Monday, November 29, 2010

Hauntcast's Transition

By now, many of you are aware that there are changes going on in the Hauntcast world.

Here's one opinion of the upcoming change. Go ahead and read it, then come on back here and read the rest of this post. It's o.k. I'll wait.

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

Yes, it's true.

After two years of broadcasting, we're switching over to a pay-per-download format, which will cost you all of-

*GASP*

a whole dollar per two-hour episode!

My God! How can we live with ourselves? The immorality! The chaos! The anarchy!

If we went to two episodes a month, every month, as Mr. Sloat suggested (which likely would be an occasional special episode and not every month, though we haven't discussed it yet), that would be-holy shit! $24.00 a year! We are bastards, aren't we?!

O.k. I'll stop with the sarcasm and elaborate a little on our reasoning.

First, the whole Hauntcast crew hates having to subject you to all the commercials we have to run in order to pay for hosting and all the minutiae running a website costs. While we really do love our sponsors and the products they provide (I mean, Hi-Rez designs? What an amazing product!), the commercials make up approximately twenty to thirty minutes of time per episode. We all felt that was time we could be using to put in other content.

Second, we'd really like to add a segment of real, honest-to-god product reviews for our listeners. You're all aware of the concept of "don't bite the hand that feeds you," and to an extent, that applies to doing product reviews other than the products that are sponsored on the show. (We're very fortunate that the products we do have on the show are good quality and the sponsors have good feedback on their customer service. Not everyone does!) We really want the freedom to review other products and tell you if they work or if they suck before you spend your hard-earned cash on them. No sponsors=honest reviews.

Third, we all spend a lot of time on each show that is released. My segment, including research time, writing time, recording, editing and producing, can take anywhere from ten to twelve hours to create. (Mr. ShellHawk is extremely cool with my doing this, but you know every once in awhile he has to wonder why I'm spending time on something that doesn't pay me after being out of work for two years!) Rev has two segments to produce, Johnny has his, and Chris does the rest, i.e. the lion's share of the work. He takes anywhere from 40-60 hours to put together an episode, and doesn't even make minimum wage for it. (Think about it: 60 hours, and not even making $1 an hour. Would you do it?) Guy, our art director, spends his time and effort designing our site and making us look good-for almost nothing. We all have our real life responsibilities-both Johnny and Chris have kids, fer chrissake!-and the show takes us away from those responsibilities. Add in travel, food, and hotel for conventions-because we all pay for those out of our family budgets so we can cover those events for the show-and anyone with even half a brain can see that this little venture is getting spendy for all of us to continue, particularly in this crappy economy.

I did a little research on the yearly cost of a few things you're probably already spending money on:
  • Starbuck's coffee, small: about $2.35 each. For five days a week, not even seven days a week, that's $11.75. $47 per month, and $564 per year.
  • Haunted Attraction Magazine, 1 year subscription: $35.00. One year does not equal twelve issues.
  • One pack cigarettes: about $5 a pack. One pack a week will cost you $20.00 per month and $240.00 per year.
  • Redbox DVD rental: One movie, one dollar per night. Do the math.
  • Kindle eBook download: $7.99 and up per book. How much do you read per year?
  • I Tunes download for a three minute song: $1.29.
I'm sure there are other small luxuries you (and I!) spend money on every day without even thinking twice. You get the point.

Hey, Mr. Sloat is certainly entitled to his opinion, and is welcome to continue getting all the free stuff he can get. From what I understand, it's something of a lifestyle choice and a mentality. It seems pretty limiting to me, but hey, that's just my opinion.

All of you certainly have the same option. It's a free country, right?

You could go the other direction, like Ghoulish Cop of Devil's Eve has. (Thanks, man!) We of Hauntcast obviously hope you do.

The bottom line is that the Hauntcast crew all want to kick the show's quality and content up another notch and make year three (hell, just have a year three!) better than the last two years.

We really hope that you want to share it with us.

