Allen Hopps and the folks at Stiltbeast:Allen Hopps might just be our favorite tutorial maker of all time. Mostly because he looks so much like us. The picture to the left is him all dressed up. We assume it’s for a formal dinner where he has to look his best. Yeah, we know. He doesn’t exactly look like a bear; but if you saw our bodies an hour after the coyotes found us, he’s not that far off the mark. Besides, even in his ape suit, he looks a lot more like a bear than most.That might explain why he works more like a bear than most folks making tutorials. Allen understands his craft. He knows when to sweat the details, and he knows when to ignore them. Pay attention as you watch him lumber about his workshop. The man is dang near perfect in doing the least amount of work to get the maximum amount of result. Doing as little work as possible to get what you want is a totally bear thing to do. And that is because bears are super smart.Allen also has a sense of humor, and that is important to bears. We know bears have a surly reputation at times, but you get us hanging around a tree scratching our backs, and we rock the laughs. He also has other friendly humans that appear in videos from time to time. All those reasons make him a stand out in our opinion. If he hates salmon, he has two dead bear groupies for life.You can find Allen’s business side at Stiltbeast Studios. He sells things mostly geared to professional haunters, but there are rumors that the online selection will expand over time. You can see him, and more of the Stiltbeast crew, at the Stiltbeast Facebook page. This is the day to day world of Allen Hopps. This is where you can go to pick up tips on how to create a fully realized zombie persona. That’s good stuff to know if you’re hoping for a career as a barista.However, where he really shares his talents is at the Stiltbeast YouTubechannel. And really, that’s why you’re here; to learn how to make stuff. He’s eager and very willing to help. Bounce around the videos and you’ll find a wealth of information. The longer ones that are over an hour are him and others at the studio working. The shorter videos are focused tutorials on how to do one thing. Those shorter videos will probably help you the most if you’re just beginning.
You can’t be someone who offers up wonderful tutorials without being an inspiration at the same time. The places and people below are proof of that. They simply have the perk that when they show you a marvelous prop, they often show you how to make it. That sets them apart from the Inspiration link folks; not the talent involved or the thrill of seeing their work.
Eduardo Talbert and Monster TutorialsEduardo is the brains behind Monster Tutorials. We’re pretty sure he keeps those brains inside a mason jar alongside shrunken heads and mummified fairies. He spends a lot of time creating stuff for Halloween. Some of the things that show up in the Haunted Bears graveyard and witches shack were directly inspired by him.Eduardo has a website at Monster Tutorials. However, it’s not really the showcase for his talents. The website is on the radar to be retooled, but there are so many other distractions that occupy his time. We understand that. He has YouTube videos he needs to make. We have naps that need our attention.Eduardo also has a Facebook page. His Facebook page is a bit more active than his website. He puts up videos and photos, stuff you can buy, and generally does the Facebook thing. He also has links there to his Shopify site where all manner of things are sold under the name of Monster Tutorials and PropMob.But if you really want to know what Eduardo is all about, you have to visit his YouTube channel. That’s where he really puts his best foot forward; although, that foot is probably a skeleton. Scores of YouTube videos will teach you all about making milk jug skulls, masks, fake bugs, and graveyards full of other stuff. By the way, what is it with humans and their cell phone cameras that makes them think that taking pictures of their food is anything anyone cares about? Why do you put a perfectly good grub under glass and take pictures of it instead of just eating it? Humans are crazy.He has contests encouraging other humans he calls his PropMob to make things for Halloween. A lot of people will spend hours creating amazing things out of Dollar Store trinkets for prizes they can’t eat. Really… humans are completely crazy.He also does trips to stores to check out new Halloween merchandise every year… oh… and the un-boxing of stuff. That apparently is a haunter thing to do, because he’s not alone in doing it. We bears rarely un-box anything that wasn’t thrown out in a dumpster first. But there you have it. Head on over to his YouTube channel and have some fun.
