Knott’s Scary Farm: What Lurks Within – Dress Rehearsals

Days before opening night of Knott’s Scary Farm, everyone has to be trained on the operations of the event, so everything runs smoothly and is wonderfully terrifying. There is a hustle and bustle of everyone from build, wardrobe, cast and crew to prepare for the opening of Scary Farm. The day we visited they were focusing on training monsters, black out and guest control for mazes. We saw this process for Paranormal Inc.,Voodoo, and Toothfairy. It will be the first time all of these teams work the maze with guests (guests meaning street monsters who are going through). It is wonderful to see the excitement on the faces of all the streets monsters from Fiesta De Los Muertos, The Hollows, Carnevil and Ghost Town. They are waiting in anticipation to have a good scare from their monster brothers and sisters. Also, since these monsters will always be in the streets, this gives them the opportunity to experience these mazes and to see what the design and build team created.

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The First People you encounter at Scary Farm when you head towards your maze of choice is Guest Control, a team of people with white shirts and black ties. They guide you to ensure you get in line for your maze of choice for either Gen. Admission or Fright Lane. When you are in line, they keep line flow at a good pace and count groups for specific mazes that have pre-shows so it is not too many people with you but just enough to ensure a steady pace of line flow.

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We interviewed Donald and Deanna, Guest Control from Toothfairy. They informed us what is gone over during dress rehearsals,

“I’m explaining to them what to do with Guest Control, informing them about the maze, controlling the guests, keeping the maze clean and safe.” -Donald

“Our main job for Guest Control pretty much is keeping everyone in order, how many people come in, and we have the clicker right here.”

-Deanna

Inside the maze looking after the monsters, ensuring their safety and guiding you when the maze becomes confusing or super dark are The Blackouts. Even though they maybe invisible at times, they are always there, lurking in the shadows. Before the monsters of streets head into Paranormal Inc. for a scare, Bonnie (the team leader for blackouts for Paranormal and it’s her very first year working Scary Farm), gathers her army of blackouts and goes over the safety and daily procedures. Also what to do when guests want out and everything to know about the maze. Also she gets them excited for another year of Scary Farm. During her meeting with the blackouts she states,

“Just know I am here for you guys, we are all a team: line control, talent, all of us. We got each other’s backs.”

-Bonnie

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With every department from Monsters lead by the Cast Lead, Guest Control and Black Outs working together creates a great system for the maze to be terrifying and safe. When we head in, some monsters are in their masks and costume and some are there without that but their characters show through movement, scare and facial expression. Everyone is energetic and on point, it is wonderful that they are given dress rehearsal to get in the groove of their characters and environment. You can see all the action of Paranormal Inc. and Voodoo in our video below.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our article and video. Thank you to the people of Guest Control and Black Outs for ensuring the best and safe experiences at Scary Farm. We here at the Knott’s Network are grateful for your dedication and for what you do. Thank You ❤ Scary Farm starts up again this Thursday, so be sure not to miss out. We will see you all soon… In The Fog.

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Knott’s Scary Farm: What Lurks Within! Orientation

EVERYONE who is involved with Knott’s Scary Farm from the Monsters, to line control, to black out, to build, to cast leads, to designers attend orientation in the Charles M. Schulz Theatre. For some, it is an introduction to everyone and very first taste of being apart of the event for their Rookie Year. For others, it’s a big Family Reunion with their Haunt brothers and sisters. Returning for another year to scare guests in the fog together. Towards the end of Orientation, Jeff Tucker welcomes everyone by saying,

“Welcome, you have just taken your First Steps into a Larger World. Welcome to the Greatest Job you’re Ever Going to Have. Welcome To The Family.”

Orientation begins with a massive amount of people filing into the Charles M. Schulz Theatre. Friends sit together and you can see whole scare zone families as they all wear their Scare Zone Jerseys. Everyone has papers with important Scary Farm info on it, so they are informed on all the important spooky knowledge and happenings.

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During Orientation, they cover how to scare and be safe while working haunt with Jesse the Safety Manager. He goes over step by step on the safest way of the scare with “zombie joe.” His presentation also includes haunt lingo of your start position being dubbed “The Boo Hole.” I love how the room roars with laughter and how Jesse is absolutely having fun with them. They go over what to do with dangerous/intoxicated guests, because that is the worst. Overall, he gives them tips and instructions on how to have a safe and fun season.

