Hi Thrill Seekers,
One of the great things about working for Orlando Attraction Tickets (apart from writing this blog) is that occasionally we get invited to some cool things… Last week I got invited to one of these cool things…
To celebrate Halloween Horror Nights Universal invited me down to their office in London to watch “An American Werewolf in London” the classic film Directed by John Landis (famous for also Directing Michael Jackson’s Thriller Video). When you’re a big company like Universal you of course have your own personal cinema, actually Universal have two!
As Universal announced that American Werewolf in London would indeed be one of the houses this year it seemed very apt to come and view a film that I hadn’t watched since I was young, actually I was far too young and it scared the bejesus out of me!
It was also a good chance to catch up with our friends at Universal, but the real treat was the promise of a Skype chat with Universal’s Creative Director, Michael Aiello.
As can happen when we rely upon technology the scheduled Skype chat hit a few problems, so instead of us sitting in silence, we sat back and watched the film. I’ve got to say I’m a bit of a John Landis fan and I love American Werewolf! The film, although a little dated in appearance and technology loses nothing in suspense and storytelling. So I was quite happy to sit and watch. The part that got a laugh from most of the crowd (about 35 of us) was when the characters took a taxi ride in London which only cost £1.50 🙂
When the film had finished the Universal bods had worked some magic and the Skype connection was fixed. On the same giant screen we’d just watched “An American Werewolf in London” on, appeared Michael Aiello sat in front of his computer with a big beaming smile. Michael welcomed us and spoke a little about what we could expect from Halloween Horror Nights 23 and confirmed some of the houses we could expect including a little more information about the unique content they’d been working on including La Llorona (which they seem to be very excited about), Havoc 2: Derailed and Afterlife: Death’s Vengeance.
He mentioned how they’d just taken delivery of a tank (as you do) and that he thought this years Halloween Horror Nights would be up there with the best. Mike explained how they use a mixture of staging to guarantee that visitors (victims) are guided in the right direction to maximise the suspense and how the houses and mazes aren’t just visual but also stimulate all the senses including smell, he went on to graphically describe the sort of things you could expect…. I lost any appetite I may of had.
However the house he seemed most proud of was of course the film we’d just watched “An American Werewolf in London” he explained how they had worked closely with John Landis to create the maze, he stated that the actual soundtrack used within the film for such things as the Wolf’s howl would also be used in the maze and confirmed that the iconic scene where David first turns would feature and that they had used the same process to recreate it.
Mike then mentioned that John Landis himself was meant to Skype in to talk to us about the collaboration but due to the technical issue’s he couldn’t….. a collective “Oooooooh” echoed around the room….
But luckily he happened to be in London…. and he’s behind you!
We all turned to see that John Landis was indeed sat at the back on the cinema and had apparently been there all the time! John came down to the front and began to explain how Universal had wanted to do a version of his film for a while now and how happy he was with Mikes plans, the way he had stayed true to the original and how amazing the rest of Halloween Horror Nights was going to be.
John confirmed that Mike had sent him video clips of the maze and that the process of building the finished product had been going on for over 6 months. John got final say on all aspects of the creation and I got the feeling from the two of them that although they liked each other the working relationship may have been turbulent.
The Q & A session had run way over time so it ended rather abruptly but the whole afternoon had been quite surreal and one I’m rather glad I went too.
You can purchase tickets to Universal Halloween Horror Nights at www.orlandoattractiontickets.co.uk we offer the 2-Park Bonus Halloween Horror Nights Ticket or the Halloween Horror Nights Frequent FearPass