Creativity lies at the heart of any great entertainment venture. We sometimes get so bogged down in the technical and business details of bringing our attractions to life that it is easy to lose track of that spark of story and imagination that truly engages haunted attraction guests. Listen in, follow along or join in with these Creative sessions and let our innovative speakers help your dark dreams flourish. Times, topics and speakers are subject to change.
Note: Registration to HAuNTcon is required to take these classes. CLICK HERE to register.
If you have a suggestion for a seminar you would like to have offered at HAuNTcon 2018, then please share the topic with us at email@example.com. If you have knowledge or expertise that you would like to share with HAuNTcon attendees and are interested in presenting it at a future HAuNTcon then submit a proposal HERE.
2018 EDUCATIONAL TOPICS ARE COMING SOON — TAKE A LOOK AT PRIOR YEAR TOPICS TO GET A SENSE OF WHAT TO EXPECT
All HAuNTcon Education is FREE with paid admission for that day!
Character Development and Evolution 101. Take your actors to the next level.
by Al Driver, Slaughterhouse Studios
This class is designed to help your actors evolve to all star status. Some simple character develop techniques, along with simple haunt physiology will be taught to help bring your “class B” actors up to “class A” . Some scare tactics along with proper prop usage will be covered also. This will be a interactive class introduced in a fun hands on format that will be conducted loosely, and fun, while remaining informative. The overall goal is provide better entertainment value and show quality to your patrons and make your show memorable through well thought out characters and acting.
Scenic Design and Lighting on a Tight Budget
by James Wilson, Artifice Creations/ Dark Lane Haunted Attraction
In this fundamentals of scenic design class, James Wilson of Artifice Creations will discuss ways to save money while still delivering the highly detailed scenic environments for a haunted attractions. This seminar will discuss everything from paint techniques to lighting schemes and set dressing.
Que Up and Act Right. A Guide To Queue Line Acting
by Scott Tater Lynd, Froggys Fog
In this interactive session, Scott “Tater” Lynd offers an in depth analysis of queue line acting. Tater is known throughout the industry for his iconic queue entertainment characters Granny and Do-wayne. This class will cover a brief overview of the basics of queue line acting, including suggested dialogue, solutions to common issues, (Like how to out-wit that 12 year old Justin Beiber looking smart-alecky kid) and tips to surviving the entire season. The session will finish up with some more advanced interactive techniques sure to make your line entertainment the talk of the town.
Haunt Design Do’s and Don’ts: Avoiding Common Errors That Decreases Haunt Effectiveness
by Leonard Pickle, Hauntrepreneurs®
Description coming soon!
Get Up and Scare!: The Importance of Finding, Casting and Training Haunt Actors
by Scott Swenson, The Vault of Souls
This interactive seminar is for both haunt actors and those who need to cast them. The quality and consistency of a cast can make or break any haunt. Only trained performers can adapt to guests quickly enough to wring every ounce of fear out of them. By using some of the basics of theatre, you will learn how to find, train and retain great performers. Attendees will participate in a sample audition, learn some basic improvisation based training techniques and discuss the importance of safety training for all performers. Whether your performers are paid or volunteer, if you set high standards it makes their work important. Treat them professionally and they will become professionals.
How to Scare Patrons Using Digital Projection Systems
by William Ramsay, Dr. TerrorEyes
If you want to use the latest in haunt technology and fewer live actors to get a great scare in your haunt, thn listen as Halloween zealot “Dr. TerrorEyes” (Dr. Bill Ramsay) provides you with the techniques, designs, tips, tricks, ideas on adding a virtual actor into your haunt.
Digital projections are hot items and are growing in use each year. Learn how to frighten and entertain in any type of haunt by using high tech to your advantage. You can add another “actor” (who never needs to be fed and never gets thirsty) to your haunt’s cast of scareactors by simply setting up digital projection systems in your haunt and/or cemetery.
In this lively class, attendees will see examples of techniques, display designs, ideas and more. You’ll get the details you need and a course handout that will inspire you. To add to the fun, course attendees are also eligible for several door prize drawings throughout presentation. Let the Doctor’s 42 years of haunt experience provide you with the insight and ideas to create a truly frightening experience.
Escape the Negatives of Starting Your Own Escape Room
by Andrew de Ruiter, Escape the Estate
Have you ever thought you might like to start your own escape room? Let Andrew deRuiter guide you down the path of creating your own escape. With a background as a professional magician, Andrew can help you start out with methods to create puzzles of your very own, so that you can invent an escape room unique to your own attraction. Learn how to compose a back-story that will fit in with your puzzles and sets. You will also learn what techniques to use when creating escape rooms from scratch, as well as what you need to do to convert rooms that had previously been used in your haunted attraction. Discover what you will want to watch out for when building your escape, as well how to convert existing props and sets from you haunt in order to save time and money. If you’ve noticed the escape buzz in the industry, and you just can’t wait to start your own, this is the lecture for you!