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Up next is Jeff Tucker and he goes into detail of important information everyone who is working Haunt needs to know, THE HAUNT SURVIVAL GUIDE! He goes into the best times to come to get ready, parking, and the technical information they need to know. Also, that “On Call” positions are still open for Haunt, it is a list of scare actors on the ready for when spots turn up. These spots usually become open towards the end of the season. Hey, if you missed auditions, there is still a chance to work haunt at least a few nights, get a taste of the fear of others. Mwhahahahhahahaha! Just so you know, it’s 18+ to work haunt, and “it’s not too late, it’s never too late.” Link Down below.

https://www.knotts.com/jobs

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After all of the important information has been dispensed by The Tucker, he asks if anyone has questions. Then he asks, “How many are you are new to Scary Farm?” Many hands rise into the air and he welcomes to the spooky, twisted and scary Haunt Family. He then wishes everyone a fun and safe haunt seasons and introduces Jon Cooke and Pasta to the stage.

Jon Cooke begins by asking how everyone is doing and for the Scary Farm veterans to give a warm welcome to everyone who is new in the family. Family is key to Scary Farm, it is the relationships, companionships, and friendships that form during the event amongst the staff and monsters that are amazing. It is everyone’s Passion and love they share for Horror, Halloween, and Haunted Attractions that make the event great. These are the people who work and anticipate Haunt all year long. They carry the Halloween spirit with them where ever they go. Just like in the film Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2: “The Saw is Family.” Many of these Scary Farm monsters and staff hang out together all year long. Unfortunately, they lost 3 of their spooky family this year, they celebrate their memory through the love of Horror and for Haunt. My heart goes out to all of the haunt family who are still healing over their passing. They will be remembered fondly in the fog.

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So all that is said and done, we interviewed many people this evening, but we will focus on Jon Cooke and Pasta. Jon Cooke is a Scary Farm designer who has created mazes and attractions such as Paranormal Inc., Shadowlands, Infected, Fear VR: 5150, Trick or Treat: Lights Out, Dark Ride and many other contributions to the event… bringing the FEAR and the Next Level of Haunting with every innovation, mixing the classic haut/halloween style with new technology/ideas. With every idea, he begins from concept to bringing it to full fruition. He works together with the design dept. and every dept. to assure that Scary Farm is the Scariest Event in So Cal.

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In Fact, he works closely with Pasta. She is a major part of Haunt, not only is she the head of the Paint Dept. but also oversees the cast of MONSTERS. She works alongside Jon, going over designs and how each attraction’s look and feel. What they will need from, wallpaper, distressing, paint, colors, etc. She leads her team of about 13 painters and crew leads in going through every attraction and giving it the eerie and creepy looks and feels. Bringing the horror to life!!!!!

“Magical Nightmares.” 3:)

She states, “after the designers pick the cast she goes in and teach them how to be those characters.” From creatures, to evil carnies, monsters that lurk in the fog, demons and what not. They go over with each scare actor what the creature is and how to be the creature. Directly under them is the cast leads who are people that guide/manage the scareactors/monsters in each maze/scarezone. *WE WILL COVER THEM IN THE NEXT EPISODE 😉 .

Overall, Pasta and Cooke oversee the entire event to make sure it is the scariest event you attend this haunt season 3:) 😉 Thank you to Jon Cooke, Pasta, Jeff Tucker, Jesse, The Monsters, and everyone who participated in this episode. You can see all the madness that has taken place in the vid down below. Thank you for reading and we hope to see you In The Fog!

 

Knott’s Scary Farm: What Lurks Within! Making Masks

People are working around the clock on Knott’s Scary Farm, both backstage, after hours, and even outside the Farm. As the clock ticks closer, many makeup artists are working at their homes and garages to create custom masks for Knott’s Scary Farm streets monsters. This collaboration of artists and scare actors to bring monsters to life. It begins with a nightmarish idea of a new monster character/design, complete with an elaborate backstory, personality, and a completely original look. According to KSF MUA, Sarah Navarrette,

“A monster who gets cast into a mask, you either take the standard given mask or they can take their character into their own hands and get a custom mask created. I feel like it’s a little bit more ownership and the character really develops and becomes more when it’s a mask molded off of their head and creates from their concept. And it’s like a little joined marriage between the monster and the artist that gets to create the mask.”

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We join Sarah throughout the entire process of creating customs masks for the street monsters from Ghost Town Streets, The Hallows, Fiesta De Los Muertos and Carnevil. It all begins with a nice summer’s night when several scare actors visit her home and get their head life casted.

