JustJimAZ

Snapshots to be Imagined!

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I stumbled upon these in an OLD BLOG floating on the waves of the internet.

The author and photographer apparently collects old photos and photobooks as a hobby. He got a photo book with the pics removed - but the captions were written in the book itself. The result?
Name:  Papa opened his store to great crowds, but the stock market crash was just around the corner. 1.jpeg
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Papa opened his store to great crowds, but the stock market crash was just around the corner. 1928
Name:  We were all shocked to see the calf born with 2 heads.jpeg
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We were all shocked to see the calf born with 2 heads
Name:  1. “Hungry boys.” 2. “Shy Sarah tries to hide.” 3. “Balancing on the fence post was not easy!”.jpeg
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1. “Hungry boys.” 2. “Shy Sarah tries to hide.” 3. “Balancing on the fence post was not easy!”
Name:  “Uncle Norfleet and his talking dog were the hit of the party.”.jpeg
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“Uncle Norfleet and his talking dog were the hit of the party.”
Name:  1. “The tornado tore down the barn but not our house... thank God!!”.jpeg
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“The tornado tore down the barn but not our house... thank God!!”
Name:  1. “Gramps died the next day.” 2. “Mama’s decorated cake won First Prize at the Topeka State Fa.jpeg
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1. “Gramps died the next day.” 2. “Mama’s decorated cake won First Prize at the Topeka State Fair in 1936.”

I think this accidental discovery hits upon genius!
Now, I am the first to admit that if you're doing any kind of haunt, this might not seem useful at all. Maybe it seems nothing more than odd. OK.
BUT - in the right place, like an immersive theater experience or escape room, for example, I think these would be really cool.
No, you don't see the two headed calf, nor Uncle Norfleet's talking dog, but don't you automatically imagine them?

It feels a little like Jaws - where for most of the movie you don't see the monster at all. It may have been done for technical reasons, but in the end, it worked!

It you have a haunt with a "queue line", maybe it would be cool to have the backstory told - at least in part - through an old photo album with the pics removed.
I love the possibilities there. 1. “Gramps died the next day.” 2. “Mama’s decorated cake won First Prize at the Topeka State Fair in 1936.” Just a couple of unrelated(?) pics. One of gramps, who apparently died, and Mama's prize winning cake. The melancholy and the celebratory. Why are they even on the same page? What would change if they were arranged differently? 1. “Mama’s decorated cake won First Prize at the Topeka State Fair in 1936.” 2“Gramps died the next day.” In a world where photos are taken by the HUNDREDS by any given person every day, it might seem they have to be related. The story they tell themselves will be unique for sure.

Of course, you could make the captions more suggestive:
1. “The cake Mama made for Grampy's birthday took First Prize at the Topeka State Fair in 1936.” 2 "Grampy's 75th birthday, 1936. Grampy died the next day."

In a queue, I am imagining a series of displays like the one below, each opened to a page that tells part of the story. Maybe only some of the photos are missing. This would give some context and an opportunity to introduce the images of some of the characters if you like - but I don't think you'd want to give away too much! Maybe all the pictures of "Grampy" are the ones missing?
Name:  download (3).jpg
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Merchandising! Where the real money is made!
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Whether in an immersive theater or a haunt, copies of the scrapbook could be sold as souvenirs. Maybe some could be autographed by the characters? Just throwing that out there.

I write this to encourage you to consider how this idea might be used to get inside the heads of your patrons. Once you start playing with photos and captions - especially creepy captions on missing photos - who knows where you might be able to go?

Please shar your ideas! Are you thinking a queue, an immersive experience, or something else? What stories would you tell using missing pictures?

Updated 01-20-2021 at 05:08 PM by JustJimAZ

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