Saturday, October 11, 2008

Scenario: Victorian Parlor


Victorian Parlor
Style: Creep
Position: Beginning

Theater GhostThe antechamber is dark and lit by lanterns or candles (there are many electrical styles available for safety purposes.) The antique-style furniture is dusty or swathed in sheets for storage. The walls are covered in pictures. On closer examination, all of these pictures are "death photos" - pictures of people who have just died. (See "The Others" or several online sources for examples.) There is no heat. There are spiderwebs everywhere. A girl in a Victorian outfit enters, carrying a hand lantern. She is the tour guide.

The purpose of this scenario is to set the stage. This is an abandoned Victorian house; why was it abandoned? The photos of actual dead people on the walls are for atmosphere, because though Victorians found it completely natural to have a photograph of a loved one who had passed away, we look at it as downright creepy. The story can go anywhere from here - are there ghosts? Was there a murder? Is it possible that everyone is trapped?

Most death photos are out of copyright. You can scan them at a library if it has any, but be careful because a published book may have a copyright even if the original image doesn't.

Technical note: If the only pictures you can obtain are digital and at a small resolution, Photoshop has a sweet spot in the algorithm which you can use to make the pictures large enough for your purposes. Go to Image—>Adjust—>Image Size, and change the percentage to 110%. (If you write this to an Action, done by picking Action—>Record and then doing the above steps, you can redo this by simply clicking one button.) Repeat until the picture is big enough; if the resolution is still low, go to Image—>Adjust—>Image Size and unclick the Resample Image button. Change the resolution to 300dpi. You'll notice that the size of the image chages; go back to your action and do it until the size is what you wish it to be. (Hint courtesy of Scott Kelby and his Photoshop tips books.)

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