Friday, June 17, 2022

Dear Pumpkinrot

I am the one who gave you your horror education, among many, many other things.

For example, doing “a wash” on your props. I taught you this technique in 2008. You’d just completed a prop and turned to me for my opinion. I thought it looked unfinished & a tad garish, but would have never said such words to you. I knew what was needed. So I asked, “Aren’t you going to do a wash?” You responded, “What’s a wash?” I was surprised you didn’t know the term or technique - considering the many years you’d been making props. I then proceeded to teach you about mixing most parts water with some black paint, then getting a big brush sopping wet with the mixture and going over the entire prop. I explained that as it dried, the black would settle in the cracks, crevices, and all small indentations - giving the piece an instant aged & dirty look. You were very hesitant at first, fearing it would somehow ruin all your hard work, but you eventually did it. And you LOVED it. You were joyous. You thanked me. You said it “transformed” your work. You have used this technique that I taught you on all props ever since. It is an important component to your work & one I believe you’ve not openly shared. 

And the horror film genre - I have an email from our earliest email conversations in where you admit to not knowing many horror movies. By then I’d pretty much worked my way through the entire horror section of Black Lodge Video - a rare/cult independent video store a best friend of mine co-owned. I’d read multiple books about the horror film genre and its sub genres. I began telling you movies to rent and having email discussions about iconic as well as important (but not well known) films, with me conveying why they were so important or pointing out the impact they had on the genre. And after you came with a U-Haul to move me from my hometown of Memphis, TN to your home in Philadelphia, PA (March 2008, I believe), I had a very hands-on role in continuing your horror education as my entire collection (dvd & VHS) came with me. Prior to that I’d mailed you Dario Argento films because you had seen none (and I adored several of them), and I’d mailed you the original “The Haunting of Hill House” because you’d not seen that one either. While living with you, we went through viewing my collection - one memorable one being “Black Christmas” because, AGAIN, you’d never seen it. I talked about its uniqueness and importance because it proceeded John Carpenter’s “Halloween.” 

Horror film scores - before moving in with you I mailed you MANY horror scores, as well as ambient artists, including the grandfathers of the genre - Tangerine Dream & Brian Eno. I also mailed you the score to “The Ring” which you loved and played obsessively. And you knew my favorite track was “This Is Going To Hurt.” Also sent - score to The Roost by Jeff Grace. And, of course, the score to SUSPIRIA by GOBLIN - which you’d never even heard of until me. Included in that batch was a copy of a cd I’d hunted hard for & paid a considerable amount for (before I knew you), “Silent Hill 2, Heaven’s Night” by Akira Yamaoka. It was the score to the game, not the movie though the movie did use excerpts. 

Shall we discuss your scarecrow “Bogman?” 

go ahead and keep using me while giving me no credit (like all the ideas, creativity, knowledge, problem solving, and hard work that still exists in your haunts from 2008 - 2018).