ScareLA Interview with Lora Ivanova
By Scott Green
August 2, 2016
ScareLA is the first Halloween convention in Los Angeles, California.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Lora Ivanova, the Executive Producer and founder of ScareLA.
Here is a little background on Lora:
Lora Ivanova began her career in public relations and marketing, working for several top companies in brands, lifestyle, new media, design and influencers. While her career progressed, she found herself gradually surrounded by several haunt industry leaders.
1. When did you first get the idea for ScareLA?
A. In 2012 after working first on the immersive Haunted Play DELUSION with Creator Jon Braver and Co-producer Neil Patrick Harris and then after working on HauntCon. It was an evolution and labor of love to make people understand what goes on behind the scenes.
2. What gave you the idea to create ScareLA?
A. HauntCon, the longest running U.S. haunters convention, was limited to professionals. Lora wanted to bring this haunted experience to the public. To let the public see what goes on behind the scenes. She also wanted to give the public the immersive experience and let them know what attractions are coming to their area and LA was the choice.
3. Has the end product matched your original idea?
A. ScareLA is pretty close to her original vision of an event where the audience have immersed and interactive experiences rather than it being just a market place.
4. What was the creative process like? How did you decide what to include, who to invite, etc?
A. After realizing her work in horror/haunts was just as much a passion, she set out on a journey of her own. She developed an idea, surrounded herself with people who shared her passion and in August of 2013 premiered the first ever ScareLA. She was able to take her business knowledge and combine it with her visionary mind to create a convention that has reached masses in the Halloween community. Some believe that the horror community is a bit dark while others consider it a bit strange. With social consciousness in mind, Lora looks to promote awareness and equality within the convention. To combat negativity and inequality, she has worked hard to create a safe haven for the community. Part of her mission is to educate while entertaining, and to accomplish this she not only enlists people from the entertainment world, but also those from other fields who are willing to teach Halloween enthusiasts proper and exciting ways to participate during festivities.
5. Are there any plans to expand to other cities?
A. Not at this time LA is the #1 priority. It’s very hard logistically to expand into other cities. What Lora prefers is a collaborative approach to help other like minded peers to build a community that will reach audiences both nationally and internationally. In addition they’ve just announced a partnership with the Halloween and Party Expo.
6. Any plans to have this more than once per year?
A. Not at this time.
7. How many people are you expecting to attend this year and how was attendance in previous years?
A. Last years attendance was approx 10,000. This year they are expecting between 10,000 and 20,000
9 I see that there are going to be experiences at your event. Will this give people a taste of what to expect if they go to a horror/haunted event at a theme park?
A. Yes. This will be like watching a trailer for a movie. The experiences will expose people to new things and stretch their boundaries.
10 Where do you see your event going into the future? Are there things you’d like to add, expand, etc.
A. Even more experiences, such as a zip line where a person rides on a broom. More haunted houses and more characters. This is the first year with a theme, “the season of the with”, so possibly an expansion of this with more themes going forward.
11 Finally do you want to let me know which is on your team and what they do?
A. This year’s team is filled with really collaborative people that have worked really well together. They go above and beyond their own areas and everyone helps each other out.
A special shoutout goes to:
Jon Schnitzer, ScareLA Director of Programming and Experiences. Also is the director and producer of Haunters the Movie. HAUNTERS The Movie is a documentary about the visionaries who create some of today’s most controversial interactive horror attractions and what the increasing demand for “full contact” extreme experiences tells us about society and the psychology of scaring people.
Shar Meyer, Production manager, producer, experiences and operations
Emily Rua, programming and screening room. She went over 3,000 films
Some of the highlights of ScareLA:
EXCLUSIVE AT SCARELA 2016:
Blood Offering: Legend of the Iron Witch
The Dark Ride Project (360 VR Experience)
Ghost Scavenger Hunt with Phantom Finder
Sliders of Ghost Town
Mind Reading with Max Black
Creature by Brian Evans with Carrot Top First music video ever filmed at The Bates Motel, authorized by The Alfred Hitchcock Estate.
Hollywood Horrors Museum Exclusive Collaboration with ScareLA http://2016.scarela.com/the_events/hollywood-horrors-museum/
THE DARK RIDE PROJECT
VR EXPERIENCE : Only at ScareLA : Joel Zika is a digital artist who travels the world using 360 degree virtual reality cameras to document the worlds most historic haunted attraction dark rides. The Dark Rides Project has really captured the feeling of nostalgia, creativity and folk art ingenuity of these classic attractions for future generations. Joel is flying out from Australia to bring his VR Dark Rides to ScareLA so you can experience it in virtual reality for yourself! We are so proud to have this cutting edge virtual reality experience as a ScareLA EXCLUSIVE!
Highlights from previous ScareLA:
Images courtesy of ScareLA.