A day with John from Chaotic Creations
We decided to create a Artist spotlight blog today and will be kicking off by spending the day with John Lovell from Chaotic Creations in Michigan. John is one of those Guys in the business that are in the business for all the right reasons. Read on further to learn how John went from slinging make up in his Parents basement to owning one of Michigan’s largest FX company’s.
In the Beginning
It was never easy for me. I was born a poor black child. I remember the days, sittin’ on the porch with my family, singin’ and dancin’ down in Mississippi. Wait never mind that was my opening line to my bio not Johns, lets try this again….. In the Beginning, Some people can say born and raised where ever..I lived in new york, north Carolina, west Virgina, Pennsylvania, Indiana, las Vegas and finally ended up in Michigan fro the past 26yrs.
I was a model for kids cloths.. I quit because I was in daily fights at school. which turned into an employment scenario of it’s own..but that’s a story I won’t tell, although it has a bit to do with learning how to use makeup to conceal injuries. My mother sold avon and mary kay cosmetics which I acquired, to cover up how I was spending my time. Now fast forward to 1996, I Got my first gig as a makeup consultant at the local halloween shop. 1996 was my 5 jobs in one year.. I delivered pizzas, work at the halloween shop, painted apartments on the weekend, made masks in the basement and was a personal assistant to the handicapped. worked for 2 yrs at a dental lab left for a management job in fast food went to college, went to vegas did set building, returned to dental labs for 5 yrs, quit to run chaotic creations full time, then worked in medical for 3 yrs and here we go, back to chaotic creations yet again.
It always came back to Chaotic Creations.
In order to move forward lets take a step back and see how it always came back to Chaotic Creations. When I moved to Michigan in 1988, I spent a lot of time bored so I started to rent a lot of movies. I got quickly addicted to the full moon entertainment franchise films. They created something that was not being done at the time which was behind the scene special effect reels. I could not wait to get my hand on the next one. I practiced the makeup with what ever I had around. My mother happen to be a cosmetic consultant for both May kay and Avon. There was no internet at the time, information on special effects was almost impossible to find. I continued to grab anything with behind the scenes footage I could find. I continue to learn and grow my craft. Soon I became known as one of those people that always has the best costume in town. People started showing up and asking if I would help them with their costumes and makeups…well it started to grow. Halloween 1995 I had 10 people in my parents basement studio all wanting their make up done, on the same night. I was at my wits end and I needed a solution fast. I was reading through the old fangoria magazines and I found an add for monster makers a business to supply and educate people like me. Still no internet really at this time, I sent my $5 off for the best investment of my life..My monster makers catalog. Arnold goldman had put together complete kits of everything you need to make a mask. I also acquired MBP video set and so it begins. The following year I had six mask designs for those last minute people wanting costumes to chose from. With My local reputation and my knowledge of makeup and materials at the time I was a shoe in for a job at the local Halloween shop owned by Paul Friday. Lots of fun but I had other jobs at the time that paid much more money and I really didn’t see where it was profitable to me..However what I did see was I was making $2000 individual sales on really crappy products. In fact I was amazed at what people were paying for these low end products. I was certain I could make better items. I used my painting jobs to fund Rival FX.. my companies original name. I bought materials and made stuff, I attempted to sell out of my parents garage but unfortunately I realized you have to have a real store to be taken seriously. Realizing I was spending more then I was making and was not in a position to open a real store I backed off and maintained it as a hobby. I settled on a job as a dental technician which allowed me to cast and mold and replicate stuff, it was a good compromise and I took to it very well. Unfortunately the pay was barely above minimum wage and I left for a job as a manager that paid twice as much. I hated that job..i realized at that point if I wanted to make more money I needed to go to college. I struggle for a while between college and work, left for vegas for a few months to do set building went back to the dental lab in 2000. I was married in 2004 and out of work in 2006. My wife and I decided I would open a real studio and I did. 2007 The new chaotic creations FX studios was born located in Stevensville Michigan.. I exhibited at the Niles Haunted House in 2010 where I was approached with an offer to work for the medical industry. Being that the business was new and just beginning to grow, I was lured in by the offer. I worked for the medical industry from 2010-2013 Creating cadaver alternative training models to train surgeons on new procedures. The job was great, it was right up my alley unfortunately I am no longer there. So here I am back In force, ready to focus my energies on my own company. Chaotic Creations FX studios.
