by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)
Sometimes hard work just isn't appreciated... Boo hoo hoo.
Last year I thought I'd redesign the web page for Hangman's House of Horrors, the big Charity haunted house in Fort Worth, Texas. Miguel and I (with some help from Chris) began helping out the charity the year before with video work. I expressed my interest in helping in any way I could and quickly found out that they didn't have any help as far as their website was concerned. I jumped on it since I could do a little bit with websites (nothing too modern but enough to get me by).
I started by making a bunch of animated GIFs with the cool artwork that they have each year (which changes with the house's theme). I was asked to make one so they could give to some website that wanted to give them a little advertising space. I've never made fancy animated GIFs before so it was kinda experimental. I started with these so that the owner of the house could pick the one she liked.
This one was a fast montage of several of the art works for previous years.
This GIF is just the fading Hangman with his eyes still glowing.
Same as the previous one but with the full title.
This was more of an 'eye catcher' type GIF so your eye would be drawn to it.
Same as above but with a fuzzy background.
This is like the top GIF but with more art and the title at the bottom.
This final one is only one art work but made to look like the woman is dropping in.
After I submitted them all (excitedly) to them I promptly never heard back again. Now, the owner is a VERY busy person. She runs not only this charity but another one and does a lot of other civic stuff on the side. I understand that she is hard to get a hold of so I didn't press the matter. I delivered and that was that.
2011 rolled around with a new theme and at the same time I offered to build a new website since the old one was very out of date. They also asked me to make a new animated GIF with the new art. 2011's theme was 'The Haunted Library'. I took the original art:
... and added the animation. Here are 3 different ones I made with it:
Once again I was proud of myself but in the end I never heard a peep out of anyone saying 'thanks' or 'it was good' or even 'it sucked'. Nothing. Once again I figured they were just too busy.
While I was working on my revamp of the website I found the older GIFs that someone made. Ahhhhhhhhhh! This is why I probably received such a luke warm reception for my GIFs:
Those kick ass! The simple GIF maker I used couldn't do this stuff. They are great and I see why they didn't give two farts for my stuff.
In the mean time I worked on a alternate website for her to look at. I used another popular haunted house in the DFW area as a template for the page I built. Here is the current Hangman's page. Here is the new 'test' page I built. Not bad. It's got all the link right there, no menu bull. It looks similar to the Cutting Edge haunted house page (which I think looks too cluttered).
After she looked at my test page she said she didn't want to confuse patrons so close to the season (it was September at the time). I think she didn't like it but didn't want to tell me that. That's OK, it was just a suggestion anyway.
You could say I'm being whiny about the whole thing but my original intent for this blog was to get my animated GIFs out here since they have never seen the light of day and it took me a while to work on them. I'm sorry I couldn't produce stuff of previous caliber but I tried!