Quick update before the goodies: Haunt on the Hill will be taking a quick break on Monday, but will be back next Friday with new updates on the haunt and props currently in the works.  In the meantime, feel free to follow Haunt on the Hill on facebook and twitter, (links to the right) and by feel free I mean DO IT!  DO IT NOW!  Thanks!

Anyway, lately I’ve become obsessed with what to do for my haunt on a vertical scale, since I’ve pretty much run out of space everywhere else.  Last year I came across the website of Mark Gervais’ business, Hallowindow.  For those of you not in the know, Hallowindow is a collection of DVDs containing really awesome creepy animations that you project onto your window or garage.  What’s even more awesome?  Gervais’ is a fellow Canuck and I love to see my countrymen helping the haunt industry!


Here’s a promo video for Hallowindow:

Turns out Mark is a really great guy and didn’t hesitate when I asked him if he would let me interview him for the site!  Here it is:




Haunt on the Hill: Seeing as how you are Canadian, do you get a lot of orders from Americans?

Mark: Actually, I’d say about 98% of my orders come from the US.  I like to think it has a lot to do with there being more temperate weather around Halloween down there and the much higher population but it probably comes down to people having a ton of Halloween spirit.  I’ve also been getting more international orders outside of North America so it seems that haunting is spreading.

HotH: Have you ever thought about selling your DVDs at any of the major haunt conventions?

Mark: I have thought about it and I’ve been invited to a few down in the US but it usually comes down to not having the time to make it down.  I did try to get some exposure through the Canadian Haunters Convention this year and that was pretty cool.

HotH: Where do you get the ideas for your videos?

Mark: I guess they just sprout from the dark corners of my imagination.  I have a visual aesthetic that I like so that kind of guides me and I try to conceptualize ideas through sketches and notes.  I try to keep things simple and not too dark or grotesque but rather hint at those things.  Some of the ideas are based on the staging of a window, like the guy behind the curtain, and some ideas are more based on setting an atmosphere or a theme.

HotH: I saw you asking for ideas on facebook and I was the person who said I hate seeing outside scenes on a window, it just doesn’t make sense!!!  How do you balance what everyone wants to see?

Mark: I try to take into account what people would like to see but it’s impossible to please everyone.  Since these projects are essentially self initiated I try to keep it interesting and challenging for me in order to keep it fun and not feel too much like it’s a job.  The outside/inside argument is fair but I’m just taking inspiration from a bunch of different aspects of Halloween and creating a ride through a variety of concepts.  My single themed animations tend to work better as window specific illusions since they don’t change perspective.  I know people want to see more of that sort of thing so  I’m working towards incorporating as much of it as possible.  Generally, if it passes the “I think that looks pretty cool” test it makes it into the sequence.

HotH: I have been (im)patiently waiting for Hallowindow 4 to come out before I decide which DVD to order, yet you still refuse to give me a release date! Are you saying that you have a life outside of Halloween and can’t say when this will be done?!?

Mark: Ha! Yup, life keeps chugging away and bills have to be paid so my regular job and newborn son keeps me busy for most of the year.  The latest release of Hallowindow will most likely be hitting the scene late in September (like the past releases). Production has started earlier this year so hopefully that means things will be wrapping sooner as well.  I also hope to release some downloadable animations earlier than that so keep your ear to the ground for that stuff. My facebook group, twitter feed and mailing list is the best place to get the latest info.  Thanks for spreading the word about Hallowindow, Rachel.  I’m extremely gracious of the kind words I’ve received over the past 3 years from fans and fellow haunters.  Much respect to all.


Thanks Mark!  And to anyone interested in Hallowindow, you can order the DVDs or find out more info on the Hallowindow site.


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