The Walls have Eyes

terrorfied_girl_scream The year was 2002, we had installed a inexpensive wireless camera inside the Haunted House, just for fun.. to laugh the people getting scared. (Yes we do make fun of you when you get scared) it was a very low tech camera, poor image, no recording or playback, black and white picture. Within the first couple of hours of seeing our guests reactions we found ourselves trying different things. Changing actors, scare tactics, lighting and just about anything else we could think of. No longer did we have to wait for you to exit the Haunt to judge how well we did, we could now see results in real time. after that first night we knew one thing.. We needed more cameras.

Are you gonna post that on Facebook?

peepee-girls Fast forward to 2011: We now depend on over 120 cameras to track performance! Gone are the inexpensive cameras and in their place are high resolution infrared, night vision and thermal imaging devices. We have addressed several concerns and issues as our system has expanded. The Big Brother effect, the fear that performers would act for the camera not the guests and how to review all of the footage.

On average we generate 1000 hours of video footage per night with 27 nights in the 2011 season toss in a few private events that is close to 30,000 hours of video just in October.

 take my Wife.. PLEASE!

air-cannon-scarecrow-girl-pushes-husband As it turns out you love watching your friends jump and scream, It’s not uncommon to find your groups video on Facebook before you complete the adventure through the Haunted House “Some with wet pants” hey it happens! or a big tuff guy hiding behind his wife. So what about all of that footage and how do we find the good stuff? Good question. We have several methods of reviewing the “Game Films” as we call it. The most common is when a guest comes running out of the Haunt screaming with wet pants. We just mark the time and follow the action. We have push buttons inside the maze: a actor presses the button it enters the time and location to a log file. Of course we still like to get together after we close for the night and watch the highlight films.

HOW do we find the good stuff?

Reviewing the Game Films

Looking back I don’t know how we managed without the system. We have been able to retrieve lost cell phones, wallets and the occasional missing child or two. We use the system for training, character development and adjusting our scare tactics in real time. Video Stage Directors sit in the booth directing and adjusting our attack like offensive coordinators at a NFL game. At the end of the day it just confirms what we new all along.. Haunted Houses are fun for the whole family.

And we will!  ”See you” soon at the Boneyard. Bwahahahaa

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