Where did you get the name Chaotic Creations?
Where does the name Johnny Chaos and Chaotic Creations come from? My first shop was in my parents basement as a teenager. My mother would always complain about the totally chaotic mess that was down there when i was working. One day my mother was warning my father not to go down there “little Johnny Chaos is at it again, he has the whole basement blown up.” In honor of my mother loving words I took it and ran. I was Johnny Chaos and these were my Chaotic Creations and have been ever since. Sounds much cooler til you hear my mother say it LOL
Thank You John
Thank you John Lovell, from Chaotic Creations for telling us the story behind the legend. You certainly have come along way from the Avon Cover up FX of your youth. Be sure to visit John at the Midwest Haunters Convention at Booth 116, or if you are in the area be sure to stop by his shop at 4150 N Roosevelt rd. , Stevensville, MI.
DarkSyde Acres 2012 come and gone
The 2012 Halloween Haunted House season at DarkSyde Acres has come and gone. It was a whirlwind of excitement out here at the Haunt, we had many changes and many of our guests were amazed at how much different DarkSyde had become over the course of 1 year.
Guests from all over the world.
Many of you may not know, DarkSyde Acres Haunted House and attractions is known world wide and we had guests visit us from the following countries in 2012. Mexico, Canada, Spain,Venezuela, Germany, Thailand, Greenland, Iceland, Israel, South Africa. It always makes us happy when we listen to the screams echoing in our hallways from our International guests
A little closer to Home.
A little closer to home, DarkSyde Acres had Guests visit us from all over the country in 2012 , Being one of the Midwests largest Haunted Houses makes a few of the States a no-brainer, BUT I think you’ll be surprised at a few of the distances traveled to come see DarkSyde. In 2012 DarkSyde had guests from the following states. Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Washington, Colorado, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Louisiana, Hawaii, Missouri, Pennsylvania, New Mexico. Thats right guests from 18 states visited DarkSyde acres this Halloween season, Thats guests from over one third of our great nation who came out to see what all the screaming was about!
A few memorable comments from our guests.
Below are a few of the memorable comments left by our guests at the EXIT poll.
The Guy that was cut up on the table aked me to help him, I couldnt help him, Im not a paramedic…. He REALLY needed some help.
The Clown Room is CRAZY! I LOVED IT!
Im Peeing, Im peeing.
Lost one of our group due to fear before making it inside, then werent sure the others were going to make it into the other 2 haunted houses, because they were exhausted, out of breath, scared!
The Girl that had a nervous breakdown, and kept peeing her pants over and over and freaking out every time it happened really set the mood for us.
I loved how many Live actors you have, there are so many people stashed in every nook and cranny. IT WAS GREAT!
We peed from laughing so hard at my husband screaming like a little girl.
The interaction between the actors and guest was great!
Your actors werent just acting out a role, they were living and breathing every bit of it. The Costuming, The customer interactions was GREAT!
We go to haunted houses all the time , we love this stuff, BUT You guys have so much detail, every possible detail was so thought out. YOUR COSTUMES, PROPS, ACTORS,DESIGN. CHARACTERS, MONSTERS. There was just so much detail! We LOVED it!
This is some creepy stuff, we dont have stuff like this in Oklahoma.
You Guys have the Best Haunted House EVER!
The Lady with the Axe made me sh*t my pants… IM SO SORRY!
Cant please everybody
With the good there is always bad, and we have learned that you cant please everybody, every time, BUT a general complaint heard thru-out the haunt industry is ” We caught up to a group and it ruined it for us” DarkSyde Acres Spaces our Guests by over 400 feet walking distance, All of our actors are trained to scare forward, Unfortunately there is No controlling some guests who either run all the way through the haunted house, bunching up with another group, or the guests that refuse to move forward after being scared, thus again causing a Guest pileup. DarkSyde refuses to ever become a CONGA LINE type of Attraction, and works hard to prevent the few incidents where guests bunch up, and will continue to strive to eliminate it all together.
THANK YOU !
