The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, California’s oldest seaside amusement park, recently underwent a $14MM renovation. The process blended old-time nostalgia with modern thrills to enhance their guest experience. As part of the renovation, Fright Walk – one of the park’s most popular attractions – had a major makeover where they used Rosco CrystalGel to create several haunted portraits.
In 2017 Fright Walk was completely rebuilt from the ground up using impressive animatronics and plenty of special effects. One of their goals was to create a haunted atmosphere in the lobby. Mark Hersey, the park’s Entertainment Technology Manager and Fright Walk’s Lead Designer, wanted to hang a set of “un-living portraits” on the walls. The haunted paintings are actually video monitors displaying footage of serene portraits that transform into ghoulish poltergeists.
In order to make the monitors blend into Frightwalk’s décor, Mark needed to make the monitors look like one-hundred year old paintings.
He achieved the textured finish of an “oil painting” by applying Rosco CrystalGel directly to the monitor's surface. The resulting texture resulted in a “brush strokes” overlaying the video footage.
CrystalGel dries clear and adheres to almost any surface. After a series of testing, Mark and his team discovered that a light application yielded the best results, as it minimized the rainbow effect that thick and bumpy applications had produced.
If you’re looking for a new special effect for your Halloween decor, use Mark’s technique to create your own spooky portrait gallery. All you need is the proper video footage displayed on a monitor that’s been coated in CrystalGel to add the vintage look and feel of oil on canvas.
Visit the CrystalGel Product Page on our website to learn more about the properties of this versatile scenic product.
Fright Walk is a year-round attraction, so the next time you’re in Northern California, be sure visit the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and check out the Fright Walk in person!