Monday, July 14, 2014

Derek Huey's Stalking Miss Barlow!

By - Stephen Mezo

That kid Derek Huey is at it again!

It's hard to believe that I've been following his video shorts career for close to three years! I remember cracking up watching The League of Science episodes and getting completely hooked on them. 
I mean even with their lack of a budget (I think the Call of Duty episode's was only a dollar) the writing was really funny, the jokes were spot on and the acting really sold them. 

Derek has been really cool with sharing quite a few working projects with me to watch, and I've been lucky enough to have done work on two of them. 

But his latest "Stalking Miss Barlow" has really shown how much Derek's talent has grown in the three years I've known him here in The Matrix. 
He's invested in professional equipment and the production was a lot tighter this time around with the camera work and lighting. 

There are a lot of great jokes in the video short about working on low to no budget productions, dealing with a volunteer cast, getting a cast and crew from Social Media and crew and in jokes about some of the cast that you can figure out. 
But most of all Keefer Barlow keeps you watching the whole time.
She has a great comedic talent and is a killer character actress. 

Derek had invited me to watch a internet screener and once it goes into public release, you better make sure to watch it because it is worth it. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Life Inside a Miniature Haunted House.

By-Steve Mezo

It all started when my Doctor told me that I better eat better, loose weight and get my stress down before I'd be on all kinds of wonderful meds. And I'd be attending that great horror convention in the sky a whole lot of years sooner than I should be.

Well I took her advice and changed up my eating habits big time. Then I had accidentally found a way to give myself a brain break. 

My wife and I were in a local craft store and she had bought a wooden house on clearance. She was going to add on to it and do some painting then sell it. 
We get it home and I thought in was funny that the house was the same scale as my Remco Monster figures, and I decided to take a picture for my Facebook wall to get some laughs from my friends. 

My wife actually liked it and thought it would be a good idea to have me work on it and make a Halloween type decoration out of it to sell. 

So I started to add shingles to the front to give it that classic Halloween Haunted House look and was going to use a black, purple and bright green Halloween paint scheme.

I wanted it to look really good and decided to hit the internet and get some paint scheme ideas from other decorations or paintings. 
And then I found a site where I had seen "The Haunted Heratige  House" for the first time on the Otterine's Miniatures site. 





Haunted Heritage House build and Photo Credit: "Brae" of Otterine's Miniatures.(Used with permission)

Brae's work on the miniature pictured above and her attention to detail had completely blown me away!
And this had made me change the design of my Miniature all together. Before I had built anything else I had made a sketch of what I wanted it to look like.

Then it was onto the build and adding roof beams, hand laying a wood floor in the attic and what was to become The Witches Room. And building a railing for the staircase.

As I was working on the interior I realized that the rooms were way too small and I would have to extend the floor to accommodate everything that was going inside.  

About this time (Two months into my build) I had met another Miniature Haunt Builder named "Kat Von Tanner". And she had inspired me to start scratch building for the haunt.

Her deigns and insisting on scratch building really made me aim for the fences, and had me going through craft store discount bins looking at broken jewelry pieces in a whole new way. And I found even more uses for lots of Thrift Store Finds. 

Here is photos of a large miniature haunt she is working on.

And everything in the rooms below are completely scratch built by Kat Von Tanner herself . The furniture, props and the Mother figure are all her work.


If that weren't enough she decided to start scratch building a gypsy wagon too!

So when it came to making windows for my haunt (Including the pane of glass in the front door), I couldn't whine and say "They're all odd sizes!" I had to man up sketch designs for the haunts windows and build them. 


After everything was built painted and set I added all the extras to the inside of the haunt and made it kind of a scrapbook for my wife and I.

I had to create kitchen in honor of just about every backwoods cannibal eating family type movie out there. With a nod to the kitchen I grew up in (My dads work thermos and a roll of paper towels were always on top of the fridge.  

I was able to use a large Poland Spring bottle to create the privacy glass in the bathroom. And the roll of toilet paper is a in joke with Geri Reischl who was "Fake Jan" on "The Brady Bunch Family Hour" and was in the horror movie "I Dismember Mama". 
So that gives her some horror credit to be here at the Storage Unit of Terror.

