Are you the geek in the DoomBuggy craning his neck in Disney's Haunted Mansion ride, looking for the hidden projectors and strings that make the ghosts move? Yes? El Camino College's Multimedia Effects in the Haunted Mansion is the workshop for you. Taught each October for $35 by Natural History Museum senior media technician Chris Weisbart, what began as a historical survey of dark rides evolved into a three-hour DIY hacker forum. Weisbart covers basic animatronics and teaches you how to create many of the Haunted Mansion's beloved illusions — the ballroom's dancing and dueling ghouls, the candelabra hovering in the endless hallway, the singing busts in the graveyard. Last year, students built their own talking Madame Leota severed head floating in a crystal ball. Don't be afraid of the tech. The original Imagineers were mostly Disney artists who taught themselves the hardware tricks. Done right, a piece of glass, a flashlight and a bedsheet combine to make a pretty convincing and elegant spook. 16007 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance. (see Visual Arts).
—Gendy Alimurung

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