DarkSyde Acres Haunted House would like to Thank each and everyone of our Fans, that made the trek out to the DarkSyde and help us have our best season ever! We appreciate your support every year, and look forward to scaring the crap out of you in 2013 and beyond.
DarkSyde 2012 season ender 18 and Older
Tonight, DarkSyde Acres Haunted House and Attractions opens her gates for the final time in 2012 as we host our 2012 season ender 18 and over night. Our ghoulish gang of misfits have been playing nice all season long and tonight is their night to cut loose! Those of you with a sensitive side better stay home and crochet yourself a sweater, because tonight is going to get Nasty real quick.
Due to the Mature content of the 18 and older season ender, ID will be required at the ticket window, NO ID? NO TICKET. This will be an in your face, up your butt , possibly offensive evening spent with all of your favorite characters from DarkSyde Acres. Youve grown to love Blowing Bubbles and eating Pickles but after tonight you may just want to skip the clown room next year. All of your favorites will be here tonight, being as BAD as they wanna be.
7:30 ~ MIDNIGHT
Devil’s Night ~ Halloween 2012 Updates
The Old Man Cox weather report for Devils Night and Halloween 2012, Brisk temperatures with a chance of showers and possible Flurries. Please dress accordingly for the weather as it will be Chilly. Do not forget to wear proper shoes for the attractions, No flip flops, sandals or high heels will be permitted. Old Man Cox predicts a 99% chance of frozen turdsicles in your undies. Remember that DarkSyde Acres Haunted House and Attractions has over 5000 square feet of indoor waiting area to keep our guests out of the cold while you wait.
Grandpa Cox’s hay ride canceled due to weather conditions
Due to the wet weather and strong wind advisory’s Grandpa Cox says Conditions are unfavorable and will NOT be running his hay ride tonight watch for updates on tomorrow night if the weather clears up. Remember Grandpa Cox’s Hay Ride was created for our guests with younger children that would like to do something NON SCARY this Halloween season.
Free Suckers on Halloween!
The First 500 guests on Halloween will receive a Free Sucker or candy substitute if they say TRICK OR TREAT at the ticket window! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm FREE CANDY, minus the creepy old guy sitting in the van.
Hope to see you this tonight and tomorrow!
Come on out tonight or tomorrow and help us wind down our Record breaking 2012 season at DarkSyde Acres haunted house in Jonesville, Michigan!
Wedding Proposal at DarkSyde
On Friday October 26th, 2012 at DarkSyde Acres Haunted House we had a guest Propose to his girlfriend in our Catacombs Haunted House. After much planning with DarkSyde staff Jeff Masternak planned a covert mission to have our zombies in the Catacombs attack his unsuspecting Girlfriend and have him rescue her from a onslaught of brain craving , maggot infested, cranium crunching, rotted flesh Zombies. Although DarkSyde Acres often does Zombie Themed weddings performed by our resident Zombiefied Minister, this was our First Wedding proposal!
She Said YES!
After being Cornered by our morbidly ghoulish blend of DarkSyde fiends, Jeff sprang to the rescue, dropped down on one knee and popped the question. Kayla Wells was completely Surprised and after the initial shock wore off, she said YES! Congratulations to you both, and DarkSyde wishes you the best in your upcoming lives together….
Why wont you take me to DarkSyde?
Funny side note, Rumor has it that all season Kayla was upset that Jeff had not taken her to DarkSyde Acres Haunted House yet. SURPRISE!
8 Reasons to visit DarkSyde Acres
Below are 8 reasons to visit DarkSyde Acres Haunted House and Attractions during the remainder of the 2012 Halloween season. INDOOR WAITING
Thats right Kiddies DarkSyde Acres Haunted House in Jonesville, Michigan has over 5000 square feet of indoor waiting, fully themed, detailed, and staffed with some of DarkSyde’s most ghoulish of creatures. Many of our guests actually think that our queline is one of the Haunted Houses due to the detailed sets and pure size of it. So come on out, and dont worry about the weather because we’ve got you COVERED!
The very First Haunted House of 3 indoor Haunted Houses, The Catacombs will take you deep beneath DarkSyde Acres Haunted house for a trip thru an ancient burial chamber of the undead. Zombies await you at every twist and turn as you make your way though this undergound maze of ZOMBIES! Warning HIGH INTENSITY SCARES!
