Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Imagineering 101: Haunted Mansion SFX II

I know... I'm a Cartoonist, so should be cartooning, but I had this sudden urge to reproduce the Pepper's ghost effect that makes the Haunted Mansion's Ballroom so very special... and haunting!

As you can see in the photo above, this was a very low budget stunt, cobbled together in my studio very quickly. I promise that one day I will do this much better.. and hopefully wil not be as embarrassed as I am now of the results. :0)

Here 'tis... live and in color;

So the dancing ghosts in The Mansion's ballroom are an illusion... another happy accident in which it is discovered that you can see images reflected off of glass while at the same time seeing objects through the glass. This effect actually goes back decades ago, and was a quite popular effect in the theatre.

So... if there is an award out there for Worst Movie Created by a Cartoonist, please be sur eto nominate me. :0) And if you liked this, you'll love the Haunted Statue demonstration I made last time, here.

And please forgive me for explaining the magic behind The Mansion, but I really don't think anything can take away from it's wonder.

Cheers, JOHN :0)

UPDATE: I actually have done this on a larger, better scale, so check it out, please! At this link.


Brian Hughes said...


The technique behind the effect was slightly given away by the reflection of your camera in the glass throughout the demostration. Having said that...there's something horribly spooky about that doll.

John said...


What's scarier? Me playing with dolls, or the fact that I actually posted that awful video? :0)

Seriously, I actually had the effect working quite well using various methods, but actually getting the effect to work on camera is just as much work as the effect itself!

I should have tried one more time, using black tape to hide the camera, but at that point I had had enough for one day.

I will definitely do this right once I've moved and set up my new studio.

Cheers, Imagineer JOHN :0)

John said...

God forbig, anybody actually watching this, but just in case, I did do it better... at this link...


Aletha said...

The ghost camera is funny!! But all in all this is a very informative video! It really makes the effect easy to understand, thank you for that!

John said...

Thanks Aletha, and welcome to Amatuer Video hour! Honestly, I should have put some black tape over the camera light, and reshot, but it was late or something.

Looking back, this is actually a funny video, now that I'm past the basic humiliation. :0)

JOHN :0)