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Keeping the audience believing.. A look into Costume Design at The Nightmare Realm

”The success of an event can heavily depend on the quality of costumes, as it is the first thing that customers notice. Nothing is more disappointing than to see a low-quality mask or costume, as this can instantly shatter the illusion of the experience for a paying customer.”

At the Nightmare Realm, we pride ourselves on creating an unforgettable experience for our guests. From the moody tone setting atmosphere upon arrival to the quality of our mazes, every detail is carefully thought out for one specific reason. Keeping the audience believing that the world they have entered is real.

At our event, we strive to transport our guests into a new world, where they can suspend their reality and believe in the authenticity of their surroundings. From the tiniest of details, we work to create an immersive experience that blurs the lines between what’s real and what’s just for show. Our sets and scenes are renowned for their high quality, and our costume design plays a huge role in what brings the story to life. We take pride in our ability to craft incredible outfits that perfectly complement the atmosphere we’re trying to create.

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When people think of a haunted house they picture scary witches, creepy kids and horrifying clowns. We like to push the limits on what the audience expects whilst still maintaining a healthy balance of what is necessary to receive a 10/10 for expectation. Sticking to what works can be important in certain situations, but there’s no need to constantly reinvent the wheel.

In Costume Design in the haunt industry, it comes to the deciding factors. They require a different approach compared to theatre costumes. In a haunt, the audience is in such close proximity to the actors that they can practically smell them, which is not the case in traditional theatre. It’s crucial for haunt costumes not only to convey the character’s story but also to be durable and practical enough to endure the demanding physical activity required during the nightly performances. These costumes must be light and flexible enough to withstand the nightly workout, making functionality a top priority. In terms of marketing, it’s essential for the costumes to be visually appealing and attention-grabbing. This means they must be striking both in daylight and darkness.

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Other priorities include how much of the modern day human we can remove from the actor bringing the costumes to life. Its eye opening how often we’ve been let down as a customer at other events where we’ve been immediately pulled from the illusion by noticing the actor having a perfectly blow-dry, wearing fake eyelashes or worse, nikes! These elements may be looked over to the untrained eye or seen as being over the top but for us its what sets the bar for suspending belief to our audience.

Costume design is a critical aspect of the haunt industry, as it can set an event apart from others and create a unique and immersive experience for guests. Well-designed costumes can bring characters to life, creating a sense of realism and terror that can enhance the scare factor of a haunted attraction. They can also help to reinforce the theme and mood of the event, creating a cohesive and engaging atmosphere that will keep attendees on edge throughout the experience. Whether it’s a zombie apocalypse, a haunted house, or a monster-themed attraction, the right costumes can make all the difference in helping to create an unforgettable experience that guests will talk about for years to come.

This video features Sylvia, our co-director and costume designer, as she shares her insights on creating memorable costumes for a high-quality event. She discusses her favorite pieces, including some of the more complicated ones, and highlights the essential elements needed to achieve success in the industry.

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