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Working at a Haunted House

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Working at a Haunted House

Post by Amanda on Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:41 pm

Hello fellow paint crazies...
So I ran across an add today for a Haunted House looking to hire a makeup person for next years season. Personally, I think it's a tad early to be hiring for October, but then again who knows! They want to see samples of your work, but they also want you to tell them what you want to be paid. The gig would be every friday & saturday night in October plus Halloween weekend. I think this could be really cool, especially since I am chomping at the bit to learn more gore makeup, but I have no clue what to expect as payment. Has anyone worked for a haunted house before? Any idea as to how I should price myself out for that? I'm assuming that, besides Halloween, I wouldn't be loosing out an any other possible gigs that I would get during the day, so it seems like a good way to rake in some extra money I wouldn't otherwise be getting. Advice appreciated. Smile
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Re: Working at a Haunted House

Post by Psalmbook on Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:29 pm

Since it's weekend work, I'd quote my full rate w/ a small discount for repeated dadtes(include a travel fee if it's a bit of a drive). I painted last year outside a haunted house & it really wasn't worth it. It was too dark & most people didn't want to leave the line. I'm not sure if I should try again & see if it gets better as people get used to me being there. I'm hoping they might have me help w/ make-up next year....
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Re: Working at a Haunted House

Post by Just Jenny on Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:37 pm

Amanda, are you going to the haunters Convention???? I so want to go again.

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Re: Working at a Haunted House

Post by Amanda on Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:38 pm

Psalm,
Sorry, I think you misunderstood... I'm not going to paint the customers at the haunted house, it would be a gig painting the actors.

Jenny, yeah, but I'm only going to be able to go to take the Wolfe class on friday. I'll have to leave as soon as it's over because i have a gig in Canton that evening.
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Re: Working at a Haunted House

Post by Beans on Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:18 am

Having a background in Gore, I think you have a few options here. Depending on the work they want done, you could charge each actor a fee eg. like PPF only more as its still private work essentially. (This is similar to how private work for proms and bridal bookings can be charged. Because when you consider it to go to a counter you have to pay $40-$50 which is redeemable on product)
You could also charge an hourly rate. I would recommend you negotiate a contract where you agree to work xyz hours on such days for $$$ per session. Then you can plan makeup for each actor based on thier character (this is what the film/stage artists do) on to a sheet which will always be available to you for immediate reference and speed up your job as contracted especially if appliances are involved (noses, warts, cuts etc).
Another option would be to offer them lessons for $$$ which will free you up for other bookings on those days.
It will make your job harder if they keep changing thier minds from week to week and you've not had a chance to research & prepare your designs.

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Re: Working at a Haunted House

Post by Amanda on Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:29 am

Thanks Beans! That's fantastic advice. Smile
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Re: Working at a Haunted House

Post by CABBYJ on Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:21 am

If it's a large haunted house know that you will not be the only artist there (think huge warehouse). They tend to add you to a team of artist, at least that has been my experience. When I do haunted houses I charge an hourly rate plus a kit fee depending on what type of effects they want. Just paint only I charge enough to cover my supplies, SFX my kit fee includes prosthetics, etc.
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Re: Working at a Haunted House

Post by Sweet Loretta on Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:29 pm

Gee Amanda your in the heart of gore training country. The largest gathering for haunted attraction owners is the Midwest Haunters Convention in Columbus, Ohio - June 2-5 or so. I really suggest going. I'll be be there this year but my son graduates from high school June 3. My dear friend Pam Trent will be there teaching basic gore, she said just catch a flight after grad ceremony! Next year. Pashur is teaching a pre class on Zombies, along with a host of other face and body art talents, not to mention the hard core FX makeup folks. You will get all your questions about working in haunted attractions there. This event is run by Kelly and Nenna Collins, Nenna is a face painter as well as a haunter. Nice folks - the whole event is a gore filled fun fest.

For folks on the west coast you can catch me teaching basic gore, the Wolfe bros doing mask making and face painting, Laurie Phelps doing airbrush stencils along with a host of others at the West Coast Haunters Convention May 13-15 in Salem, Oregon. This is run by the Salem School for the Deaf which also runs a haunt. Their haunt was in a dorm basement with a dirt floor so it was re-done by Extreme Home Makeover- can't wait! In Ohio you can also tour some haunted attractions.

Haunts vary in how they pay makeup staff. Many are al volunteer run and place ads then ask you to volunteer. Most want to pay minimum wage. None are going to pay you face painting wages - say $50 to $125 pr hr, unless you are a top FX makeup artist you won't be making real money. Most haunts use airbrush as a base medium to cover big groups of actors quickly - so that is a skill worth having. As is UV - haunters are big on black light effects.

www.midwesthauntersconvention.com
www.westcoasthauntersconvention.com


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