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  1. #1051

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    Quote Originally Posted by nojarama View Post
    That totally sounds fabulous! Very cool. When I look at the old illustrations (from the storybook record especially), it totally fits in with his "character". Wobbiling around spookily shifting with the crooked cane, plus the head appearing/disappearing from the hatbox & his neck. Excellent! Did it do that from what you remember? Or was that effect turned off?

    I think bring him back for the 40th anniversary is a proper reunion date IMO!
    You know, the only thing I can say with certainty is that the appear/disappear gag did not flash back and forth with the heartbeat, but involved a gradual fading (again, like Dave's flash animation depicts it). The reason I agree with the standard explanation that the gag simply did not work well is that I only learned what was supposed to be happening when I picked up the Story and Song album a month or two later, after HBG was gone. In other words, it didn't describe something I already knew; it told me something I did not know (i.e., his head was supposed to disappear). Ergo, the effect must not have worked right when I saw it. I think the hatbox half of the gag worked well enough. I vaguely remember it lighting up with a head in it.

    If you think about it, the wiggly cane is indeed sensible. For the effect to work, the figure needs to stand perfectly still. I assume they had a blacklight trained on his face, and so his head couldn't move, neither his body. Well, pthhh, they can't just have a frozen mannequin standing there! They need some animation to bring the figure to life. If you think about it, about the only thing that can move is the cane arm, so that's what they did. The eye immediately focuses on motion, so it's not surprising that this is what I first noticed and have the clearest memory of.

  2. #1052

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    I wish there was a better way to make the effect work. Everyone keeps talking about how technology is so much better now, about how much easier it would be to make the effect...well, effective. But I really can't think of any new technologies that would make the hatbox ghost effect work more convincingly.

    In terms of old technology, perhaps Pepper's Ghost could be used convincingly. Accounts of the hatbox ghost tend to describe the head on his shoulders as slightly visible even when it was supposed to be gone. Maybe the solution would be to isolate his "real" head up in the rafters, in a disguised light-proof environment, reflected in angled glass so that it appeared against the black backdrop of his collar. Tell you what--let me go check and see if there's room in my model. I'll get back to ya. EDIT: Meh, that'd be nigh impossible to do. Cool idea, but not one I expect will ever come to fruition.
    Last edited by Datameister; 01-16-2008 at 12:34 PM.


  3. #1053

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    In terms of old technology, perhaps Pepper's Ghost could be used convincingly....Meh, that'd be nigh impossible to do.
    You know what might work? A carefully-shaped piece of glass resting on the shirt collar at the back of the neck hole, tilted forward 45 degrees, and with its edges hidden by the cloak collar and the front of the hat brim, reflecting the head which is hidden down inside the chest cavity and looking upward through the neck hole. EDIT: Naw, this wouldn't work. Even if the face were right there at the hole, the head would still look too far back.

    -------------------------------

    While we're in the attic...

    Oh no, duck: It's...another Ken Anderson post.

    We all remember the bats in the pre-Constance attic:


    And we've read about the spiderweb-like strings that brushed across your face as you rode by (and which didn't last more than a day or two):
    http://ghostrelationsdept.blogspot.c...-attached.html

    Well, as you might guess, the concept of an attic with dangly spiders and bats is yet another Ken Anderson idea:




    The "clanking chains" didn't make it, though.
    Last edited by HBG2; 01-16-2008 at 01:38 PM.

  4. #1054

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    The "clanking chains" didn't make it, though.
    Neither did the guy with the Frankenstein haircut.


  5. #1055

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    Frankenstein-hair-guy shows up elsewhere in Anderson's artwork. Here he is checking out a secret panel with his busty, oh-so-1950's girlfriend:



    There are a lot of those secret-panel doorways in the Anderson walk-thru:



    Now our hero is checking out his girlfriend from a different angle. I wonder if there are mirrors on the floor too? Hmm.... Probably not.


  6. #1056

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    Is busty oh-so-50s girlfriend Cinderella? Kinda looks like her in the first pic. I think it's the hair.
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  7. #1057

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    Unless that's a cap. Looks like a cap. I'm thinking it's a cap.

    Oh, and Anderson gets credit for the talking bust idea too:

    Last edited by HBG2; 01-16-2008 at 07:20 PM.