Thinking Outside of the Box: Haunt Design Using the Triangular Grid System
by Leonard Pickel, Hauntrepreneurs®
Your average run of the mill Fright Attraction is designed on a “square” 4′ by 4′ grid pattern. Boring! However, in this lively cutting edge session, Haunt industry icon Leonard Pickel, will show attendees how to design out of the “box” using the “Triangular Grid System” that he developed over his almost 40 year haunting career.
Not just a design pattern, the system utilizes a wall panel design that is easier to construct, lighter, stronger, easier to carry and takes up half the storage space of typical panel construction. The triangular grid itself provides more lineal pathway per square foot than the old “square grid” configuration, stronger structurally and is more disorienting to patrons.
In this comprehensive instructional session, attendees will learn the ins and outs of the triangular grid system and its history, designing tips with the triangular grid, panel construction, how to lay out the grid, how to install the wall system, how it passes code, when to use the triangular grid and when not to. the positives and negatives of designing outside the box with the Triangular Grid System verses the average square grid.
Creating Memorable Storylines and Characters
by Todd Patton & Tim Green, Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern / Fear Connection
By captivating your guests with a creative story line and strong characters, not only can you enhance the experience, but also make it an entirely new show each year. In this presentation, Todd Patton and Tim Greene will show attendees what they have done in the past from character development to story lines. They will explain how to get actors and crew excited by building their own characters to match your story line. By having a strong story line, not only do you captivate your audience, but you also keep your haunt focused in the process.
What You Need To Know To Audition For The Walking Dead
by Stephanie Harp, Michael Jaegers and Kent Wagner
Learn how to become a “walker” in this panel discussion by actors Stephanie Harp, Michael Jaegers and Kent Wagner who played Zombies in the popular television show The Walking Dead. Actors in the show actually go thorough zombie school to learn how to act like walkers, and in this fun session Stephanie, Michael and Kent will show you how to become a walker from The Walking Dead. Also covered are tips on how you could audition to become a zombie star on The Walking Dead!
Ramp Up Your Entertainment with Queue line and Sliding Actors!
by Todd Patton & Tim Green, Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern / Fear Connection
Every haunt owner wants to see their queue lines packed full of people and the cash flowing in. However, waiting for hours in long lines can create a negative experience for patrons. With the proper line entertainment, the wait becomes part of the show, eases the tension of waiting in a long line, and can even be a memorable experience for the customer. In this seminar, Todd Patton and Tim Green will show attendees how to ramp up their entertainment by adding queue line and Slider actors. They will explain the basics of sliding as well as detailed ways to build the sliding equipment. Attendees of this seminar will learn about techniques, surfaces, and effective ways to incorporate Sliders to terrify their crowds.
Escape Room Design
by Andrew deRuiter, Escape the Estate
The escape room phenomenon is sweeping the nation. In this session, Andrew deRuiter will discuss how to design and build sets and incorporate unique puzzles into those designs. How to successfully convert props into puzzles and clues for your escape room. Both actor driven room designs and rooms your guests can safely explore on their own will be covered, including advice on one hour escape rooms as well as three minute escape games.
Whether considering starting an escape room, or taking a current escape room to the next level, this class is for you! Andrew shares some of his secrets and tricks This session will cover the theory of using magic and special effects to amaze and delight your guests.
Music Theming: Killing the Music Monotony!
by Justin McElroy, Insanitarium Haunted Attraction
Creating an intense, immersive environment for your Haunted House is very important to successful scares. One of the best ways to achieve this is through music. Music can manipulate a person’s psychological state of mind, submerging them in a real life horror film. This seminar will review and discuss essential tactics to create that suspenseful and adrenaline filled rollercoaster ride for your patrons. Attendees will observe how patrons react to the sound of an invasive environment in contrast to lyrical music. Attendees will also learn how actors can be more in tune with their role and how to use the sound as environmental advantage.
Cemetery Props: Concept vs Reality
by Jeff & Chris Davis, Davis Graveyard
Chris & Jeff Davis, creators of the acclaimed Davis Graveyard home haunt, will demonstrate their process for using monster mud, the joint compound and latex paint mixture used to make faux statues. This crew’s impressive credits include grand prize awards for their props on Instructables.com and their current display features dozens of monster mud monuments The Davis Graveyard crew will illustrate how to use different types of fabric for specific applications. Attendees will learn how to apply monster mud for each type of fabric.