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Ocean Park Premieres Two Attractions for This Year’s all-Day-and-Night Halloween Fest Transforming Attraction Offers Fun and Fright During the Same Day “Rigor Mortis LIVE” Immerses Guests in Horror and Local Creativity

2014-09-10

Ocean Park is once again making a breakthrough with this year’s all-day-and-night Halloween Fest by presenting nine unique experiences at seven haunted attractions to cater to the tastes of different guests, again for the price of one admission ticket. Among one of the transforming attractions is the Forest of Legends, which transforms to Forest of Doom as day turns to night. The attraction takes inspiration from the drastically different ambience in a forest setting to offer guests with two unique experiences during 12 hours of each event day. Ocean Park has also invited director Juno Mak, whose blockbuster Rigor Mortis has won international accolades, to bring to life the desolate beauty of his film’s eerie public estate scenes at Rigor Mortis LIVE presented by Yahoo! Hong Kong. Showcasing Juno’s grim aesthetics and Ocean Park’s expertise in creating terrifying ambience, the attraction promises to offer guests a hauntingly familiar experience.

Transforming Attractions, a first in the industry, enable guests to enjoy two unique experiences at the same haunted house at different times of the same day. During the day, Forest of Legends, one of the transforming attractions, takes guests into a Chinese fairyland to meet a variety of evil spirits. A complimentary Ghost Journal, with details about the spirit’s legends and personalities, will be given to each guest, who can then interact with the spirits to collect seals. When the clock strikes 5pm, the attraction will immediately turn into an ancient tomb haunted by the white-boned banshee, the spider ghoul and the nine-tailed fox spirit.

Mr. Joel Brett Talacko, Ocean Park’s Halloween Fest Attractions Director, said, “Over 50 staff will help to change the scene setting, music, and even the outside signage of Forest of Legends, at 4:45pm on each event day, and it all has to happen within 15 minutes. This is indeed a big challenge to accomplish for an attraction that spans across 400 square metres. The planning team has put in a lot of effort and has been meticulous with every detail during the initial planning stage, including the movement of the performers, the placement of props, as well as lighting and music adjustments – all to ensure that the best results can be achieved within the shortest time possible. In addition, we have different performers on-show during the day and night, with very different make-up and movements, and therefore, the resources put into our transforming attractions is the highest compared to other Halloween attractions.”

Local themes have always been a differentiating strength of Ocean Park’s Halloween celebrations. At the end of last year’s Halloween Fest, Ocean Park was already looking for ideas and inspirations. Ms. Eva Au Yeung, Ocean Park’s Events & Entertainment Director, said that after her team watched Rigor Mortis last year, they reached out to director Juno Mak to discuss the possibility of a collaboration. “We particularly love the local elements featured in the film, including the public housing estate setting, neighbourhood characters and Chinese vampires. His attention to styling and design has taken the genre’s aesthetics and detail to a new level,” said Ms. Au Yeung.

The collaboration between Ocean Park and Juno Mak involves bringing to life several of the movie’s iconic scenes, including Room 2442, vampire making at Auntie Mui’s home, vampire hunter having dinner with spirits, the grim corridor and more in Rigor Mortis LIVE. Over 30 ghosts and ghouls will perform inside the attraction at any one time, with some playing role of the film’s iconic characters, such as Auntie Mui, the ghastly twin sisters, Celestial Master Yau, and security guard Uncle Yin. The attraction also features music from the movie to thoroughly immerse guests in the world of Rigor Mortis, and meticulous attention has been paid to both hardware and software to further enhance the realism of each scene. “To capture the essence of the movie, we specially added a variety of special effects, such as illusion mirrors, smoke and mist effects. We also engaged an expert from Las Vegas to design bungee installations, and train our performers on how to achieve the effect of ghosts flying through the air,” said Ms. Au Yeung.

Ms. Au Yeung added, “The whole process, from conceptualization, casting, to production, took nine months, during which Juno gave us a lot of ideas. For instance, it was he who suggested that the ghastly twin sisters should be performed by one person who wears a prop on her back. We later had the limbs of the prop custom made in the United States, with cosmetics applied by a special effects make-up artist in Hong Kong to create realistic oriental complexion and features. Both Juno and our team were very happy with the result! We also faced some limitations during the course of designing the attraction as we had to take visitor flow and guests’ tolerance level into consideration. Both Ocean Park and the Rigor Mortis team worked closely together during this period to make adjustments to the experience, for example, using animations to replicate the blood spattering scene of Auntie Mui slitting her throat, to strike a balance between creating the desired effects and practicality.”

Juno Mak, whose directorial debut won Best Visual Effects at the Hong Kong Film Awards, said, “Ocean Park’s Halloween Fest has brought a great deal of pride to Hong Kong, and being able to turn Rigor Mortis into a haunted attraction is simply incredible. Ocean Park and the Rigor Mortis team were a great match as we shared similar ideas about the frightful elements. Coincidentally, the actresses who played the twins in my movie work as performers at Ocean Park, proving again our shared creative vision.”
Juno Mak also appeared in a promotional video for Rigor Mortis LIVE, talking about pulling out his own blood-spilling heart as a symbol of the gut-wrenching creative process. Starting today, the video can be viewed at: http://youtu.be/jj6gpQNSo2s

Ocean Park is again offering the Halloween Fest Schedule Pass, a smartphone app that enables guest to make advance reservation for attractions. Simply by inputting simple information through the app before departing from home, guests can schedule visitation times to five attractions for themselves and four friends, thereby saving a significant amount of queuing time. The five attractions covered by the app include: Rigor Mortis LIVE, Forest of Legends, Forest of Doom, Chinese Mad-icine Hall and Eerie Nippon Journey. There is a limit on the number of Schedule Passes issued each day, and is available on a first-come-first-served basis.