P.S. At this time, Hauntcast will remain a once-per-month show, (at only $12.00 per year) just to clear up any confusion caused by Mr. Sloat's post.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

In the Shopping Spirit

Another day, another Etsy Treasury to throw together. There's another Etsy treasury here that has apparently done well enough to have many of the items sold already!

I guess I have a good eye for things...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Gifts From ShellHawk's Shop

Buy some. Now. You can even legitimately tell the giftee that their pot came from an artist who has a piece on display in a museum! Head over to my shop, ShellHawk's Creations on Etsy!

Hauntcast is Now Playing!

Featuring an interview with one of my favorite haunters, Dave the Dead of The Shadow Farm, this episode of Hauntcast will be a great one!
This episode is an important one for the whole crew of Hauntcast, so be sure to listen all the way through!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

New Treasures From the Kiln

I've been slaving away over my "rest-of-the-year" pieces for the past couple of months. We had a soda firing last week, a couple of Raku firings several weeks ago, and are going to be having a pit firing in the next couple of weeks, so I've been prepping pieces for them. Here are a few pics of the most recent results.
Raku Fired "Gromit"

Raku fired jar

Soda fired vase
I can't wait to see what the new pieces will look like! We have another soda firing to look forward to this week, so I can play with some glazes for that, then on to the pit firing.
It's so nice I don't have to wait 'til Christmas to open presents, huh?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Clearly exhausted from non-stop eating and cocktails, Beloved takes a breather.
Happy Thanksgiving, All! I hope it's safe and satisfying for everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Brandywine Cemetery

Hauntcast pal Robert of Brandywine Cemetery has truly outdone himself this year.

I have envy. Deep, deep envy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Darkside Cookies Pajama set by Crazy Dog Tshirts

Love these! Just went on my Jack Skelington Wish List.
Darkside Cookies Pajama set by Crazy Dog Tshirts

Spider Rider Stills 2010

As Hallowe'en Night wound slowly down, I asked Mr. ShellHawk if he would mind the shop while I took a quick trip over to Spider Rider's Haunt. I hadn't gotten to see the full display, and was really stoked when Mr. S smiled indulgently and gave me his blessing.

"Have fun!" he said, as I trotted out the door with my little Canon PowerShot.

The man himself was camped out in the driveway, waiting for unsuspecting tots to wander by. It was great to see him again, and he graciously gave permission for me to take some pics and some video of his haunt. Here are the pics. The video is going to be awhile, and I plan to run it by him before I post it, so it has his approval.
If all goes well, we'll do an exchange of services this year; he'll help me re-do my witch (I still hate her!), and I'll make him some custom tombstones. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

When You're Falling

I've been listening to my iPod lately and wondered if there was a video for this tune-one of my faves from a band I love.

There was. Click on the pic to watch.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Johanna Parker Giveaway

For those of you who like Johanna Parker's work, head over to her blog to enter her giveaway. The prize will be this little darling, pictured below:
Actually, don't bother entering, as I'm going to win him for Mr. ShellHawk's snowman collection.


Stills

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holy Hand Grenades, Batman! Two Years I've Been Writing This Drivel?!

And you first readers are mostly still here! Amazing!

O.K., I'm such a big, fat loser that my two-year blog anniversary came and went on November 3rd without so much as a peep from me. Yup. Two years since my first blog post. Hopefully, you can forgive me this oversight.

I want to thank blog buddy Spooky Blue for being the very first person in the blogosphere to notice and comment on my blog. Spook was encouraging from the very beginning, when I was pretty darn sure that I was blogging to a completely disinterested web. We had been something like pen-pals the previous year, when Stewie was under construction. I'd write with an idiotic question, and Spook would send back a knowledgeable and kind response. (Not, "You freakin' idiot! Stop writing me! Effing stalker!")

Spook, you are still my prop hero and I just think you are da bomb! Your writing is thoughtful and always either inspires me or makes me giggle. Thanks!

