Thursday, July 21, 2016

Interview With Field of Screams owner and operator Jim Schopf.

We at Halloween Haunts 365 can not begin to explain how amazing today was for our group. We must start this by giving a HUGE THANK YOU!!!! to Field Of Screams and Jim Schopf for their amazing hospitality today. We can not thank him enough for everything we learned in today's visit.




Today, Field of Screams gave us a behind the scenes tour of their shop, office and Haunt. As we walked into the shop it was like entering what I have only dreamed about. Molds to make horror props everywhere. Different weapon molds, masks everywhere, New projects taking form that you wont see on this site! You will just have to go and support this Haunt and all the long hard hours they put into it. Then From there we went down into the Conference Room.

In the conference room, we asked Jim a series of questions. As it was hard to pay attention 100% sitting at the Coolest table these eyes have ever seen! It was spectacular. We sat with Jim for probably close to an hour as we prodded him with questions. Below you can see what was asked and what we got. But remember, No Spoilers Here..

Question #1 How many attractions will be open for the 2016 Season?

A: 4, Which are Haunted Hayride, Den of Darkness, Frightmare Asylum and Nocturnal Wasteland.



Q#2. How long does it take to set up the Haunt.

A: All year. As soon as the season ends, Jim and his team start right back in on what they want to improve or change. Design starts right away since some projects may take that long to finish.



Q#3. How often do you change the attractions?

A: Every year the team tries to add to what they have. Build up rooms in a walk thru or hayride. Add Costume Ideas and add what they think they missed last year. Continue the evolution of the haunt every year.



Q#4. How many visitors does FOS expect to visit this season?

A: The goal for FOS is 80,000 visitors. So as soon as September hits, GET UP THERE. You will not be disappointed. Really an easy drive from anywhere. So Just Go!



Q#5. How many people does it take to make the Haunt successful?

A:When open, FOS has around 200 people working hard to entertain the masses per night. Not to Mention the people he has working around the clock now and every year to prepare.



Q#6. Who Comes up with the new design ideas?

A: Everywhere. Full collaboration with his whole team. Everyone always comes up with an idea to improve and evolve the haunt. From actors or builders coming up with ideas to add and improve the scare level of each attraction. The staff is really bought in on how it can grow, then the Schopf brothers figure out if the idea is worth the extra work, if it will bring the extra scare factor or if there is room to make it happen.



Q#7. How did the Haunt Start?

A: 24 years ago, The Shopf brothers decided to mow down a trail through corn on their families farm. Ride people on a tractor through the trail and set up little scenes here and there. Then from that, year after year the attractions grew bigger and bigger. 24 years later Field Of Screams is a dominate force in the Haunt World.



Q#8. What was the hardest attraction to create?

A: All of them, Each one has its own creative limitations due to space and what the building actually was which was a barn. But Nocturnal Wasteland took the cake. Smaller area to work with. Borders with the hayride so they had to come up with unique ways to keep them separate. The terrain was tough due to the fact the attraction is a woods walkthru. Its harder to control the scares outside then inside. So Nocturnal Wasteland had the most unique set of challenges.


Q#9. How does FOS find their actors?

A. The actors find them. A lot of it is referral based. Actors telling friends or family and the word spreading from there. Also advertised on the awesome web page. They get actors from all over and take really good care of them. They form one big family. Stay in touch even in the offseason. So if your interested in acting for FOS, minimize this screen and go apply now...Ill wait.....


Q#10. What is the biggest obstacle during the day to day operations?

A. Keeping the pace correct. Getting the right amount of people through the haunt at a good pace. No back logs. Keeping the pace so all haunt fans can see everything in a timely matter. FOS cares about the people waiting and does a ton of things to keep them entertained. From movie screens to bands to rap battles. Even in line waiting you will still have a great time at Field Of Screams.



Q#11. Where do all of the Effect or Decorations come from?

A. FOS creates most of their own effects and displays. Seeing the shop, this team creates high quality imagery and displays. From giant Jack O Lantern Monsters to basic rats. Most of it is done in house. For me, thats amazing. That shows that Jim and his team really love what they do to process and build everything from the ground up them selves.


Q#12. What is Jim Schopf's Favorite Attraction at FOS?

A. Well folks, we will play a twitter poll for this one. Before we tell you the hidden facts we will make a twitter poll and see what the people have to say and guess. So feel free to follow us on twitter as well to take part in the mystery.......I know what it is....HA!.......

Q#13. What is your favorite part about owning and operating Field of Screams?

A. After spending all year fixing, rebuilding, growing. After all the hard work is done. Get ready for the giant blowout party! Once everything is up and moving. Jim's favorite part is watching the customers reaction. Watch the fruit of every ones labor scare the shit out of people. Watching what works and what may be a miss. Watching people run from the exits. Watching people entertained and having a great time.

Well everyone, this was our time with the owners and operators at Field Of Screams. Great guy and great place. Everyone needs to make it to Field of Screams this year. We will have a very limited preview tomorrow because we do not give up anything on this site except what to expect.

Jim took us through a ton of things and we will cover that tomorrow. So be sure to order tickets as soon as you can. If its far from you? Stay the night. Red carpet inn up that way starts at 59 a night so you are out of excuses. Just go!

Make sure you follow Halloween Haunts 365 and Field of Screams on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and anything else you can follow us on. Go do that now too......Go........Did you go?  

Thank you everyone, Talk to you all soon!


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