Being casted that evening were Mikael Zenteno, (this is his 2nd experience of going through this process), Riley Polymanteer (his first time), and Brandon. With the help with a team of makeup artists, Sarah gets each scare actor into the chair and starts the process. They make a hair cap on each actor with seran wrap and protecting their eyebrows and eyelids with Vaseline. She pours alginate, which is a powder when mixed in water turns into a wonderfully gooey mixture, onto the heads of each actor. They make sure the gooey concoction is thoroughly covering their heads then Sarah and her team begin the next step. They take wet strips of cloth and place it over the gooey substance.

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Some time passes and their work hardens into a shell, they remove the shell slowly from the actor’s face and they return to the light. It is quite funny seeing them wriggle out of the cast which holds a copy of their face in full detail within. The team fills each shell with cement.

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Once hardened, she removes the cast, and it is ready for Sarah to begin bringing the character to life. With the guideline of the ideas from the scareactors, the facial structure of the actor and Sarah’s mad skills. She begins slapping clay onto the actor’s headcast and sculpting the character. With time and precision, the monster takes form. Sarah builds the clay on top of the base, smoothing it, adding more, and creating detail.

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It was amazing seeing the process of the creation of a monster from clay. It’s like magic.

After going through the next few steps of cementing the design, pouring latex into the mold and finally holding that latex mask and painting it…. There is so much time and hard work that goes into creating the mask.

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Every mask and costume must be looked over and approved by Tim Barham, who was featured in last week’s behind the scenes article/vid. Every mask you see in these pictures and video have been approved by him and you will see them all in action this season.

It takes a team to bring each monster to life, as we speak, MUA’s are finishing up monster’s masks and the game plan come this Thursday! Without them, the monsters would not look as terrifying or as amazing as they do. It is wonderful that monsters are so dedicated to their craft of the scare they go above and beyond to bring that character to life. MUAS and Monsters working together, side by side to create the characters that will HAUNT YOUR NIGHTMARES!!!!!! 3:)

Thank you Sarah Navarrette and the Scary Farm monsters for being apart of this article and vid… sharing your passion and excitement! We are excited to see your hard work in action. Thank you for reading, link to the vid to see the entire process in action is down below. We hope to see you all THURSDAY In The Fog!!!!!

See More Pictures of the Masks, Her Work and other Scary Farm Monster Goodness on Sarah’s Instagram, Link Below!

https://www.instagram.com/super.nava/

Knott’s Scary Farm: What Lurks Within! Open Auditions & Wardrobe

During a warm summer day in July, many people (who are 18+ of age) line up on the side of the Gate, waiting to be ushered in to show Knott’s what they are made of, to become Scary Farm Scare Actors/Monsters. They are invited in through security check and into the backstage area of Knott’s to check in and to auditions, which were held in within the haunted penitentiary of Paranormal Inc. They were casting for their infamous event Knott’s Scary Farm. They were looking for people to unleash their inner monster to become Clowns, Zombies, Ghosts, Witches, Creatures, and Things that go Bump In The Night. Hundreds of people, young and old, newcomers and returning scare actors, audition every year to become the fear that lurks in The Fog and In the Darkness. But before they can become monsters of Scary Farm, they must show what they got and what they are made of to a panel of Scary Farm designers and talent coordinators. These are the people who have a keen eye for evaluating actors’ strengths and where they will fit best in their twisted family. There is NO Failing in this Audition. Everyone has a place in the realm of Scary Farm. From line control, to a Zombie in infected, blackout, maze monster or even t streets.

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Prospective monsters congregate where guests await their next great terror before venturing in during the haunt season. Excitement, anticipation, and nervousness linger in the air as they talk amongst themselves about what may come during auditions and where they hope to be casted. Time ticks by quickly as groups of future monsters enter and exit Paranormal Inc. with excitement on their faces.

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We are then escorted into the showroom where a panel of talent captains and designers Jon Cooke, Gus Kruger, Nathan Hale, and Andrew are waiting for the next group. The group is escorted into the maze, a perfect atmosphere with eerie music playing in the background to audition to. Cooke welcomes everyone and asks each person to introduce themselves, state specific talents (like stilt walking, contortions, etc.), haunt experience, and where would they like to go. Each one steps forward with enthusiasm, expressing their love for the event. Then comes the fun part, lol. Jon instructs the group of future haunt monsters to show their best ZOMBIE, CLOWN, and WEREWOLF. The room erupts with a terrifying menagerie of everyday people becoming your worst nightmares. Throughout all of this the panel are writing down notes. No Makeup and No Costume… these people become all of these in a snap. Then Cooke goes down the line of scare actors and asks for their best pop out scare, each one gives their all to scare him.

