18 SERVO 10.2017
desire for all things scary must operate on a different scale.
They must stay on top of the current hot items and provide
them in large numbers. In order to continue to dominate
the field, they have to constantly devise new products that
will appeal to their wide audience.
Unlike the creations that come from Legacy Effects, we
have the ability to own for ourselves the characters that are
created at Distortions Unlimited. I’m sure there is someone
out there that can afford to take home those from Legacy,
but they are definitely out of my price range!
Both of these companies should be commended for
keeping the art of practical effects alive. Digital effects have
their place, but I will always be a fan of a character that I
can actually see and touch!
After spending several hours on the shop floor, I had a
chance to sit down with Ed and Marcia, and discuss how
they saw our industry advancing in the future. Their
revelations were enlightening and encouraging as they fall
right in line with my thoughts.
Providing life-like props at a cost that is in reach of their
customers is a difficult balancing act. They understand that
the industry is calling for props that portray more realism as
haunters continue to become more sophisticated.
The quality and complexity now possible is incredible,
but they are limited in how much they can add and still sell
products at a reasonable cost. The challenge is to design a
variety of products that push the limits, but do so in a way
that allows all interested consumers to find something that
fits their budget.
Time to Return to Reality
Before I was ready, it was time to say goodbye. My visit
exceeded my expectations and I thoroughly enjoyed it! It
recharged my batteries and I cannot wait to get back to
building my own props. If you would like to see the full line
of products available from Distortions Unlimited, be sure to
visit their website (see Resources). You can also follow them
on Facebook to keep up-to-date on their current projects.
As I was leaving the shop floor to head for home, I
asked to get a final picture of Ed and Marcia. I had planned
for a straightforward shot of the two of them, maybe
standing next to one of their favorite monsters. They had
other plans. They made a bee line directly to one of their
newer creations and were quickly in character, ready for
their close-up! I think their reaction to my request clearly
sums up how enthusiastic they are for this profession they
have chosen. They are positively the wizards behind the
curtain that bring the monsters from our nightmares to life
If you have any questions or thoughts on building your
own DIY animatronics, please post a comment in our forum
thread (see Resources). Also, if you have any suggestions
on topics you would be interested in seeing covered here,
please post that as well. I am always looking for new areas
Until next month, MAY THE PASSION TO BUILD BE
WITH YOU! SV
Figure 20. It’s all fun and games until someone
loses their head!
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