|This building is going DOWN!|
Haunted Collector, Season Two premiered last night. Amidst excitement and trepidation, I sat down to watch it with a Frito pie, in honor of some friends made during Season One. The opening shots began to roll with the VO, "This season on Haunted Collector..." and I got the chills - the good kind! Once again, I have to say I was pleased with what I saw. As an editor, I have a shaky trust with footage I'm in that I'm not editing myself. Ten years of doing my own documentaries will do that! Anyway, I promised you a behind-the-scenes look and that is what I plan to give you. Will it always be interesting? No. Will it always be honest? Absolutely. Call me the Anecdote Collector.
We'll start with the first segment, which took place in Warsaw, KY. This was not the first case we filmed this season, so we'd been on the road for some time already and had gotten ourselves into little routines. Pack, unpack, populate bathroom sink, gripe over lack of refrigerator or microwave in room, compare room numbers, etc. The prior three cases were all located in Ohio and the hotel accommodations varied from town to town. But when we rolled into this case, we found we were staying across the river in Indiana, at the Belterra Hotel & Casino! The casino itself was situated on a riverboat, supposedly to get around some specific gambling laws. Holy luxury, Batman! The rooms were cushy and comfortable and mine was on the fifteenth floor, so I was able to look out across the river and survey all the sun touched. Quite a change from seeing the parking lot of whatever Holiday Inn Express we'd been in prior to that. My room was the perfect pad for an exhausted investigator to come home to each night. Apparently, not all were so lucky. John and Jason's first rooms were on the other side of the hotel, where there was no hot water. The management explained that since this was their off-season, they didn't bother to turn on the boilers on that side. John changed rooms once, Jason changed rooms twice. Meanwhile, I enjoyed a jacuzzi tub with a television in the washroom. On our off time, we found ourselves in the casino. I'm a frugal gambler. That is, I have no money to lose, so I seldom bet much and I get out the minute I win anything. I will say though that I did conduct a few surgical strikes on the blackjack tables and came out comfortably ahead with no losses or feelings of crushing remorse. Jason subscribed to my methods as well and we delighted in him winning five dollars on an "Aliens" slot machine while I screamed, "CASH OUT!!" Meanwhile, in another part of the casino, Aimee won a considerable sum of money with a few pulls on a "Kitty Glitter" slot machine. This instantly made her MVP for the whole case and earned her a new nickname. We had a lot of laughs on this particular case, which was a nice balance to the sometimes stoic march of the investigation process. Because the mansion was in Kentucky, we all called it the K-Y Mansion, which had it's own slippery connotations. But on to the particulars of what was left out...
|Evidence or coincidence?|
|"What's in the box?!"|
Moving on to the next segment, we found ourselves in Huron, Ohio. This was really a very exciting case. There could be no "TV magic" distortions of time, this place was going down in 48 hours, so we were under a time crunch. If we missed a spot or the crew didn't get a shot, there was no going back after the fact. It was a live (de)construction site so one of the rules was that we had to wear reflective vests, safety goggles and a hard hat at all times. It was annoying at first, but we decided to act like we were in a Beastie Boys video at all times and that made it cool...to us, anyway. I also got to walk around with a sledgehammer so it made me feel like an American Gladiator. No complaints here.
|"Would be nice to get clean..."|
• One of the main things the episode didn't convey was the conditions of the place. First of all, it was the beginning of January in Huron, Ohio and it was COLD! We all were wearing layers upon layers upon layers (the astute viewer might notice I was wearing my SCARED! uniform beneath my safety gear ) and when we weren't on camera we hid out in the heated trailer office. Second condition was the mud. It was everywhere. Upon returning to my room each night, I'd spend at least a half hour cleaning my boots and then showering before I could relax.
|The Great Wall of Grannon|
|There Won't Be Blood|
• There was a lot more urban exploration that what you saw in the show. I was there, so of course I wanted to explore and see every part of it! I climbed every staircase and tower that I could get access to - half the time with the camera crew lagging behind. At one point I wanted to cross a gantry from the main building to the silos and the film crew had stood down as they waited for instructions from the director, who was downstairs. So, I climbed across anyway and yelled across for them to get it on film. The looks of terror on their faces at both the height and the condition of my perch had them all begging me to come down. From my point of view, I thought such shots would make for great TV. On this, I do know what I'm talking about...back in the early days of SCARED! we'd always have people telling us they were so afraid for us watching the show and the things we did were crazy. I know SyFy likes to play it safe, but if I'm going to do it anyway, they might as well have cameras rolling, right? ;)
There you have it. Some tidbits that round out the experience. Honestly, as I see this entry get longer and longer I can think of other things that made us laugh or that startled us. For more you'll just have to ask us in person. We won't bite, we promise...see you all next week!