Hollywood-Style Halloween Illusions with Alcorn McBride Equipment
Alcorn McBride, the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, has provided the AV equipment for “The House at Haunted Hill”.
Matt Ford of Magic Lantern Creations, Inc. and his wife, actress Lori Merkle Ford, have taken their home’s Halloween display to a new level with Alcorn McBride’s V16+ show controller and A/V Binloop HD.
The Ford’s Halloween show is now a 12 minute free performance (running every 15 minutes at night for a month around Halloween) featuring holograms, projections, animatronics and lighting effects. The script was written by Emmy-winning TV writer Ed Valentine.
Ford says that the show has grown in popularity over the years: “We got between 6, 000-7, 000 people to see the show. On October 30 a big double-decker bus with flashing lights came by. It turned out to be large group of Disney imagineers and a few executives. And they all recognized the Alcorn McBride equipment.”
The show does not feature any live actors, just projections, and so Ford needed specialist equipment: “We needed something that could take SMPTE off the soundtrack and fire all these elements during the show. So we upgraded to a V16+ show controller and went straight to the A/V Binloops to support all the projections.
“The V16+ was really critical to pulling off the show. Everything is completely automated: Push one button on the V16+ and the whole show runs. It also sends MIDI show control to the lighting console and serial commands to automation equipment. The V16+’s flexibility and ability to interface with many different devices is key. There’s no other way we could have done it and kept the show fresh.”
The A/V Binloops have 14 channels of projection and three channels of HD output, while the Pepper’s ghost illusions feature some video warping. Ford says, “What’s nice is being able to pop out the CompactFlash card, put it in the computer, adjust the video then put it back.”
In summary Ford says, “Alcorn McBride’s support has been great. As a TV lighting designer I’m used to having really good support, and theirs is second to none. I have high expectations, and Alcorn McBride is one of the most responsive vendors I’ve used. I totally get why they are considered an industry leader.”