And you have no idea how happy I was that the bathroom set was a way smaller scale than the other house objects. I hadn't set out to do anything with the house originally and the rooms are a really odd scale. So this really helped me out.

Since I was working with what I had I thought a different way to go with the floor plan would to be constructing it like a movie set. If I had went with the traditional route of keeping the house where it could close I wouldn't have been able to add any of the furniture.

I wasn't sure of the little girls back story, but she's so creepy (Besides being The Governor's daughter figure) that I had to add her in.

And I love a good ghost story so I had made a mirror on the dresser and have it where the girl might have entered the house on a dare. She brought her camera with her to get pictures to prove her adventure, but only made it as far as the bedroom and took her final photo.

Here's the previous owners kids that met their fate from the witch that the had accidentally brought back. And the remainsyrt of a Ghost Hunter before he had a chance to make a call for help.  

My dad (R.I.P.) loved to hunt, fish and scuba dive. My father in law (R.I.P.) was as country as they come and lived in his cowboy boots. My mother in law loves spending beach days with my wife so I put little dedications to them here in the attic.

The Witch's Room was a fun build because Kat Von Tanner had really made push myself to scratch build as much as possible, and bargain hunt for supplies. The cabinet here was really inexpensive from the craft store and I used a plastic Halloween ring to add the bat to it. And the crystal ball is a marble glued to a bead stopper.

The witch's tables are complete scratch builds as well as her spell book. And I have to give the crafters on YouTube a big thank you for posting tutorials on making miniature books.

This was a progress photo of the Witch's scratch built tables.

I had made these two as previous owners of the house that had accidentally resurrected the witch and suffered her wrath.

The Holiday room is for our favorite holidays.

I've always been about going into old abandoned houses on a dare, and thought nothing would make it even more creepier than two eternal Trick or Treaters that went in but never came out.

My mom and my wife are both into sewing so I added a sewing room on for them.

I had designed the living room after the Addams Family and Munsters.

Chiller Theater was always on my TV every Wednesday night at 8:00
And The 4:30 Movie's Monster Week was always a big favorite.

I had found a set of 50's doll house dolls and they had such a creepy look to them that I had to ass them in to spend time with my Vincent Price figure. 
And my mom thinks it's funny that I jokingly have Norman Bates Mother's picture on my phone as her contact photo. So I put this figure in the chair as a happy nod to all the time my mom and I watched all of those great monster movies and and episodes of Scooby Doo together. 

I even upholstered the miniature chair myself, not bad for my first time.

My little dedication to The House on Haunted Hill.

And as the build was winding down I decided to build a tarantula tank for the house.

Then made an Iguana tank for my wife.

Here's the haunt on it's display shelf.

I had to put the back yard off to the side with the Gordon Cellar Door along with the front yard and my Builder Ghost. 

The exterior was just as much of a challenge and took another month and a half of work. I had scratch built the roof shingles and gutters. 

I made a test mockup of the roof shingles with printer paper and a Sharpie Marker. Yeah it would have been easier to use grip tape, but I wanted the shingles to have a weathered and worn look, so it was a lot of construction paper, spray mount and white craft sand. Then I had to hand cut all of the strips and make the notches,  

And the gutters were test made with printer paper too before building the construction paper finals. 

After I had cut and folded them I had made them rigid with two coats of black and white acrylic paint. Then made the downspouts out of drinking straws.

My wife had painted the stained glass windows I had made out of rigid Deli container plastic.

And I had to build a set of Gordon Cellar Doors as a dedication to my Dad along with a Ghost Builder with scratch built saw horses and a  scratch built toolbox. My mom couldn't stop laughing when she saw them because she said she could still hear my dad yelling about me and my friends running across them.


I made the saw horses and toolbox from memory to match my dads.

And here's some exterior shots of the final build.

It was a lot of very enjoyable work, I loved making it and wanted to build others. But the work and display room I would need is way more than I have. So from now on when the mood hits me I'll create single rooms to see to collectors to display their own figures in.

And after I had posted all of the progress photos of my miniature haunt it inspired Author Justin Hamelin to create his own.
You watch his is going to be auctioned off for big money one day!