20 Feb 2014

Ideas Bank: Supernatural Horror Film

At Don’t Panic London our little minds are always buzzing around and thinking of new ideas, even when we don’t have to. It seems to be an instinct. It’s in our make-up.
So that these brilliant products of mental activity don’t go to waste, we fold up them up and deposit them into the Ideas Bank, where we pick a couple out every now and then to show off to you guys.

Client: An American film, television and music producer.

Aim: To create a stunt to promote the release of a new American supernatural horror film, where paranormal investigators work to help diminish a dark presence in a family’s farmhouse, and to increase cinema ticket sales.

Idea 1: Haunted by Photoshop

We identify key movie reviewers and influential celebrities on Twitter and Facebook and track down personal photographs they’ve posted on the Internet. If we can’t find any, we grab a picture of their house off Google Streetview. We carefully Photoshop odd shadows, faces, nooses or mysterious shapes into the background of their photos to make it look like they’re being haunted. We then deliver these photos to them saying, “This is inside your house, right? Who’s that standing behind you?” We also send them a link to more photos.

Stunt - celebrity photoshop horror

Idea 2: Two Way Mirror

We place mirrored cubes on pavements or small mirrored billboards up on the sides of roads or in stations. The mirrors are ostensibly ads for a paranormal psychic service of some kind, inviting people to look deep into their own eyes in our dimensional mirror to see their true selves. Inside the cube or behind the mirror is an actor made up like a demon. At just the right moment, the lights behind the mirror come on and the demon screams at them right in the face. This will work better after dark.

Stunt - two way demon mirror

Idea 3: Personal Investigation Files

We create an offline paranormal investigation file for each reviewer containing very old photos of their house (recent photos adjusted to look sepia-tinted etc), an account of a horrible murder that took place there decades ago and photos of a murder scene with bloodstains everywhere. We could include fake newspaper clippings, police reports and floorplans of their house with a mysterious extra cellar section (that we’ve added) ringed in red like it’s been bricked up and forgotten. We Fedex this file to the them with a covering letter saying that we’ve been working for a client, haunted by the ghost of his murdered parents. The murder took place in the target’s house and we need to get in touch to find out more.

Stunt - personal investigation files