  8. #1058

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    I think the main problem with the HBG is that there's no truly effective way to make the head on his body disappear effectively. There is a lot of blacklight used in the attic and a white-painted face (or a green one, or any light ghostly color really) would not disappear because it would still be seen by the outside blacklight. Because the face inside the box would be shaded by the box, that would work fine, as it always seem to have worked.
    Now, this seems simple but I think it could work (though I'm also recovering from a lot of rehearsals so my brain is still on 'don't think, act' mode): Why not a scrim box or "aura" encircling the head of the figure? The scrim is painted a dark color and the head would be lit from the inside of the box, and after the light goes out and on in the hatbox the eye would see nothing more than darkness where the head should be. The empty collar effect would be gone with that, but the effect would work a bit better in the "still seeing the head on the shoulders" sense.
    Oh duh! I just had a major epiphany. Why not an animated projection like his attic buddy Connie? Not fully, I mean on a figure's head a la the singing busts, but it could be very fun especially if HBG is being protrayed as Connie's headless suitor. Connie could say something, then HBG, and they could play off each other with little corny lines. It would certainly make the HBG figure more animated and more realistic looking, but it would be "realistic" in the same way that Connie is realistic. But that's just one thought.
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    They were also gracing the custard. I almost got dessert because of it.
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  9. #1059

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    Well, I'm hoping there won't be cutesy dialogue between them. I'd prefer that HBG remain silent, preserving something of his...elusiveness.


    As for those desserts, wow, beware of hitch-hiking calories.

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    Well, I'm hoping there won't be cutesy dialogue between them. I'd prefer that HBG remain silent, preserving something of his...elusiveness.
    True. I mean, come to think of it...imagine how much creepier Constance would have been as a silent apparition, occasionally holding up the axe, perhaps with her eyes glowing from time to time as a tip-of-the-hat to the older brides animatronics. And the Hatbox Ghost already has legendary status, so as we discussed about the HHGs a while back, adding dialogue is almost certain to piss off some fans. No matter what WDI did in terms of the script and casting, there would still be plenty of people whose expectations had been betrayed.

    Less is more, in many cases. Except when it comes to budgets.


  11. #1061

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    Quote Originally Posted by HBG2 View Post

    As for those desserts, wow, beware of hitch-hiking calories.
    Classic. LOL!

  12. #1062

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    I reread what I wrote. "it would be fun"...ugh, I'm talking like my director. I need to get out of the theater.

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  13. #1063

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    Don't try to eat the HHGs... It says edible on the back, but you'll break a tooth.
    The Right Honorable Count Boogie Bonz of Random, at your service.

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  14. #1064

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    One of my theater buddies down here recently did Seussical, he was one of the Corsican Brothers (it was a low-budget university production, so he wasn't so much a monkey-Corsican as he was a punk rocker with a chain tail who moved around like a monkey). What part have you got, Bellhop?

    I've always been a fan of the creepier, silent Bride, though I must say I had this vision in my head when they announced the changes for what would eventually become Constance: she would still remain silent, but as she raises the flowers to her chest, they slowly dissipate to reveal the axe / hatchet clutched tightly in her hands.

    Her face, when holding the flowers, would be solemn, almost expressionless. But when the axe appears, her eyes glow red with her beating heart, her eyes narrow and her lips perse into a wicked grin.

    Oh, well. I'da liked it better that way than with the corny lines, but I'm glad for the effect nonetheless.

  15. #1065

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    Today's post...

    The Scandal of the Candle?

    According to old-fashioned, traditional wedding protocols, do brides carry candles? Not that I'm aware. Back in pre-electric days, why did anyone carry a candle? For light. To see. Duh.

    So has anyone noticed that Constance does not have a candle, and that this constitutes a break in a long-standing HM tradition? Let's follow this path....

    Here's Ken Anderson's 1957 version of the lady on the stairs, once again. Notice that she's carrying a candle:



    Marc Davis evidently liked this image, as you can see from his version of the Lady with the Candle:



    This artwork gave birth to two figures, of course. The eyeglasses gal...


    and Beating Heart (i.e., the original attic bride):


    The bride got the candle, like a baton in a macabre relay race. When they changed the original bride to the "middle bride," she kept her candle:


    Melanie at PM got a fancy one:


    Amazingly, even if we check as recently as the concept art for Constance, the candle is there:


    But Connie has no candle (and no flowers), only a hatchet that appears and disappears.

    If you're waiting for a grand conclusion in which I grouse about the loss of the candle, I'll surprise you. Constance should not have it. The candle is not in any way a nuptial accouterment but belongs to someone who is trying to see, someone looking for something, someone on a search. The candle is for the victim looking for justice, for vindication, or for clues as to what happened, or for something lost. The villains, on the other hand, are not curious. They already know what happened, since they did it. They want darkness, obscurity, a continuing cover-up. Bad guys do not forlornly search; they want the truth to stay hidden.

    So the Imagineers' instincts were right: No candle for Constance.

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