|Who said Andy doesn't have a heart?|
|Our "saucer": just after being first built in the living room|
|We couldn't find a thin black tie for our "Man in Black," so we improvised.|
|This survivor didn't last long after the crash.|
To contribute some narrative material to our show, we dressed a life-sized skeleton I'd used in previous years in a Men in Black suit I cobbled together at the local Salvation Army store. After dressing our agent, we ripping a hole in the shirt and singed the edges to reveal the guy's ribs. Later we'd think of a gross story to explain the effect. To liven the walls, we tacked up posters and diagrams that seemed suitable for an Area 51 Laboratory ("Restricted Area," "Use of Deadly Force is Authorized," that sort of thing). Naturally I added an "I want to believe" poster. [Incidentally, I've recently created an "I wanted to believe" poster - just in case we do this show again one day.]
|Behind the Scenes: The LCD needed to be|
covered so that our strobe lights would work.
To make it appear that our "lab" window faced outside and not into our house, I downloaded a clip from Earth Versus the Flying Saucers and isolated a four-second snippet of a UFO. After editing the piece into a looping video, I used my LCD Projector to cast the scene onto a white sheet we'd nailed over the window. The resulting image - a flying saucer hovering back and forth - was surprisingly realistic at night (though only then would I notice that our window showed a daytime scene).
|Area 51 signs|
For background music we looped four selections: "Prelude and Outer Space" from Bernard Herrmann's The Day the Earth Stood Still score, "Alien Spaceship" from Mannheim Steamroller, "Amityville Horror" from Robert Walsh, and a version of The X-Files theme produced by The Stradibrothers Orchestra. Affixing green-colored gels over the lights, illuminating alien figures in the upper windows with strobe lights, and costuming ourselves with lab coats and medical instruments, Jenny and I built an Alien Autopsy porch to inspire a thousand nightmares (and yes, we posted signs warning parents that this presentation was rated PG: "Pretty Gory"). Finally it was 6 p.m., time to start the show.
|Andy points at the flying saucers hovering outside our window|
|Jenny takes a break with our baby alien|
|The crashed saucer made quite a mess!|
Update: Check out the video!
• 2009: Zombie Apocalypse [Pix and Story] [Video]
• 2008: Dr. Freightmarestein's Haunted Laboratory of Horrors [Pix] [Video]
• 2007: Psycho Circus [Pix] [Video]
• 2006: Alien Autopsy I [Pix]
• 2005: Just Buried [Pix]
• 2004: Pirate Dungeon [Pix]