At the end of this month, we will be officially rolling downhill towards Halloween — the end of April marks the halfway point. With that in mind, we thought we'd commemorate the occasion by honoring a Halloween-themed display sent to us by Gary Seputis of Marietta, Georgia. He's our latest Freak of the Week!
The neighbors affectionately refer to him as "Scary Gary," as he's been pleasing his neighborhood with his ever-growing Halloween installation ever since he moved into his house in 1998. We love so much of what Gary has done, but we want to highlight what first caught our eye — Gary's fantastic doorway mode projection. It is among the crispest and clearest we have seen. In our view, doorway mode is one of the most effective and underutilized effects in the digital decoration toolbox.
Gary tells us that he removed the mesh from his screen door, cut-to-fit a grey window sheer curtain panel, and then attached it to the screen-door frame. He uses a small media player attached to his projector for his digital decorations, keeping the set-up small and discreet. You can see the individual scenes "Fear the Reaper” and “Skeleton Surprise” (from Bone Chillers collection) in the above video.
The real trick in pulling-off an effective doorway mode display is making sure the light from the projector is properly hidden. If the projector is placed directly in front of the door, then light from the projector will ruin the effect. Instead, place the projector at a slight angle from the doorway, so when people approach, they cannot directly see the light from the projector. Gary solves the problem masterfully. "The projector is mounted close to the ceiling, barely visible peeking out from behind a wall," he tells us.
Sure, we admit to geeking-out at Gary's doorway-mode projection but, we must point out that his home display is so much more. In addition to the numerous props, LED light setups, and fog machines, Gary says he had six projectors going at once displaying, among other things, individual scenes from Paranormal Passage, Bone Chillers, and Phantasms. He says it takes him about two full days to set it up, with a lot of tweaking to perfect his displays in the week prior to Halloween.
Gary also does nice work exhibiting the family-favorite pumpkin display mode with Jack-o'-Lantern Jamboree. "There are a lot of kids in the neighborhood, so I try to keep it family-friendly, avoiding gory, bloody, or violent images," Gary says. "Everyone in the neighborhood loves it. They look forward to seeing what I come up with each year, and they really seem to appreciate the effort I put into making it an entertaining experience for the neighborhood."
We agree with your neighbors, Gary – it looks great! Definitely a Freak-worthy experience!
With Halloween only a half-year away, it is time to start thinking in earnest about what we all will be creating this upcoming October 31!
Send us photos and videos of your Freak-worthy ideas. They are a great way to inspire others. You may even be the next person honored as Freak of the Week!
Make sure to send us photos or YouTube video links to atmosFREAKS@atmosfx.com. We’ll keep crowning Freaks of the Week as long as we keep receiving stellar submissions!