JustJimAZ

The Drawing Board Part 5 - Keeping Track of it All

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I previously mentioned haunt designer Scott Swenson.
At a haunt convention, Scott shared a tool he used as creative director for the Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream event.

It's a Venue Flow Sheet. Something like this exists for different venues, and it's pretty similar to some business flows too. Scott shared his, and I share it with you.

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If you are a large haunt with different people in charge of lighting sound, etc., each person can go to the flow sheet for their particular room and just look at the column they are responsible for. They just read it vertically. However, if you want to see how everything ties together, read it horizontally.

A complex room may have several pages explaining what all goes into the room. For the sake of simplicity, I offer a relatively short example.
Room:
Butcher Room
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Narrative:
Patrons enter through stage left and as they do, they see the BUTCHER with his back to them, singing and hacking something with a heavy cleaver. He sets the cleaver on a hook and grabs a butcher knife, notices people in the room and turns around. He has a human arm in one hand. He yells "Nobody beats my meat!", and slaps the arm down on the counter. BOGEY pops out from a drop panel in the island and scares them. Sometimes BOGEY comes from the freezer. A door opens stage right and patrons exit.

Scenic and Special Effects

Walls are white tile. There is a counter and sink on the far wall. On one side of the sink is a freezer. Above the sink is a grimy white board with hooks in it. Knives and cleavers hang from hooks. There is an island in the middle of the room with a cutting board on it. All the walls are splattered in shades of reds and browns. The grout is mottled and dirty. The floor is white tile covered in red and brown globs and streaks.

The cutting board by the sink is designed with a gap between the board and counter to maximize the chopping sounds.

The cutting board on the island hides a bellows, which blasts air(?) when the arm is slapped down on it.

There is a drop panel built into the cutting island, hidden by molding. The freezer is a hidey-hole for an actor.

The overhead light flickers unsteadily.

Lighting and Atmosphere
The room is lit primarily by a fluorescent overhead light. The light flickers as if it is going out. There is a smaller light over the sink and counter in the back. It is yellow LEDs.

Audio
The room has the hum of a freezer. The electric hum and buzz of the light. The cutting board by the sink is designed with a gap between the board and counter to maximize the chopping sounds. Dripping water.

Costuming
The BUTCHER wears:
Sweat-stained and grimy white short sleeved shirt
Grimy white pants with a black belt
White socks and white shoes with red and brown covering the lower 1/2 and heavily splattered with same. Wears a blood splattered white apron over it. Bloody prints from wiping hands on bottom. Also, smaller hand prints visible.
Grimy white hand towel in apron pocket or tucked into belt.

BOGEY wears:
Grimy bloody white T-shirt and jeans. Dark shoes.

Makeup
BUTCHER has a deep gash on skull (if bald actor) or forehead (if not bald). Black, dried blood inside. No special contacts. Unshaven. Face liberally splattered with blood. Hands covered in blood and wiped off.

BOGEY'S face is covered in blood. when hiding in freezer, blood pack in mouth.

Props
BUTCHER Chopped body parts on counter - "meat". Silicone arm hero prop. Heavy, metal, dull cleaver for use on the rear counter. Large plastic butcher knife. Dirty hand towel.

BOGEY Blood packs.

Casting
Two actors
Mike plays the butcher
Harley plays the bogey

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You can make this as detailed or sparse as you like. Having a list of everything for each scene helps you and your crew to know how everything works together. It also helps ensure all the necessary elements are accounted for.

I think you will discover many benefits to using this flow or one you design.
Happy Haunting!
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