Video / Buying Guide

Halloween-Themed Video Gifts

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Let us be serious here—the holidays are no time for fooling around, especially Halloween. If you are looking for that last-minute gift for the video maker in your life, party ideas, or just planning for next year, here are a few treats for you.

Atmosphere

Whether you are shooting a film, throwing a party, or just looking to make an entrance, nothing sets the mood quite like fog. While the thought of a fog machine may conjure images of someone in a bee-keeper outfit with some odd contraption that is a cross between a tea kettle, charcoal-fired BBQ grill, and window fan, today’s fog machines are significantly easier to use, and we have a wide selection of machines to choose from. Although not usually battery powered, most machines allow you to unplug the unit from the AC outlet and still create fog, so you can get it into areas beyond the extension cord. Some machines include LEDs to create a pyro effect, and a remote control is a nice option to have, whether wired or wireless. Check out these fog machine kits, built specifically for your Halloween fun. While you are at it, don’t forget the fog juice (best bet is to get the juice recommended for your machine) and follow all safety and cleaning recommendations. You can even add a pleasing scent to some fogs now. If you are looking for a more portable fog solution, there is “Atmosphere Aerosol Haze Spray for Photographers & Filmmakers” (please don’t call it haze in a can). It is portable and does not require electricity or warm-up time. Just whip it out, point, and spray—it’s great for adding a touch of atmosphere to your next photo/film shoot. While you are at it, check out the bubble machines. There is no better way to set up a scare than starting off with sweetness and light.

American DJ VF Volcano Vertical Fog Machine with RGB LEDs

I’m in the Mood for . . .

You know the scene: outside, at night, in the middle of a field, with only our lead character and friend, yet there is music playing, music that the actors don’t hear. Music, that if the actors heard, would clue them in to the danger closing in, but they just don’t hear it. Silly actors, it’s called non-diegetic sound, and only the audience can hear it. But boy, does it set the mood. You can set the mood with your very own Theremin—yes, the Theremin—invented by and named after the same electronic wizard who built early electronic bugging devices for the former Soviet Union. The Theremin is one of the first electronic music devices. Just watch one of those old science fiction or horror films from the 1950s if you want an idea of what it sounds like. It is available as a pre-built unit, or build-your-own kit for the DIY person in your life. But, if playing music isn’t your thing, you can always look to pre-made sound libraries for effects or atmosphere; these are great for parties or for the video maker in your life who wants to increase the tension in their films. Outside of the movies, and in your home, stashing an MP3 player in just the right room and out of view, and letting it play creepy music or sound effects—oh, the possibilities for the mischievous mind.

Moog Etherwave Theremin Standard

Makeup?

Sure, you can buy a mask and costume, but that just makes you like everyone else. If you’ve seen one store-bought zombie, you’ve seen them all, and how believable are half a dozen identical Cinderellas, anyway? If you are going to scare someone, custom makeup is the way to go, and how to do that makeup? Well, First Light Video has a huge assortment of makeup videos on DVD, covering topics from monsters to old-age makeup, as well as specifics on makeup for TV. Focal Press also has books on Special Effects Makeup. Just what you need for your next costume party, the makeup person in your life, or that low-budget filmmaker determined to do everything themselves.

Focal Press Book: Special Makeup Effects for Stage and Screen: Making and Applying Prosthetics, 2nd Ed.

Lights

If you have an Ellipsoidal light or two hanging around, and want to throw a Halloween pattern, take a gander at the following patterns from Rosco: Spooky Wood, Pumpkin, and Witch. Of course, you will need a gobo holder and an Ellipsoidal, but you know where to get that if you don’t already have it. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the totally terrifying Cupid gobo. Oh no! Sorry, that is for another holiday but, since it’s a special-order item, there’s plenty of time. Finally, what would Halloween be without black light and UV paint? A whole lot less creepy, I tell you. Here at B&H you can find a plethora of Blacklight/UV light fixtures and UV paint to create the creepiest of effects and give those trick-or-treaters a Halloween to remember.

CHAUVET DJ EVE E-100Z Ellipsoidal LED Spot Fixture

Conclusion

Although B&H is not a pop-up Halloween-themed store, we still have plenty of items that can enhance your Halloween enjoyment, many of which can be used by filmmakers, editors, and musicians in pursuit of their craft. So, whether you are looking for yourself or for someone else, we invite you to let loose your imagination as you crawl through our web. Please feel free to share any Halloween-themed gear tricks, tips, or ideas below.

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