Mousesteps was invited to an event for the Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights, a preview of what is to come on 19 select nights between September 19th and October 31st!
We had not only the opportunity to watch dramatic makeup transformations, but also to see the talent of wig makers and costume designers who changed ordinary hair and clothes into scary concoctions! We spoke with Halloween Horror Nights Creative Director John Murdy, who was on hand with make-up artist Larry Bones to gives us a look into what it takes to put together Halloween Horror Nights.
I asked how long it usually took a scare-actor to be made up, and was told it took around 45 minutes. The makeup artists took their time, allowing for the 90 minutes we were there.
Several years ago, I was made up as a scare-actor during a media event at Universal Studios Orlando. I actually found it easier to scare than to be scared!
This is the Halloween Horror Nights poster, which features images from Universal Hollywood's various mazes. This year, the mazes include "Welcome to Silent Hill", "The Walking Dead: Dead Inside", and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Saw is the Law". We also asked Creative Director John Murdy about the "TerrorTram: Invaded by the Walking Dead" experience, which allows guests the opportunity to walk in areas of the backlot – while being followed by hordes of zombies, of course! You can see his answere here!
Putting on Halloween Horror Nights is quite a production, and everything is created for this event. Here, you can see work being done on the wigs that the scare-actors will wear:
We didn't have much time for this demonstration, but it is a graphic artist showing original Halloween Horror Nights concept art:
"Welcome to Silent Hill":
"Walking Dead: Dead Inside" poster:
A scare-actor is shown in the middle of his transformation for "Alice Cooper Goes to Hell 3D". We will be showing more of him, including the completed look.
Here is the poster behind the scare-actor:
He doesn't yet look like Alice Cooper, but he will soon!
This scare-actor said she's been part of Halloween Horror Nights for 5 years:
We interviewed Halloween Horror Nights Creative Director John Murdy, you can find that interview here, which includes footage of the preview event.
Everyone was invited to take part in their own transformation! We didn't do it this time, there was so much else to see.
We went back to see the final touches on these two scare-actors (there were three or four transformations going on at the same time). "Alice" was just about to have his wig placed when we arrived, and you'll see that in the third photo.
I'm so impressed with the talent of the make-up artists, costume designers, and everyone involved with Halloween Horror Nights! It's always interesting to see the work being done in front of us.
While roaming Universal Studios, we found props for the Halloween Horror Nights set up:
Halloween Horror Nights 2012 begins this year on September 21st, and runs on select nights through Halloween (19 nights total). For more information and to buy tickets, visit the Universal Studios Hollywood official site. Prices vary depending on the night, but buy early – tickets can and do sell out! Many attractions will be open, including Transformers: The Ride-3D, The Simpsons Ride and Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride. In addition, "Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure will again be part of Halloween Horror Nights!
You can follow Universal Studios Horror Nights updates here on Twitter.
I'll talk more about Universal Studios Hollywood itself in another article, we had the opportunity to ride Transformers several times and enjoy the remainder of the park as well. For those who haven't been to Universal Studios, I can't recommend the VIP Experience more highly if you want to spend the day there (and have money for a splurge). I did it 5 years ago, and there isn't a better way to see Universal Studios Hollywood. Universal did provide complimentary tickets for us during this trip with a generous addition of front-of-the-line access (one per attraction). But the VIP Experience was so unique, and very well priced for what it included. I have a story about it here! It was one of the best theme park tours I've ever taken.