The audition ends, and those who are trying out for streets stay behind in Paranormal Inc. while the rest of their group wait for them right outside. The ones who are moving forward for Streets auditions state which of the four infamous zones, Ghost Town, Fiesta De Los Muertos, CarnEvil, or The Hallows, they are interested in. They are then asked how they would portray a monster of that zone. Each actor gives their wild spin on the zones they are interested with energy and dedication.

They are then excused from the room for the audition is over. The panel of designers and talent coordinators talk amongst themselves about the results of the auditions and where each person would fit best in their world of nightmares. After deliberating, going over notes and finishing up their paperwork. They invite the actors who passed the audition for streets back into the room and congratulate them on succeeding. As Jon Cooke calls this part, “Making dreams come true.” 🙂 Those who are selected for streets are brimming with excitement because it is a position where they can roam outside the mazes and scare all guests who cross their path.

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Speaking with Cooke and the designers, we asked what piece of advice they would give to those who wish to audition next year?

For me, the biggest piece of advice is just to come in and Don’t Be Afraid to look Silly and Dumb and Just Have Fun with It.” 🙂

Returning with the actors, they are looking forward with curiosity to which maze they are going to be placed in. So everyone, including the future street talent, are escorted next to processing where many dedicated Scary Farm employees look over the actors paperwork and place them in their mazes. They go over which every actor, their character and their maze. Also, a lot of important information regarding working Scary Farm is also gone over in this room.

Next up, now that the actors know their character and maze they will call home during the haunt season, they head over to warehouse P…. Wardrobe. They enter a giant warehouse which has a sign for Scary Farm Costuming. Future Monsters check in and they are called individually to be measured and to be fitted into their costumes.

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Many talented women and men of wardrobe are bustling around inside warehouse P, they enter the many rows of racks of costumes. From samurai armor to clown outfits, this is an important part of bringing the monsters to life. These detailed costumes tell part of the story of the monster. When they bring an actor back, they look at their paperwork, measure them and swiftly grab their costume. The actor goes into the changing room and gets into the costume. When they emerge out of the curtain, they are slowly becoming their character. Then they go over what they need along with the costume, such as props, makeup, mask, etc. Also, what is recommended to wear under the costume and how often the costumes are washed. They also pin the costume for the best fit.

Leading the team of wardrobe is Tim Barham, he designs the costumes for Scary Farm and does so much for Berry Farm as Area Manager all year long. He works alongside the designers of Scary Farm going over what kind of costumes are needed for each maze and how they can bring that to life. Going over the fabrics, materials, design inspiration. For example, for Shadowlands, he delved into the fashion of that era and an authentic kimono was brought in for research and inspiration. He collaborates with so many talented tailors of the wardrobe dept. in making the best costumes for Scary Farm. With each costume, so much love for the event and care is put in it. Especially with zones, where the costumes correlate with each other. Also, if scareactors create their own original character and they wish to make their own costume, they take the design and get it approved by Tim. Tim guides the scareactors who are creating their custom costume so it is of the amazing quality of all of the costumes of Scary Farm. He and his department do such a fantastic job with costumes every year. When you look at a monster, they appear to be of the worlds they come from. The costuming really brings that to life.

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See everything that is from this article brought to life in our vid! With interviews and even more good stuff! Link Down Below!! And be sure to visit Knott’s Scary Farm This MONTH and see the hard work of all of these talented people in action! Thank you for reading and thank you to everyone who participated in this article/video. And Thank you to Scary Farm.

Scary Farm 2017 Dates

Special Knott’s Network Announcement

Hello everyone, this is Mary Imagination of The Knott’s Network. I would like to announce something very special Tim and I have been working on in collaboration with Knott’s Berry Farm since this past Summer. But first, I would like to start this off by thanking Knott’s Berry Farm and their amazing marketing team and many others for being so amazing and always kind to us. And everyone who has collaborated and worked with us so far.

I am so happy and proud that this project has come to full fruition this year. Over the years I have been making baby steps towards this project. It is my Love and Passion for Knotts Scary Farm’s Halloween Haunt and the people who bring it to life which sparked the idea for this project. The first step was an article I wrote on HorrorBuzz.com about the Makeup Artists who bring hundreds of monsters to life every night. Thank you to Vicki Woods for bringing me backstage for that wonderful haunt night. I wanted to write an article so Fans and Guests can see and appreciate the many talented people and artists that come together every night to bring the monsters of scary farm to life. I love make up artists, I believe it is a special magic, talent, artistry, and science they have to change a normal person into something terrifying or beautiful.