Oak Lane CemeteryLike many of the individuals we suggest you visit, the folks at Oak Lane Cemetery are decidedly YouTube haunter types. You can see a bunch of what they enjoy at their Facebook page. They went all fanboy over The Walking Dead showing up in their town to film. We think that’s adorable. Anyone who likes rotting corpses walking around their town has to be special. They also have links to things they sell in their Esty shop, so a visit might be in order. You might find something dead that you just can’t live without. However, you came to this page looking for tutorials. Those are mostly located at their YouTube site. As we mentioned earlier, we wonder about some of these sites. Frankly, just between us dead bears, we’re not convinced the folks at Oak Lane Cemetery are human.For years, Oak Lane Cemetery has put out wonderful tutorials on how to make all manner of Halloween props and decorations. They’re amazing. But shortly after we died, their props took a turn for the grizzly. Not our bear cousins type of grizzly. That would be totally fine with us. No, we’re talking about a slide into flayed skin with eyeballs and zombie rat-like demons. Lately, it’s skeletons that look half-eaten and torn apart by wild animals. The skeletons are skewered on pikes like someone is getting ready to barbecue them.Sure, they’re human skeletons; so no defenseless animals were hurt making them. But the carcasses look a lot like ours about a week after we died. A working knowledge of what half-eaten guts look like isn’t something everyone carries around. But we’re pretty sure coyotes do. Plus, they never talk on their videos. Maybe that’s because they can only bark and howl. We think Oak Lane Cemetery might be owned by relatives of the coyotes that ate us. The truth is out there. Even if that’s the case, we still admire the work that comes from Oak Lane Cemetery. They have a way of making props that are both creepy and whimsical. The most recent ones aren’t so whimsical; but we’re pretty sure if you make them, they’ll keep solicitors from ever ringing your doorbell. Go visit the Oak Lane Cemetery. Regardless of who or what is managing the cemetery, it’s a lot of fun.
Here are the gracious humans that offer up tutorials. Well, we think they’re all human. Some of them never appear on camera, so they might actually be something else. We have our suspicions about a couple of them. We’d like it if some of them were something else; like maybe animals. It would be nice to know that there is other wildlife out there living the Halloween wild life.
Halloween Forum:Join the Holy Grail of inspiration and tutorialsFirst on our list is a forum site. That’s a whole group of people out there making tutorials and inspirational postings. It’s like a buffet of ideas. It’s not nearly as much fun as a buffet of food, but we realize an Internet site can’t have everything.If you’re ready to take the dive into creating a haunt, or if you’re already well on your way, join the Halloween Forum. The Halloween Forum is hands down the friendliest forum toward newbies and old pros alike. There are other Halloween sites out there, but don’t expect us to go pimping them out the way we do the Halloween Forum. Bears have scruples. At least we think we do. They might have been eaten by the ravens after we died. Regardless, we’re showing you the sites we actually visit; not every site we can find.Our humans have been members for years, and enjoy sharing what they make with others. There’s a lot of sharing within the group. Props are displayed and remade by others (often with a new spin) to share yet again. The search engines keep getting better. If you’re considering making a prop, chances are good you can find someone who made something similar before.There are folks on Halloween Forum that have budgets far, far beyond what a bear can dig up. Our humans enjoy seeing what they bring to the table, but they know our table is going to be made out of free used pallets. And that’s the joy of Halloween Forum. We see some amazing stuff. Our humans meet others just like them who are trying to figure out how to make those props on the cheap. There are people who can’t wait to show you how far their budget of fifty bucks can stretch. They are our heroes.You can visit the Halloween Forumwithout registering. However, the registration is free, and tends to make the site more accessible. If you’re really inquisitive like our humans are, registering also makes it possible to post questions and ask for help.
Haunting Humans Who HeducateWe’re bears. Alliteration isn’t really our thing.