Wow, two years. My grandma was a spring chicken of 99 years old. I did my first sculpture, and a bronze at that! Stewie was still new and proud, and at least a year away from looking like he needed neck surgery. I was forty, and wanted to start to do what it was I believe I was meant to do and set my feet on the artist's path once and for all. Now I have a piece in a museum.

The time went very quickly, and the work was, and is, sometimes frustrating, and sometimes disappointing. I'm in the process of learning some new throwing techniques, which makes me feel like I've been busted back down to rank beginner. Oh, well! It's either grow or die on the vine, right? Today at school we're doing a soda firing. I made four or five pieces and glazed them last week in preparation for it, and I'm really excited to be involved in it! Next month, there's a pit firing, so I need to make sure I have some pieces ready for that. I'm pretty sure Mr. ShellHawk would frown on my digging a pit in the back yard!

So life goes on, and hopefully, learning and growing will continue. I hope the same for you, too!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Crazy Dog T-Shirts

I wanted to give you guys another heads-up on Crazy Dog TShirts, a company I mentioned on the blog a few weeks ago

I bought a few cool things from them that I hadn't seen before.
Sorry the first pic is sideways; Blogger seems to have a glitch and won't put it in right way 'round!

I saw the Sleepy Hollow Polo Association shirt and had to have it! I have to say the fabric is so soft and comfy. Not only that, it was on sale for $4.99! The only down side is that it's not available in women's sizes.

Of course, when I saw both the Overlook Hotel hoodie and t-shirt, they really needed to be in my closet. The t-shirt does come in women's sizes, and is also on sale for $4.99.
They carry a number of horror movie-related t-shirts, like the Camp Crystal Lake Counselor shirts and hoodies, USCSS Nostromo t's, and the classic Bates Motel t.

I like these guys enough that I'm putting their banner in the right sidebar until the end of December, so you can grab some Holiday cheer for yourself.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Witch of Rose Hill-Hallows 2010

At long last, the video is done! I may do more tweaking later, but at least you can get an idea of what the Night of Nights looked like from my house. (Watch it as soon as you can, in case the soundtrack is silenced by The Man!)
Click on the pic to watch.

Update: I fixed the editing issue at the end of the video and re-uploaded it, so it should play better now.

Friday, November 12, 2010

VOTE-For Intelligent Podcasting! Er, Vote For Hauntcast-?

But seriously, if you enjoy Hauntcast-and most folks do-head over to PodCastAwards.com and vote for Hauntcast in the "General" and "Best Produced" categories before the cutoff date of November 21st.

If you vote for us, you could win a date with G-Host Chris Baker-even if you're male, 'cause he's not picky.

I'm not exactly sure how that's a reward, but whatever...

P.S. Just kidding about the date with Chris, in case you thought I was serious...

Video On The Way

Soon! I will have the haunt video finished very, very soon! I've been learning a new video editing program on the fly, so the process has taken me longer than I anticipated. I hope to have it finished by the end of this weekend, so tune in-

Soon!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Speaking of Cats

ShellHawk's blog buddy, Spooky Blue, sent this to her, because her dad worked on Dune.
I forwarded it on to my dad. His reply:

"Now, if only I could get out of this stoopid sock."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pumpkin Cruelty!

Oh, the horror! Click on the pic to watch.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I.L.M. Night

Left to right: Dr. Ed Catmull, Leslie Iwerks, Richard Edlund, Scott Farrar, Dennis Muren, and John Knoll
I flew down to L.A. yesterday for a quick visit with my family, and my dad took me to a shindig they were having at the U.S.C. School of Cinematic Arts. They were premiering a documentary that Starz will be putting out this month: Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible, on the history of Industrial Light and Magic, and a bunch of the guys from I.L.M. were there for a panel discussion afterwards. These are the guys who invented Photoshop, created Pixar, and were (and still are) on the cutting edge of C.G. and visual effects today. They made the original Star Wars and all the subsequent movies, Ghost Busters, the Back to the Future movies, Terminator 2 and on and on.

