Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I.M. Lowry's Brilliant Illustrations

I fell completely in love with these beautiful illustrations when I first stumbled upon them. The detail and the style are so intricate. For those who love classic and beautiful illustration, check out this flickr photostream!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"The Shining": An Analysis...

For those who love symbolism in filmmaking as much as I do, or just happen to be a big fan of the film "The Shining," you may like this in-depth analysis of the film. You may never watch it the same way again.


One of my all-time favorite short films by the god himself, Tim Burton. When I stumbled upon this amazing short, I fell in love with it. For those who admire Tim Burton, you will fully understand the style completely and say "That is SO Tim Burton" within the first few seconds. Enjoy...

My Costume for 2009...

Billy Butcherson.

For those who have seen the 1993 film "Hocus Pocus" and adore it as much as I do, you will hopefully remember the character Billy Butcherson played by Doug Jones. I remeber when I first saw Billy while watching the film as a child and he scared the ever-lovin' daylights out of me! He just looked so frightening.... but he was funny. Doug Jones uses his bizarre physicality to make the scary charater quite enduring. I remember the scenes where his head would fall off and at the time, I had a major fear of decapitation. But when I watched those scenes, I found it to be more funny and interesting than scary and since then, the character has always been an all-time favorite. For years I have wanted to dress up as him and this Halloween, a dream is coming true- I get to be Billy Butcherson!

Working on the House...

I have been so busy Halloweening the house and getting ready for the party, I am absolutely filled with Halloween spirit! I hope the haunt ends up looking really good this year, so hard to tell at this point without the beautiful candlelight and carved pumpkins. Like I said, so much to do, so little time!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

One week from today...

"...One strange wild dark long year, Halloween came early.

One year Halloween came on Ocotber 24, three hours after midnight..."

-Ray Bradbury, "Something Wicked This Way Comes"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Delicious Pancakes!

On my last visit to Julian, CA, I bought an apple pancake mix and some authentic Julian pumpkin syrup to go with... one of the best breakfasts I've ever had!

Busy, Busy...

Trying to get all my Halloween stuff together and finish up my costume. So much to do, so little time.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sleepy Hollow

       This blog has some perfect stills and a very beautiful and well-crafted haunt. I absolutely love the Crone! I got to play her in a drama festival once. (We performed the scene where Ichabod Crane visits her in the Western Woods. In most high school drama festivals they don't allow the performers to use props or costumes so when we performed in the "Scenes from Film" category, we realized how difficult the category actually was. The scene we chose was perfect for a film- with music, special effects, props, costumes... but not so perfect in our little performance without all those elements. Definitely an embarrassing day.)


They sleep in the day, but fly by night...

Paranormal Pop Culture

A great site that keeps you updated on all the Paranormal Pop Culture news!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


       If I danced as good as anyone in this music video, I would make it a tradition to do the dance every Halloween.

View the classic music video here.

Red Velvet Cake...

Must bake a Red Velvet Cake for the Halloween party this year!

Love Manor

Looking for a beautifully spooky Halloween display that is full of haunted decor?
This blog, site, and flickr photostream has it.

Prairie Specters

"Your place to share paranormal experiences and encounters..."

Monday, October 12, 2009

"I slept with the light on..."

       It's true. After seeing "Paranormal Activity" with my friends on Saturday night, I came home and felt the way the director of the film wanted me to feel: scared. For those who know me, they know that I don't get that scared when I watch spooky films or TV shows, but Paranormal Activity was a whole other story. I had said in a previous post that it seemed like it was the type of film I have always wanted to make, and it definitely was. To me this film succeeded in creating a very suspenseful and eerie film that needed no music, big budget, major special effects, or huge groups of actors. It proved that these factors were not really needed to produce a great and terrifying film. When you see this film, you will know why I was afraid of my own bedroom, why my friend only got one hour of sleep that whole night, and why my other friend slept in her mother's bed. Yeah... it's that good.

Trick 'r Treat: I Watched It...

