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Halloween Festival Influences Creativity and Arts

Irving—The Preserve Halloween Festival encouraged folks to “Keep Halloween Alive” by honoring departed loved ones and having fun at the Irving Convention Center, Nov. 20-21.

Many artists, writers, and creative professionals attended the event.

“Goosebumps was a book series that came out in the 1990s,” Tim Jacobus, the original illustrator of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series, said. “1992 was the very first publication to date. I believe there have been over 380 million copies of Goosebumps sold, and it’s still rolling today. I am no longer the cover artist for Goosebumps sketching,because they cycle people to keep it fresh.

“If you follow Nancy Drew, that just keeps changing and changing. So, it’s a standard practice. Look at a Nancy Drew covers from the 50’s and 60’s. They are way different than the ones today.The classic series had 62 books. I’ve represented them with 10 here. I also did the follow up series called ‘Series 2000.’Over the course of my run, I did about 110, 115 special editions.

“My father knew how to draw, and I started to draw because I saw him drawing. He used it as a way to tell a story.Like he would say, ‘I’m going to build a deck on the back of the house, and I think it’s going to look like this.’Drawing was something we did in the house. But my father worked as a pharmaceutical manufacturer, and my mom worked at the hospital. Drawing was more of a hobby.”

Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews directed and produced the films, “The Houses October Built,” with the support of Steven Schneider, the producer of “Paranormal Activity,”“Insidious,” and “The Devil Inside.”

“We traveled the country trying to find the most extreme 100 houses and [the most extreme] found us,” Andrews said. “It’s called ‘The Blue Skeleton.’

“We’ve always had a passion [for haunted houses],and we noticed nobody had ever put it on the big screen before. We wanted to be the first movie to be in theaters with haunted houses with a narrativewrapped around it. We started [in Texas] because it felt like the Haunt Capitalof the world. We wanted to make sure we used all genuine Texas haunts in part one.”

“There’s no reason to cast anyone,” Roe said. “These people [in the haunts] have it down. They’ve got their characters and their backstories, and they’re incredible at what they do.”

Andrews and Roe often get asked about their favorite haunts.

“That’s why we created the Haunt Society, becauseit all depends on where you are,” Andrews said. “Our society lets you plug in your zip code, or use geolocation, or a search to find the best one that suits the individual person. We’ve shot at over 100 houses all over the country, and that’s how we’ve compiled the list.We’re even expanding internationally. I think for a lot of people, that’s a whole new world for them. We’re heading to London soon.

“We have a new movie out that came out last weekend called,‘Isolation,’” Roe said. “We made the movie through the quarantine when so many of us were shut down on other films.‘Isolation,’ was filmed with the producers of ‘The Walking Dead.’It was kind of a blessing to get this call with everything else on hold.”

Voice actor Kat Cressida attended the event. Cressidahas given voice to many Disney characters, such as “Jessie” from the “Toy Story” movies, where she served as a speech double to Joan Cusack. She also voiced “Dee Dee” in seasons two and four of “Dexter’s Laboratory,” and “Uta” in the F/X series “Archer.”

“You start in legitimate acting, and you do all legitimate acting training,” Cressida said. “Some people go directly from stage training into voiceover, learning the microphone, and some people go into ‘on camera,’ and then eventually move over into the microphone. It’s part of the acting world.

“Sometimes I found out who was voicing certain versions of a movie and went to talk to them. Or maybe there were voice actors in a movie I was shooting.I’d always speak to them, and all that networking paid off.”