The documentary itself was done by Leslie Iwerks. It was totally engaging and fascinating from start to finish, and anyone who is a Star Wars fan must sit down and watch this film if they expect to keep their fan status. I heard from one of the panelists later that she shot enough footage to make another two documentaries on I.L.M., and even if that's an exaggeration, I'm very impressed with the vision she had, always with an eye to keeping her film on topic and moving along. She was thorough and really did a phenomenal job.

One of the things I was really struck by as the panel discussion was going on is that all of these men had no interest in the past. They were very focused on the future and how they could make the technology better, simpler to use and more effective in its ability to tell stories. To a man, they are visionary, and that keeps them very young and vibrant. The creative energy around them is palpable, and it's easy to see that this is what makes them successful in their field. It's also why they are still working in a field which is known for its unbalanced love affair with youth and reputation for throwing away nearly everyone over the age of fifty.



I'm pictured below with John Knoll and Dennis Muren, who between the two of them have at least 15 Oscars for visual effects. They both promised they will check with me before making any major creative decisions and really just hung on my every word.
O.K. They didn't really. But they were both very gracious and kind enough to allow a picture with a non-film-student.

Am I connected, or what?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Notes From Hallowe'en Night, 2010

The Night of Nights dawned clear and warm. It was surprising, since the weather man had been threatening us with rain throughout the weekend. Since the party was the night before, 99% of everything was set up already, and that made for a more relaxing day. I'll have to remember that early setup is the key to not completely losing my mind next year.

Things go wrong every year; it's just part of the mischief that floats around like that strange, unidentifiable substance in your cocktail. Here's a random sampling of things that went wrong and things I want to keep in mind for next year:
  1. Though I had acquired a few more three-outlet, 100' extension cords, I still had to borrow a few from the neighbors. (Note to self: buy one new medium-to-heavy duty extension cord a month for the next year. You'll probably only wind up one short next year.)
  2. Even though the surround sound system and 5-disc CD changer worked fine last year, that doesn't guarantee it this year. (And WTF happened to the cone in one of the speaker housings?! I opened it up, and was greeted by two wires, just hanging there. Note to self: Talk to Stewie about strange eating habits.)
  3. Just because your little 400 watt fog machine for your witch's cauldron worked fine for the big photo shoot three weeks ago, doesn't mean it will work at all when next you plug it in.
  4. Roses don't like it when you walk through them and will try to kill you. (Note to self: hack those bastards back before setting up props, electrical, and air lines. Another note to self: have blood transfusion standing by next time, just in case.)
  5. Stop trying to make a "quick, throw-together prop" on Hallowe'en. They are never quick, and you can't just throw them together. Give it up, already! (I am referring to my PVC dummy, which I have yet to use because everything else always seems to get in the way.)
  6. Start planning next year on November 1st, and start building December 1st. You might actually get everything finished that way.
  7. Just because Widows Movie Maker was on your computer to edit your movie last year, doesn't mean you didn't forget you needed it and uninstalled the program to free up disc space this year. (That's o.k. I got another program that has better reviews, anyway.)
  8. Fellow haunters don't want to wait to see your photos, so you really should see to your schedule a little better next year.
I'll share some fun stories with you soon.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tease

Just a few teaser shots from the haunt. I was too busy yesterday to get to doing more.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hallowe'en at the Gallows & Rot's Offerings

Looking over my blog list this morning, I found that Drop at The Gallows has posted a few pics and some nice notes about his Hallowe'en night.
By this time, I'm sure all of you have popped by Pumpkinrot's blog to see what he was up to, but here's a neat collection of shots from him. LOVE the new Jenny Greenteeth prop.

*Yawn*

Christmas Ape in costume, posing with the Overlook's staff and guests.

I'm snuggled in bed with my husband, my laptop, a cup of coffee, and a delightful assortment of pastries from Great Harvest Bread Co, and I am really tired!

I'll be getting some pics up over the next few days, so keep an eye out!
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