       ... and I watched it twice. After seeing the film "Trick 'r Treat" on Friday night with my friend I asked myself what most people asked after they saw it, "Why wasn't it in theaters?" 
       I rented the movie thinking that it would be like every other horror film, blood, guts, easy to predict, and probably some bad acting along the way. Turns out it wasn't as ordinary as I thought. The trailer I had seen back in 2007 was pretty awesome and because it was full of so much Halloween goodness, I just had to see it. Throughout the film, I found the witty humor, the unexpected little twists, and the beautiful production design to be engaging and enjoyable. The story was also quite smart, it consisted of several stories that slightly related to each other on All Hallow's Eve. All the loose ends were tied in unexpected ways and the writing, acting, and fun horror film elements all added up to create a very fun Halloween film. Why it wasn't in theaters probably had to do with some business technicality, but no matter: this film is definitely worth seeing. 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Trick 'r Treat...

       Lately everyone is talking about the release of "Trick 'r Treat". The film has literally been pushed back for years and in its release went straight to DVD. All the reviews I have read claim that it's so good and therefore it's surprising it didn't make it into the cinema. They  could very well be right, for I have yet to see the film myself. From the trailers I have seen it looks like it has very interesting art direction, cinematography, and production design. When a film incorporates a beautiful, spooky, and traditional Halloween theme into these filmmaking elements, I'm going to have to see it!

Horror v.s. Suspense

       When I realized that I wanted to make suspenseful and scary films, I wasn't inspired by horror films as much as thrillers. This is not to say that I don't like horror films or that they are uninspiring. They are entertaining and carry on that "cult classic" persona that us haunters cannot ignore. However, when it comes to film making, horror has overtime become known for having the cliché bad acting, predictable plot line, and overall cheesy elements that don't tend to scare us as much anymore. Many horror films even resort to strictly showing gore to scare us rather than building up suspense. Although not all horror films are like this, quite a few are. 
       Being the scary movie fan that I am and on a journey to create some scary films of my own, I find myself being critical, but fair when it comes to films that are supposed to scare us. To be honest, I like horror films- they are fun to watch with friends and entertaining for their often cliché factors- but I like thrillers more. I am more inspired by thrillers for their writing which is more mysterious and less predictable, their acting which is often better, and the overall style of the film which is generally produced better, and usually has the old-fashion Hitchcock rule: the less you see, the more you fear. 
        On the whole, I watch and enjoy both genres, but tend to find more inspiration from thrillers and films that use suspense more than gore. Anyway I have basically stated all of this to warn all that I plan to blog about all kinds of scary movies, just a heads up. If you catch me writing about thrillers more than horror films, just don't be too surprised.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Demand It!

       The film "Paranormal Activity" looks down-right scary. My type of film! When I first saw the trailer, I was almost jealous because it looked just like the sort of film I have always dreamed of making... it looks that good. Anyway the only way it can have a nation-wide release is if people demand it here. View the trailer here.

The Holiday Queen

       Always very influenced by her work. Great products, neat blog, and killer style!

New England?

     Living in Southern California, one doesn't always get that "Traditional Halloween in New England Feeling"... it's really more like a desert with a beach next to it and around October is usually when fires begin to break out. I happen to be one of those few people who pathetically tries to pretend that it's cold when it isn't, that everyone around me has at least a little bit of Halloween excitement on their minds, and that the trees are at some point going to turn beautiful fall colors. 
       Most Haunters I have heard of live somewhere on the East Coast and talk about the gorgeous seasonal look that their locations acquire every year. On my Halloween night, there's usually so many wild fires going around that we have to be careful not to put too many it candles outside. Instead we have to use some of those fake, battery-powered tea-lights. On the whole it doesn't bother me that much, those little candles do come in handy and "So Cal" is a pretty awesome place to live, our winters aren't freezing cold. I just always end up being the only person living in a beach town that doesn't really go to the beach, instead I plan Halloween stuff. I think it's safe to say I am obsessed.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Z Gallerie

  Some very cool Halloween decorations here! It's one of those stores I make sure I check as the season approaches. 

