Sunday, October 03, 2010

Welcome to My Nightmare(s) (Halloween Haunts 2010)

My apologies to Alice Cooper fans that come here because of the title. Alice Cooper is not a part of this. Then again, on second thought, maybe he is.

In this blog, I intend to setup what is going on this month on here. It is usually this time of year that I try to put up some Halloween themed blogs. I think this time I may have the best bunch that I have done. Assuming I have no technical problems, you should see a bunch of blogs and videos all through the month.

Whatever the pagan origins of the holiday are, in America the day is mostly thought as a day kids dress up in costumes and go “trick or treating” for candy. While I was a kid I enjoyed that, but I think I enjoy the Halloween season more now.

Where I am at the daylight really starts to get shorter this time of year. This is one area that someone in the southern hemisphere might not quite get the same understanding of October compared to us in the northern hemisphere. I think in the south the experience is closer to what happens in April-May there. I will leave you to consulting Alex Fillipenko’s TTC Astronomy lecture on the “Reason for the Seasons” , or your local astronomer to figure out how the tilt of the earth and its orbital position causes this. In any case, things get darker earlier and the sunlight gets more orange. That orange is a key Halloween color that is reflected in all the arts. I actually subscribe to a bunch of blogs that specifically deal with Halloween artwork throughout the year, and they all have the black and orange colors in the art.

While I am not the biggest Horror movie fan, I do watch an occasional horror movie. When I was growing up most of the “slasher” type of movies were really popular. That was never really something that interested me. I like the movies that create a suspenseful spooky atmosphere. They do not necessarily have to be scary to do this. Last week I watched Trick ‘r Treat which is not a scary movie, but more of a dark comedy that takes place on Halloween. It captures the mood and colors really well.

Now connecting what I have just mentioned to this blog creates a few problems. Naturally, just about everything I show on this blog takes place during the daylight hours. To do things right I have to have good lighting during the day, and I do not usually take pictures or video during the night or early morning hours. I have had some wild experiences hiking in the dark in the middle of nowhere. My favorite story is seeing some light lamps bobbing up and down in the distance and not seeing anyone holding them. It reminded me of one of the scenes in the beautiful Japanese ghost story movie Kwaidan. While professional film makers know how to create the proper lighting for dark scenes in movies, most of what I see the average person do on Youtube does not really work very well. You might as well just show a dark screen and have sounds. So, everything you will see me do for this series takes place during the day.

When it comes to horror movie locations, this is difficult. Almost all horror films have their key scenes take place indoors or on a movie set. While in the old days you might have a transition scene take place at Vasquez Rocks, or you might even be able to find scenes of a movie that take place at someone’s privately owned home or neighborhood which was used as the haunt, those do not really work well with what I like to do. There are some areas I would not mind traveling to that are well known, but I doubt I will do that anytime soon and I always like to go to areas that are a little lesser known anyways. It ends up being the case that the cheaper a movie was the more likely it was filmed in a way I can show where something significant was done.

I do not think anything I will show is really “scary.“ What you are going to see on here in the next few weeks is me trying to create a certain type mood or atmosphere. Remember, the problem is doing this during the day, but on some days I had the weather conditions in my favor to create the right spooky Halloween atmosphere. The weather conditions is where you have to have a little luck involved. The videos I think really enhance this. You will see some things I am going to show are a bit silly, but at least one I would consider really dark in mood.

In any case, I hope that if you like Halloween you find at least one thing fun I do this month. It really is a time of the year that I like to do something completely different than my more normal way of doing things. I cannot guarantee that I will continue to do this in the future so enjoy what I am doing this time around. In the meantime, before I post the next blog entry, you may want to look at some of my old October theme blogs to get in the mood.

October 2009

October 2008

October 2006

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