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HHN XX VIP Lounge


Oysterhead00
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I was able to attend the VIP Lounge on 10/22 and had a very wonderful time - took quite a few pictures and spent a good 30-45 minutes just scouring all of the great props and art. Also had a very nice conversation with another fan, as well as a cocktail waitress whom kept mistaking me as a different guest each time I entered. A&D, if you're reading this, thank you for listening to your younger fans and rescinding the age limit - it's very appreciated, I enjoyed what you had to offer, and you're $10 richer (not to mention my experience better) because of it.

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I'd rather just do dvd's I hate youtube. Will anyone be going on the 28th? The talk will be over the icons. I would love to see that one.

If anyone is going could you please record it I would love to see it. Maybe we could do a exchange or something?

Hey this is Aiello! Let me know how I can get a copy of that. Unfortunately no one on our end taped the presentation!!! Thanks!

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I have to say, that was a much, much, MUCH better idea than what we actually got. FEAR felt rushed and unexplained, and now leaves the canon stuck with a horrifically weak "omnipresence" that will likely seldom be acknowledge again or expanded upon. Cindy is a forgotten relic who is reworked into the terrifying changer of the tides - the end of the past 20 years, but the start of the new age. She could've been used far more effectively as an icon, one I think people would've responded more to.

Can you imagine the commercial for that type of campaign?

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Last night was cool especially having the original Jack on the panel. I like that with the cookie knowing where the tree supposed to tie into the event. Also the jack interaction was hilarious. My fiancee was a little upset that I couldnt get in the front but it was okay. Best part for me was TJ answering my question about taking icons from regional legends and when the little girl called A&D out for the jack totem being incorrect. Worth every penny.

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I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks so. It's not only just because it's Cindy (we got Cindy this year anyway, and she had a much bigger presence than FEAR) - that one animatic gave more backstory and context than a full media blitz was able to provide for FEAR and the lantern. Not to mention it just makes more sense - having some "master of ceremonies" diminishes the power & horror of everything else, in my eyes. A "dead tree" is a cool idea that makes sense - the hallowed grounds of HHN has laid a blood-ridden soil for it to grow and prosper, and Cindy is the perfect character to dust off and use as the game changer. Upon her burning the tree, we would've seen a phoenix effect - a true "new age of darkness", as opposed to FEAR "appearing" and declaring himself the master of everything while doing absolutely nothing himself. If the commercial had been anything like that animatic, I would've cried tears of joy...

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I disagree with the opinions on the other night's alternate pitch. While I thought the "Halloween Tree" idea was interesting, I think the decision to go with Fear was the correct choice of the two.

I enjoyed the Sindy pitch video. I enjoyed the extensive Sindy backstory and I thought the way they tied her origins in with the other Icons was clever and unique. I enjoyed the imagery of a giant, flaming tree as a centerpiece of the event. I appreciated how they would have finally given Sindy her own year to headline, as opposed to the hidden nods that we've had thus far. All of those things appealed to me and my "hardcore HHN fandom."

However, myself, and any of you who also consider yourselves to be "hardcore HHN fans," are not the target demographic of the event. As much as we hate to admit it, the event is aimed at the casual consumer: people who come to the event with a group of friends, see a handful of houses, enjoy a number of alcoholic beverages, then leave. The ideal Guest doesn't know backstory of any of the Icons, nor does it matter to them. They don't have much (if any) knowledge of previous events, and are drawn more by the spectacle of the event (and the spectre of lots and lots of booze) than by anything else. Unless there's pre-existing knowledge of the Icon (i.e. Freddy, Jason, Leatherface and, at this point, Jack), the choice of character that appears on a billboard is irrelevant.

With that in mind, which pitch do you think appeals more to the average HHN-goer? In my opinion (and that's all this is), the more accessible-to-Joe-Public choice is obviously Fear: he's visually appealing, his backstory can be summed up concisely, and he allows more liberal usage of the previous Icons. You can learn all you need to know about Fear by listening to one of the HHN ads, or by simply seeing his image. Fear is the HHN equivalent to a horror movie trailer: there's instant appeal, it creates anticipation for the event, but these things are sacrificed at the expense of layers of development and complexity. Sindy's story, on the other hand, may feature more complex themes, but they require much more of a time investment on the part of the consumer. You have to learn about Sindy before she's at her most frightening. Sindy's story is a "slow-burn" thriller film: it may be scarier in the end, but you have to make it to the end to get that payoff.