Mercury Wine

       Every year, by the time the school year is ending, my film class pretty much wraps up all the work and finishes all the final touches on each film before showing it in the annual Film Festival. During these last few weeks most people wouldn't bother making any new films and would just hang on to the ones they have already done for the festival. But last year, I had a movie idea for something I had been wanting to make for a long time. My friend also loved the idea and really wanted to make the film with me, we then got some help with a few other friends and were able to create the film: "Mercury Wine" 
       The title is named after a Dame Darcy song that we were originally going to use in the video, but we found another one of her songs much creepier and used that instead. When we screened the film to our class, everyone began to look at all of us in a whole new way; they pretty much thought were crazy. Artistic, but indeed crazy. Most people seemed to really like it, they said it really freaked them out but it was put together pretty well. I took that as a huge compliment, not just because they liked how I put the film together, but how we took people by surprise and really scared them at the same time. Here it is... Enjoy!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Haunted Fridays

  Fridays have always been my favorite day of the week. Not only has the weekend arrived, but when Friday rolls around there is such a spirited feeling in the air, as if none of the difficult things we face during the other days in the week can bother us on this awesome day. Not to mention kicking back with my friends (or even just my mom) to eat pizza, drink soda, and tune into the Travel Channel's line-up of "Haunted Shows" as I call them. 
       Friday just wouldn't be the same without Ghost Adventures, Most Haunted, Weird Travels, and all the reruns of random ghost documentaries from the 90's. The best part of the reruns are the reenactments, no doubt. The acting and special effects can be so cheesy, we hit the ground laughing. I think started watching the line-up of these shows about three years ago during late summer. At the time I was surprised to see that Most Haunted was being aired in the States (my family and I had seen it when we visited my aunt in Scotland two years before and now it was becoming popular in the U.S.).
       To this day, I still watch the Friday night line-up of spooky shows. The activity that Ghost Adventures gets is often very impressive while Most Haunted mostly consists of the team scaring themselves. Either way both shows are quite entertaining and I'll be sure to post more on these shows later.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October 1st

         First blog entry on the first of a beautiful month. My reason for beginning a blog titled "Vintage Séance" is because for as long as I can remember I have been inspired by historical styles as well as the eerie unknown; the abnormal and the down-right strange. I suppose this is the reason why I have found myself becoming slowly but surely obsessed with Halloween. It is a holiday (or even a season) that explores both elements that intrigue me: the past and the paranormal. Who doesn't like a good ghost story? I always have, even if they would scare the wits out of me. Even if I got nightmares, or had to sleep with the light on... I still found myself wanting to hear more; craving scary movies and spooky books. Over the years I realized that I never stopped being interested in spooky stories or macabre styles from decor, cinema, or art. In fact my interest for them has grown. I also came to realize that every year when Halloween had ended, it felt like a part of me was missing. One year when I felt completely depressed about, I asked myself, "Just because Halloween is over, who says I don't have to continue being inspired by it, creating new ideas to celebrate it? Who says I have to put it off for a whole year?" 

         Thus I decided not to ignore Halloween for a year; instead I would take the time when everyone celebrated Christmas, Valentine's Day, and the Fourth of July to continue creating decor and story ideas for Halloween. Don't get me wrong, I love all the other holidays, and celebrate them too, but Halloween is more than just a holiday to me. It is a chance to express my art- "What art is that?" you ask? Well, due to all that has inspired me over the years I have found that my passion is telling stories, many of which include inspiration from All Hollow's Eve. Because of this I am majoring in Filmmaking. What I specifically want to do in filmmaking? That is the question. 

         I love directing, writing, cinematography, production design, and acting. However, again, I ask myself, "Who says...?" Who says I can only have one career? Why can't I make movies and work on random but fun Halloween decor ideas on the side? If there is one thing I know it's that I will be writing scary stories no matter what. Whoever I chose to be and whatever I choose to do, I invite you, my dear readers, to venture with me as I explore all that inspires me to express my art. My name is Nina and I promise to try to keep this blog interesting, up to date, and full of things that not only inspire me, but also will hopefully inspire you too. 

         PS: I promise not to make every post this long, Scout's Honor.