In the spirit of Halloween, I figured I’d post some spooky stuff for all of you (Hi mom!) to read.
This was the first image when I googled “spooky stuff”
This scary story starts back in September of 2013… OK, I’m gonna drop the scary storyteller routine, honest. Real life scary person Adam Czarnik, really digs the Halloween season. As long as I’ve known him, he’s been casting molds of his face, building ghouls, and legit prepping and organizing haunted houses.
Adam in the flesh
So I was pretty glad (better late than never) that he asked me to come on board and help put together a local TV spot for one of his mainstays “The Haunting on the Hill” in Patterson New York. I had just relocated to the North East, and I was enthusiastic about getting some side-work to compliment my decent wage which was being killed by my 90 mile daily commute.
I feel like I keep tagging my good dude friend Gary Ahmed (and seriously, click his name already) but shooting the Haunted commercial was the first time Gary and I shot anything together since we killed Nick Guerrera’s cat in high school. (not a real cat/Zack’s mom was worse)
We shot in the beginning of September, which meant we had to make a half constructed haunted house in 85 degree weather look scary in the middle of the day, since power was scarce. But Adam enlisted the repertory of spooks and demons to come up and act for us as they would on a normal night, and it made all the difference.
Adam made em all up, Gary and I threw a whole bunch of wacky colored lights up, and we proved once more that some steadicams don’t work well, no matter how many times you swear at it.
Here’s the final spot:
In post, I asked my friend Dan Gilnack to do our voice over. He’s got a bass-y voice and had some fun with it. Being as I lived in CT, and the HotH was in NY, I never actually got to see the spot run, but I imagined it peaked the interest of children and had all the parents saying “Did they say ‘scare-unteed to give you nightmares?”
The haunted house itself was a blast. I was post-hibachi drunk and kind of mad I had to pay to get in, but I could still appreciate the craftsmanship that went into the hay-ride, werewolves, aliens, psychos, and the babbling lady with the aborted baby. They were a big happy family.
The bummer was that 2013 was the last year that the Haunting on the Hill was open, which is met with the kind of bittersweet feeling akin to being the last guy a girl dated before becoming a lesbian. I recently spoke to the proprietors, and the good news is that they’re looking to relocate to good old CT the next year, and go back to scaring and caring in this most festive time of year.
And for all our sakes I hope they do.