When you start thinking about what could have been, remember this: the creators of HHN are fans, too. They love these characters just as much as any of us, but they're still subject to the business decisions of a corporation. When good ideas go unused, they're never thrown away. If it weren't for those HHN creators, we never would have seen the Sindy pitch video, the incredible concept artwork of years past, or had the opportunity to attend the Secrets of the Past lecture series. They want to share these stories with us, be it through a full-scale event or other channels. Enjoy that relationship with the creative team. Enjoy the things that they are able to actually pull off, and enjoy the ideas that didn't make it or haven't-yet-been. After all, just because it sounds good in a pitch doesn't mean it would have worked in real life.

Edited by BigChippah
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Thank you for your thorough counter-argument, BigChippah, it was enlightening to read. I still disagree on a few key points, however.

I find FEAR to be far more confusing than Cindy given the advertising they chose for the former - it's just a mouth for 90% of the advertisements - you only see a faint outline of his face if you really look into the ads. FEAR's a cool idea but he's half-baked... and the average joe noticed. All of my friends (who attend once a year with me, with no background knowledge other than what I provide for them on the ride up to Orlando) - they thought he was ridiculously lame, even worse than The Usher, apparently. Another friend of mine managed to go the event and didn't see him at all despite spending 20 minutes in FEAR Revealed... it's now an in-joke that "FEAR did a lot". I heard similar things from everyone who went to the event this year. Had they actually advertised FEAR as a character instead of a set of dentures, it could have worked. But... meh. Cindy's a creepy little girl with black eyes who sets things on fire. What's not creepy about that? They'd obviously plaster her all over ads - I think that'd get some attention. Then again, when you put a creepy little girl and "FEAR himself" in front of corporate executives, they're likely to pick the latter simply for the "spectacle", regardless of cohesiveness [or existence] of a backstory.

And so it goes...

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His name is James Keaton.

Thank you, Kim. I'm very very bad with names, for some reason for another.

Also, Chip, I agree with you to an extent, but they pulled off a huge story with 2005, masked by an almost tacked on, but still pretty decent icon with Terra Cruentas and The Storyteller. I think that the tree idea could have been made to appeal to the GP. Fear is great for the GP, but to me the story really felt lacking this year; though don't get me wrong, I loved the event this year, and I have much respect for the A&D team, and I understand that they did their best that they could do while trying to meet our demands, and their bosses demands. But they've been able to pull off huge intricate stories before...it seems like with a bit of tweaking, this one could have been great. But they went with Fear instead, which honestly wouldn't have been so bad if they just fleshed him out a bit more, and gave him a bit more story. Really, all I understand from Fear is that he lived in a lantern ever since the inception of HHN, and has been using the icons to find his way out of the lantern and into our realm. Maybe a few little tidbits that I missed out, but that's the gist of it. Hell, even last year with Julian, we had a really nice backstory. If maybe they had it so Cindy is the one who summoned fear by means of that tree, maybe everybody could have won.

But alas, I'm not the creative team, and my idea probably (most likely) is total crap. I loved this year, and I love the creative team for what they've done for us with the VIP lounge and the great houses/zones, I'm just slightly bummed by the slightly lacking story this year, and seeing the video of what it could have been adds a bit to that effect. It could have been better, but it wasn't. If there was a tad bit of story with Legendary Truth, or just in general, I would have been a happy man with everything. But, in the end, it was still an AMAZING event, and honestly now I don't think I would have had this event any other way. It's always nice to think of "what if's" though. I'm hoping that maybe they can have the "hollow" icon for the general public to see, and then have a rather intricate story in the background that an interested guest can maybe stumble upon and get wrapped into, and get sucked into our shoes :P. I've always thought, the idea is not to appeal to lesser fans, it's to make those lesser fans bigger fans.

In the end, there's always something that suffers. Some years have a bunch of amazing houses, and one of them being horrible, or the same going on with the zones. I think that this year, since the streets and the houses were all so amazing, the story took a bit of a hit. Not a big hit, but a bit of one. I just want another 2005 :P.

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