Eerie Acres CemeteryThe various sites that fall under the title Eerie Acres Cemetery are a bit misleading. When we first heard a video introduction that said, “Hi, Big Ant here,” we thought the host was graciously offering us a tasty afternoon snack. Turns out it was the narrator’s nickname. Some disappointments you just have to roll with. He makes fun Halloween props, so it’s a worthwhile trade-off. You can find a number of sites that showcase the Eerie Acres Cemetery props. His Halloween hearse with its amazing infinity illusionis all over Pinterest. They have a Facebook page and their own Eerie Acres Cemetery website. Both are fun to visit. But, if you’re looking for tutorials, most of the time Facebook and the website act as introductions to the videos you’re going to find on YouTube. The narrator of the YouTube channel videos enjoys showing how his props work. He begins by showing the prop in motion. Then he shows you a behind the scenes look at how he put the prop together. If his videos suffer from anything, it is that they usually show you how to make something by starting with a completed prop. We’ve watched our humans trying to put something together. There’s a big difference between saying how you did something and watching the actual process. For one thing, there’s far more swearing when we watch our humans.There are times when we stare at Big Ant’s assembled props and still struggle with exactly how he put the props together. Then again, we’re dead bears. Our cognitive skills suck. You more adventurous humans might find a visit to the Eerie Acres Cemeteryprovides all sorts of simple ideas that can springboard you into creating your own props. Just don’t go hoping to find any yummy ants to eat.
Jeana, Christopher, and Hollywood HaunterWe went searching for a frightening picture of the folks behind Hollywood Haunter, and we think this one is terrifying. What is scarier than a Southern California couple with perfect smiles posing in their winter garb in front of Christmas lights? They look like an ad for a Lifetime Movie flick about that perfect couple in a perfect gated-community that hides a horrible secret. We want it to be that they’re serial killers; but it being SoCal, they’re probably buying generics at the local supermarket and hiding them in Whole Food bags so the neighbors never know.Actually, though, the folks behind Hollywood Haunter seem genuinely affable. It could all be an act. They could be acting. It’s Hollywood after all. But if their videos are real, then they’re just nice folks who enjoy Halloween a great deal. One thing is certain; they make bunches of videos showing you how to do what they do. That said, you might notice that they don’t make as many videos as they used to. They haven’t made an elaborate, jaw-dropping haunt in years. Moreover, Christmas decorations are creeping into their repertoire. Some purists might be outraged, but we say cut them some slack. There is one thing that they have now that they didn’t have a few years back. They have a cub. Those things are time-sucks like you wouldn’t believe. Either you can have tons of time for your Halloween prop building, or you can attend to the care and feeding of a kid. We think they made the right choice. A kid is the perfect cover for the perfect family that hides a horrible secret.There is a Hollywood Haunter website. (The purple ball with three white lines in the upper right is where they’re hiding their navigation bars.) They have all the social media pages such as Instagram and Facebook. They even have a Pinterest page. Visit any of them and you’ll notice they’re all guiding you to the holy grail of Hollywood Haunter: The Hollywood Haunter YouTube site. This is where you’ll find their Oscar worthy tutorial performances. If Stiltbeast shows you how to get down and dirty with masks and smaller Halloween props, Hollywood Haunter goes big. They’ve create entire towns, full-on haunted house facades, and mausoleums that are stories high. You can tell that they have a background in set design. When Christopher breaks out the tools, you’re in for a treat watching him build facades that will stand the test of time and the outdoors. Other times it will be monstrously huge pumpkins. Jeana steps in when it comes time to paint and finish. Sure, they swap out jobs from time to time, but you can tell each has found a niche that works for them. They also enjoy showcasing other haunter’s haunts with behind the scenes tours.So before you grab those 2X4s and start sawing, take the time to visit Hollywood Haunter. Take a refresher course on building and design savvy. The two are friendly and take the time to show you all the ins and outs. What more could you ask for? Well, they could be serial killers, but that’s probably asking too much.