Alternative Ventures

In a previous post I stated that I was responsible for creating a HALLOWEEN event at the former attraction that I worked at. Cough cough Dickens World Several years of not being able to express my creative ideas meant that I had not expected the idea to be given the green light, so in 2011 after several people had left ( members of the management who seemingly hated ideas that were not their own) I was asked to devise a HALLOWEEN scare maze in the attraction.
As I have stated before it was a Victorian themed attraction and the set looked fantastic, it was never utilised to its full potential, there was so much that could have been done with it , but the owner liked the idea of burning money and not caring about would mean that nothing was maintained properly and it started to look cheap.
I got to work on fleshing out an Idea I have been working on for years, turn the place into a scare maze for the night, have actors leading you through dark corridors , nasty surprises on the way. Incorporate Victorian villains like  Sweeney Todd , Jack the Ripper Jekyll and Hyde throw some history in. A semi guided Scare Attraction. Something that the place is now operating because of MY idea. Still haven't been thanked .
The only caveat would be that it was to be a joint effort with another company who had plans for a HALLOWEEN circus show.
Fine, make a night out of it.
The problem with this was Our budget was substituted for London based circus performers, we didn't mind as the team were getting to finally do something that we had planned for ages.
I wrote the scripts , planned rehearsal time, made sound effects , equipment lists.... It was my time to finally show that I am useful.
Then Our head of marketing - a title VERY MUCH JUST A TITLE- sent the details to the screen printing company with the worst designs possible, the wrong information , the dates were incorrect  , the wording read as an under 12's event but stated adults only. The prices was too high, everything.
Not to be deterred , we carried on and the event was a fantastic success. For the first time in years everyone felt like Performers . The circus event in the evening was not the best but our scare maze was the talking point.

With that fresh on my mind I got to work on the next one.
In between the two events I worked at a London Scare attraction, so I had huge ideas.
When I returned I discovered that two poncy theatre types had caught wind of our success and wanted In.
Unfortunately for me I had to agree, the Manager was easily fooled by Money talk and they promised on their Evening show to provide large numbers of people that would usually visit West End theatres.


Again I planned, wrote a script , reviewed what worked before, what didn't , what effects to use... It was going to be bigger and better than the previous year.
I came up with the idea of using viral marketing, setting up a fictional company, a logo, a teaser video, a cinema length trailer. Make it adult orientated. We had competition and I wanted another success.
I set up AV tours ( Alternative Ventures) which was a fictional company specialising in urban tourism, visiting abandoned places and guiding guests round them.

The attraction was going to be a hidden 1940s town affected by toxic gases in World War II , recently uncovered by the tour company and used to walk guests around to show them the evacuated town, However the gasses poisoned the former residents and they have since become infected zombie like creations.
Zombies were in and it gave people a chance to experiment with make up, contact lenses, I wanted strobe effects, fog machines , pitch black darkness ... Adults only.
I was contacted by a local film crew who offered to make the teaser videos for their film class , film the event and then make a behind the scenes documentary out of it
It was going to be displayed on the cinema screen we have playing outside our attraction.

Again the Marketing was appalling, our posters looked like crap, after several designs by the team  were submitted they went with something designed by a advertising company that I'm still embarrassed  about . Furthermore our trailer was hacked to ribbons because the owner clueless as to what he wanted- decided it was too scary, it was designed for adults.... We didn't want children coming to the event , we wanted people who wanted to get scared.
 The footage was amazing, and the copy The film maker submitted was fantastic ,  but the owner used his "marketing leader" to cut trailer, and ultimately made a mess if it.

Never mind , our event despite a lot of hitches was fine.
It was a bit more daunting for the team because there was virtually no lights in areas and the guests we got at the end of the night  were arseholes.
But at least it was better than the crap the Evening show was doing, they had promised west end quality entertainment , with Puppets, Burlesque and Plenty of Smut. But the manager didn't like to part with his money ( especially as we were all aware of  the financial situation of the company )  because he said no to all their ideas , their cabaret show was like Karaoke with some washed up Chorus line guys who in their prime would have been at the west end. Now performing to pissed up Medway residents in zombie makeup.

Our event was praised again.

We never got time to do a third event, the attraction closed, a few month later, we all left . It then it reopened with new management and they tried to recreate our idea from the first year, but they only sold something poor like 6 tickets.
They even opened up for the night knowing that they hadn't sold any tickets and when the first group was about to leave, they pulled the plug.
I still talk to people at the place, those that haven't found dignity and haven't left yet , but nobody talks about HALLOWEEN 2013 at Dickensworld.

Alternative Ventures Youtube

No comments: