Friday, August 26, 2011

Taking control of Hangman's House of Horrors' website

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

As you probably know Chris, Miguel, and I have gotten involved with working with Hangman's House of Horrors. Hangman's is the world's top charity haunted house. Middle of last year I started emailing the marketing chair and she was more than willing to have us do some videos for them. We have since done some work for them and enjoyed some praise as well. Here is the According To Whim timeline of work (via blog posts) we have done with Hangman's:
Chris and I have also integrated the haunted house in our weekly serial story: Flash Ahhhh!  I have also done some video work with the owner's other charity 'A Wish With Wings'. Well, to make a long story short (too late) we have devoted some time to the charity and have thoroughly enjoyed it.

Last week the owner contacted me and Miguel and asked for the raw footage from the commercials we did at the last of the year. One of Hangman's big sponsors is the CW 33 (a local television station)... FYI if you look at the picture linked at the top that's 33's Rebecca Miller presenting me the award. CW 33 gives Hangman's air time for their commercials and they wanted our footage to recut for their promo spots. Me and Miguel hastily put together our DVDs of footage and sent them off.

This week I was approached by the owner's administrative assistant to make some more animated gifs for their website (and to give out to other sites). I had done this at the beginning of the year but now Hangman's has it's theme and their artist created the poster art and they wanted some gifs of it. I did them then looked at Hangman's website to check them out but I noticed that some of the links were bad and images were missing. I had this idea to ask the owner if I could work on the site (fix issues etc). I was asked to do it last year but I am no pro at websites and I can do is some basic old school HTML and I have to rely on FrontPage and other people's website templates so I kinda of shunned it. I tried to get the web guy at my work to do some charity work for them but he is too busy. 

This time around I decided to go ahead and ask to fix it and perhaps redesign it. There are a couple of Flash elements that I can't reproduce so what I do end up doing will be more basic HTML stuff. I think it will be a good deal for them since I am online all day long at work anyway and I can change out graphics and fix issues at whim (get it?). They have had someone do the website in the past but they can't do much anymore and they have no one to do any graphics on the site so I figure I am their best shot (until they can get a pro).

I have already made a slew of new graphics and built the new main page. I am going to submit it to the owner for her approval then if she likes I will upload it and keep it updated and such.

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