Chambers of Fear owner Paul Boyd tends to get a little excited when describing everything that his company will be featuring at Phoenix Comicon this year. It's only natural, considering that the local haunted house's booth at the event will be twice as big as last year's and will sport even more monsters and frightening freaks wandering about.
And then there's the thing that Boyd's really excited about: the fact that the stars and crew of the Travel Channel's Making Monsters will be on hand at the Chambers of Fear booth during the first night of Comicon creating a spectacularly creepy creature while filming an episode of the television program.
According to Boyd (a local haunted house impresario who has been creating scary attractions across the Valley for more than 25 years), the choice to show off Chambers of Fear's Comicon booth on an episode of the show stemmed, in part, from the working relationship he's had over the years with Distortions Unlimited, the Colorado-based company that's featured on Making Monsters.
Boyd says he's regularly purchased various monsters and props from Distortions Unlimited and is friends with its owners, Ed and Marsha Edmunds, two stars of the show.
"We've had a working relationship with the people from Distortions Unlimited for a long time now and have always used their props over the years," Boyd says. "We've been talking about them coming to Phoenix when they started doing the show and have been just looking for the right time and right place. And this year's Comicon seemed like it was just a win/win situation for everybody."
Boyd says that the Edmunds and the rest of the Distortions Unlimited team will design a "zombie prop" and begin building it at their Colorado headquarters before bringing it to the Chambers of Fear booth at Phoenix Comicon on Wednesday, May 22. Then they will finish its construction on-site over the course of two days, including the event's opening night on Thursday, May 23.
"The way the show is laid out is that they've been working on [the prop] already, creating it and filming it, in Colorado for the last couple weeks and its just about complete," " Boyd says. "They'll then ship it out here and the Travel Channel crew and the Distortions [Unlimited] crew fly out here."
The entire creation process from start to finish will be filmed for an episode of Making Monsters that will air on the Travel Channel in October.
"Wednesday will be more of a set up, build, and create day, a chance for everyone to get everything lined up, and then Thursday night during the convention opening the cameras will be filming," Boyd says. "Distortions [Unlimited] creates it but we worked with them to brainstorm and come up with the product and then they take it from there," he says. "They've created this awesome, awesome display. They show up, we basically set up our booth and they take it from there and set up what they've created up in Colorado, get it all working and we showcase it."
Boyd says having the Making Monsters presence will certainly give Comicon attendees a reason to come out for the first night of the event. Although the Making Monsters crew will be at the booth on Thursday night only, the creation will be on display throughout the weekend.
This won't be the first time the Chambers of Fear crew has been featured on cable television (the haunt was included in a Halloween-themed episode of TruTV's Top 20 Most Shocking last year), but it will be a "bigger" experience, Boyd says.
"It's gonna be a huge attention-getter for sure," Boyd says. "Making Monsters is definitely well known in the haunted house community and also with people who go to haunts."
As is the Chambers of Fear booth, which will be located in spaces 358-360 in the Exhibitor Hall at the Phoenix Convention Center, will also be "bigger and better" than last year's efforts, he promises. Patrons can also potentially score a "decent-sized gift pack" and prize package from Fear.Net that will be given away during a drawing on Sunday, May 25, at the booth.
"Last year, we had a 10-by-10-[foot] booth, and this year we've doubled our size and we will showcase the process of making monsters." Boyd says, "Any help that they need, we will be on hand," Boyd says. "We're gonna be here talking to people and offering great photo ops all weekend long.
The zombie prop created by the Distortions Unlimited crew will be incorporated into the Chambers of Fear haunt itself in Surprise, which opens for the Halloween season on Friday, September 13 (natch).
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"Actually, that's one of the nice things about the deal. After the show, we get to bring it here to [Chambers of Fear] and it's getting incorporated into our show here along with all the other upgrades we have planned," Boyd says. "We've added more props and creatures and ghoulies -- more than ever before. This is going to be the biggest year in our history."
Chambers of Fear opens for the Halloween season on Friday, September 13.