Not officially a FULL Haunted House, But definitely a BIG reason to visit DarkSyde Acres Haunted House would be our resident band of MISFIT Clowns, they are roaming the hallways of DarkSyde and even got their own MINI side attraction this year. These Bad boys of the clown world arent your regular animal balloon twisting, circus elephant poop picking up, birthday party appearing clowns, DarkSyde Clowns are the foulest, crudest, in your face and up your butt deviants in the Industry.
Michigan’s Longest and Darkest Black Maze featuring a few of the DarkSyde Girls and their psychotic counterparts the Rustholians, come on out and see if you can find your way thru our Pitchblack maze. NOTE: The RUSTHOLE is the Haunted Attraction that has spawned the increasing number of ADULT NIGHTS in the Haunt Industry. Often Imitated, NEVER duplicated RUSTHOLE!
The Dark Abyss
The Last of the 3 indoor Haunted Houses is actually DarkSyde Acres PREMIER Haunted Attraction! With the finest detailed sets and scurviest of all DarkSyde Actors, the Dark Abyss Haunted House sets sail every night for a journey into the unknown. Are you BRAVE enough to Board the Dark Abyss and Face Captain Carcass and his crew of the undead?
The Labyrinth Outdoor Maze
Once you exit the 3 indoor Haunted Houses , you can try your luck within the Labyrinth outdoor maze, many a poor guest has had to make their way back to the start by following a trail of breadcrumbs. do you think YOU have what it takes to navigate on of the largest outdoor mazes in Michigan?
Zombie Massacre Paintball Challenge
Once again a DarkSyde Attraction that spawned an industry wide Behometh, DarkSyde Acres Haunted House Zombie Massacre Paintball Challenge, where you can shoot our Zombies with military grade Paintball guns. Come on out and see if you got what it takes to survive a Zombie apocalypse.
Grandpa Cox’s Haunted Hay ride
DarkSyde Added a Family Friendly NO SCARES Haunted Hay ride for our guests that wanted to experience a lighter side to the DarkSyde for 2012. Join Grandpa Cox as he takes you for a wagon ride thru our back 40 acres . NOTE: The 2012 Halloween Hay Ride season has been a total crap shoot when it comes to the Hay rides due to the rainy weather we have been having every week . Please remember that just because its NOT raining when you attend an attraction it does NOT mean that the conditions are favorable for a hayride, If the fields are soaked wagons will not able to safely Navigate trails . 95% of all Haunted Hay rides have only ran 3-4 nights this season. Be sure to call in advance to make sure a hayride is running That Evening.
Old Man Cox offered this Bonus reason why you should make your way to the DarkSyde for the 2012 season….. Old Man COX says its the most FUN you can have with your pants on! Come on out and see whats got your friends screaming and your buddys Pooping!
FrankenStorm just in time for Halloween
Just in time for Halloween 2012, a “Perfect Storm” seasonably titled FRANKENSTORM is set to hit the East Coast. The MegaStorm will Hammer most of the East Coast and has the potential to be one of the worst natural disasters in history. The Rare mix of Hurricane, and Winter Storm have created a Perfect storm now hitting the Caribbean and will Hit New York and New Jersey, Analysts are predicting that FRANKENSTORM will turn into a Billion Dollar storm at Minimum. One has to wonder if this could be the beginning of the end… Our thoughts go out to those affected by this storm.
October 26 ~ 27, 2012 weekend
After a Season of DarkSyde winning a numerous best of awards and attendance Record Breaking nights, DarkSyde Acres Haunted house expects large numbers this weekend seeing how it is the last weekend before Halloween and everyone would like to squeeze Darksyde into their Halloween celebrations. With that said, We recommend that you arrive early in the evening to avoid the Lines.
Old Man Cox weather report
The Old Man Cox Weather report for the the weekend of October 26 ~ 27 2012 looks good. Old Man Cox says that DarkSyde Acres Haunted House will be Seasonably chilly with Clear skies and a 100% chance for lumpy prezzies in your skivvies. Old Man Cox would also like to remind you to please dress accordingly for the weather, and remember no flip flops, no high heels, No sandles. Its all fun and games until someone loses a pinky toe.