So this year, I wanted to expand upon that but with everyone, all of the talented and hardworking people who work together to bring Knott’s Scary Farm to Life! From design, to wardrobe, to build, to the MUAS, to props, to paint, to special FX, to EVERYONE involved. Starting TOMORROW we will be releasing an article and video Every Friday until our final article/episode. Peer behind the veil of the fog and shadows to see the hard work and passion that goes into Scary Farm.

My greatest hope with this series of articles and videos will give Fans and People who are curious about Knott’s Scary Farm will gain a deeper appreciation for the event and the people who pour their heart and souls into making it one of the scariest haunts in So. Cal. To shed a light to the unsung heroes of Scary Farm and all of their amazing work to bring the event to life.

Perhaps you are someone who has never attended a year of Scary Farm, but curious about the event. I hope these Behind the Scenes entice you further to attend your first year of Scary Farm. Sometimes it’s the peek behind the curtain will get you excited and even more curious about what lurks in the fog.

Perhaps you are someone who has a Passion for Haunted Attractions, maybe this series will give you greater insight and inspiration on the many roles that go into bringing Haunt to life.

We love Scary Farm so much and we hope you all enjoy what we set out to create for our Haunt Community of Southern California and for anyone who loves KSF or even those who are curious about the terror that lurks behind the gates of the farm.

Our First episode of “Scary Farm: What Lurks Within” PREMIERING TOMORROW here on The Knott’s Network is about Open Auditions for Scary Farm, featuring the Wardrobe/Costume Dept.

This series is dedicated to all of those who have worked or work haunt, past & present, to the living and those who are not with us anymore. We love you all and can’t wait for what nightmares you have created for us. Thank You All from the bottom of our hearts. I hope you all have a wonderfully spooky day.

-Mary Imagination

 

VR Showdown in Ghost Town

 

Get ready to enter a time machine and go back in time to defend the town of Calico from an army of robots! This new attraction is not only action packed and so much fun, but it is also brining the innovation of Virtual Reality to a theme park setting. When Tim and I tried this attraction this past Tuesday evening, our minds were blown away!

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There is so much love and care for the park that went into this attraction. When you are in the queue, there are easter eggs for Knotts fans to discover and there you can watch the pre-show and learn the backstory of the adventure you will embark on. The details are so amazing! For those of you worried about a theming clash by having a Ghost Town attraction in Boardwalk, Don’t You Fear! The facade, queue and attraction falls in theming continuity with Iron Reef with steam punk elements. It honestly feels like an extension of the Iron Reef world, so it fits in PERFECTLY inside the Boardwalk Arcade.IMG_4013wtmkIMG_4010wtmk

Then you are escorted to your time traveling pod by scientists who are experts in the field of time travel and the space time continuum. They prepare you for what is to come by equipping you with your VR headset, headphones and your weapon. I am not going to spoil the actual experience for you but all I can say is it is fully immersive, thrilling, and so much fun! When Tim and I were screaming at the surprises, yelling at the things coming right at us, and I even went “pew pew” mimicking the laser gun in my hand. LOL. We REALLY got into it.

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The technology will leave you astounded and in awe. In this attraction, you are free to move around freely to battle the robots. It honestly feels like you are transported into the wild west of Calico, any way you turn there are enemies all around you. No worries about running into your friends or into anything while you are playing, you can clearly tell within the experience where your friends and where the boundaries are. You can stand, crouch, back away, dodge, and move around the space as you want and need to. Tim and I were on the floor at times, LOL. This is a one of a kind VR system and as it is stated in Knotts’ press release, “No consumer VR platform allows multiple users to move around this large of a play space, and WITHOUT the limitation of cables connecting users to the PCs, players are free to move around each other and the space to take advantage of the full-motion nature of the system.”

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Here are a couple of tips from us that we learned and hope that it will assist you on your mission to save our beloved Calico! The glowing power ups that appear, to access them you must swipe your weapon through it, don’t shoot it. Follow the objectives you are assigned while you are on your mission, it will help you succeed. And above all, don’t get hit by the enemies or debris created by the chaos, you WILL lose points. Also, don’t move past the grids, when you play it, you will understand.

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This is truly a unique experience that you can only can only experience at Knott’s Berry Farm! This is the VERY FIRST Free Roaming VR Experience and it is so mind blowing. Wow, how far technology has come. We HIGHLY recommend you experience this New attraction, it is so Worth the upcharge! Have fun with it, Tim and I were all over the place and having a blast. It is a blast to the past, hehhehehhehehehhehe. Fans of Knott’s Berry Farm, thrill seekers, video game lovers, theme park lovers, and so many people will love this. We are definitely going to go through this attraction again and again! And here is the great part about playing it multiple times, the experience will change every time… and hey, you can even try to beat that high score.