seeing scarecrow nostrils. The Ghost Dead were all made with height in mind. My Witches' faces are all about the height of a child, as they crouch around their fire. I think it's more intimidating and personal that way. The trick-or-treater is face-to-face with a Witch - not just looking up at one.

Nothing too severe, just a few inches to a foot on the height of a prop, or a more drastic head-tilt or positioning on a taller prop, as if it's looking down at a child rather than straight on at an adult.

So if I lived somewhere that never saw any kid-traffic on Halloween night, I'd do the same all-out haunt. It'd just be a few inches higher.

15 comments:

RebelShade said...

You really, really, need to write a book :) Think of the kids. I would so buy one.

Rot said...

: )

Sara said...

Never thought about it that way. Interesting perspective, pun intended.

crudedoodle.com said...

I'm always amazed at how many adults will walk around a haunt and not even see things.

jay's shadow said...

i know just what you are talking about. when i use to get trick or treaters, i would have everything set up so as you cme to the door you would either see it eye to eye or slightly higher. now i dont get anyone so now i set everything so you can see it from the street.( hope i dont have any high winds this year to knock everything down again!)


this "haunt theory" book is starting to get a little larger.....

Aelwyn said...

I totally agree with RebelShade---you NEED to write a book!!!!!

John Rozum said...

This is timely. I'm just starting to put together my things for this year's haunt, and have been thinking of the same thing.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you cook up for this year.

ShellHawk said...

Brilliant as always! Thanks for sharing your hard-won knowledge!

NoahFentz said...

I just clicked on the Haunt Theory tag and read all of them again. This in itself is a great Blog. A Haunt Theory Blog. The book is a great idea too.

When I finally get my website up to date I will somehow link the Haunt Theory Tag. Very cool indeed.

PumpkinBrain said...

So simple but yet very effective. I have never thought about this. Seems like I was missing something very important.

Thanks for sharing!

Jason-v said...

Very cool technique J!!

The Captain said...

I had never knowingly considered the height of my props. But I will definitely factor in to my building from now on. Luckily all of stuff I have already built is low. Again, I agree about the book too.

bean said...

glad i'm so short :)

The Gill-Man said...

I can honestly say this factor hasn't occurred to me before, but it sure is something I'll take into consideration as I build my haunt!

Dave Lowe said...

Legend has it Walt Disney would walk Disneyland and often get on his knees to see the park from a child's POV. Great mind's think alike.

A few years ago when I started dressing as Frankenstein's monster to give out candy, I mentioned to my brother that I should make or get platform shoes. He reminded me that I was 6 feet tall and to little kids that already looks 20 feet tall.