We had about 4 hours of video all in all, from footage that we recorded and some stock effects loops. It was edited together in After Effects – mostly lots of masking to remove backgrounds and then post-processing to add noise or colour.
We mostly used video as projected effects for the ghosts. We had two projectors, both handheld and battery powered and running from USB sticks so there was no need to lug around a computer. The first was the tiny Aiptek PocketCinema Q20, which wasn’t very powerful – although in a pitch-dark house that doesn’t really matter – but is about as small as an iPhone, so very easy to conceal. Our main workhorse was the AAXA P300 pico projector, pictured here – a fantastic bit of kit, very bright and very small. Highly recommended.
Some video things we did:
- The Silent Movie ghost was entirely created from projected original footage.
- The Wraith, the Burned Man and the Soldier all used projected effect loops – of snow falling, of fire and of smoke & barbed wire.
- The Green Lady‘s face was projected on to a gravestone to make it look like she was talking, while the gravestone itself warped shape into a face.
- We edited scenes of our Silent Movie ghost into an old black and white horror movie, F.W.Murnau’s Nosferatu.
- Our cut-to-credits sequence was projected on to a wall.
We also used video projectors as a simple substitute for a coloured lighting rig – just had a selection of coloured JPEGs that we could project on to a wall.
We had a photography system for our players to use, so their characters could take in-game photographs. But we also used a fair number of photographs throughout the game, most of them taken by Rachel:
- We used a variety of photos for the darkroom, so that when the players first encountered it it would be appropriately set-dressed. Many were of the house; others were drawn from all sorts of other sources.
- We used a huge number of photos for the Silent Movie ghost.
- We used some photos as environmental storytelling for the Young Couple – wedding photos etc. in their bedroom. This was a critical feature, because when they finally saw the young woman’s ghost, they had to be able to recognise her instantly.
- We took a handful of extra photos – with cooperation from one of the players – to edit and use as blackmail material.
Aside from the photos we originated ourselves, we made liberal use of the player’s own Facebook photo albums without their knowledge to create more blackmail material, family photos and all sorts of other things.