Come on Out and see what got us Voted Best haunted House In Michigan
DarkSyde receives 4 awards for the 2011 haunted house season from HorrorLust
This was JUST brought to our attention this morning, and I have to say it made my day! The Blog HORRORLUST Home of the haunt Trinity Visited DarkSyde Acres Haunted House and Attractions last year and bestowed upon us 4 Awards , Including the Haunt of the Year award. We work our fingers to the bone year round out at DSA to create the BEST Haunted House in the Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana area, its Nice to be appreciated and apparently the Guys at HORRORLUST appreciate what we do!
The AWARDS from Horrorlust
Below are the awards bestowed on DarkSyde by HorrorLust.
Eerie Vibrations – The Eerie Vibrations award is given to the haunt considered to exude the best overall atmosphere. Atmosphere is defined by the mood of the haunt itself but can also be fostered by immediate grounds or even the surrounding area.
2011 Eerie Vibrations: Darksyde Acres
Strangely void of any other guests when we arrived, the silence permeating the grounds of this former pig farm spoke volumes. Stranger still was the surreal cyberpunk-thrash metal-hardcore haunting vibe that oozed throughout the main attraction. I couldn’t help but feel like we’d stepped into some kind of 70′s snuff film…and that was a good thing.
Monster – The Monster award is given to the haunt considered to have the best live actors of the season. In order to claim this award workers must display a certain level of intensity as well as a refusal to break character. Also crucial is the ability to improvise lines or actions when adapting to an individual guest or group.
2011 Monster: Darksyde Acres
The odd, perverted, and sultry band of ghouls at Darksyde Acres was truly what set this attraction apart from all others in 2011. They were completely committed to scaring guests or grossing them out or even kissing them if such would be required. Some may say the actors at Darksyde are less thespians than they are deranged masochists playing out their sick and twisted fantasies — and that’s alright by me
Pulse Pounder – The Pulse Pounder award is given to the haunt considered to be the most intense attraction of the season. Intensity can be gauged by a number of factors including commitment of actors, gory or realistic scenes, and harsh or loud music and sound effects. However, the most important element when considering this award is genuine fear factor.
2011 Pulse Pounder: Darksyde Acres
Our journey through Darksyde Acres sparked within me that primal fear that can only be stirred by the threat of the dark unknown. It seems to happen less and less as we visit more haunted attractions and therefore this award was well deserved.
Haunt of the Year – The Haunt of Year award is given to the haunt considered to be the best overall attraction of the season. When deciding on this award several factors are taken into consideration including the timing and intensity of actors, the pace and length of the haunt, attention to detail, use of special effects, realism of props, and most importantly the lasting imprint left on guests.
2011 Haunt of the Year: Darksyde Acres
It was early in the haunting season when we paid a visit to Darksyde Acres but it certainly left a lasting impression. If the cast wasn’t firing on all cylinders that night I can’t wait to return during the prime of this season of screams. The usual haunt etiquette was discarded with wanton recklessness and the result was a stroke of awe inspiring giddiness.
Thank you Horrorlust!
The Crew and staff at DarkSyde Acres Haunted House and Attractions in Jonesville Michigan would like to say Thank you Horrorlust for your Kind words and support. Come on out and see what we have done for 2012.
DarkSyde Acres Voted Best Local Haunted House by Jacksonopolis
A Few weeks ago DarkSyde Acres was nominated in a facebook poll hosted by Jacksonopolis as one of the BEST Local Haunted Houses in the Jackson ~ Lansing area. we are proud to announce that they informed us tonight that DarkSyde Acres Haunted House was voted the NUMBER one BEST Local Haunted House . Once again Thank you to everyone that voted for DarkSyde and showing your support!
Metro Detroits BEST Haunted House
This has been a great year for DarkSyde Acres as we were also voted the BEST haunted House in Metro Detroit for the 2012 season by WDIV’s Channel 4 VOTE 4 BEST contest. Over the course of 7 weeks DarkSyde managed to beat out some of the top Haunted Houses in Michigan for the Title of Best Haunted House. Thank you again to all of our Fans.