Getting Started

So you want to do some projection effects?

You'll need a projector!

There are 3 basic types available: Toy projectors, Pico projectors, and Real projectors. Can you guess which one I favor?

Toy projectors are usually the sub-$100 models you'll see on eBay and often in the toy section of department stores.  They're generally fairly dim and low resolution, but they work great when you aren't projecting a big image.  The Haunted Tombstone can work great with a cheap $50 no-name "LED Projector."

Pico projectors are made for business people on the go. They're pretty small, and often ready to hook up to a smartphone.  The resolution is often much better than a Toy projector's, but the brightness rarely goes over 100 lumens.  They run about $200-$400, and are good for small effects.

Real projectors are the larger units sold for office and home theater use.  They can be a few hundred dollars new, but eBay has tons of used ones for a great deal.  Just check that the lamp has most of its hours left on it, and that it has an input plug you can use.  If you see a used projector that looks good, check the specs on  It's a nice tool to compare models, and even predict the size of the image at different distances.

Lumens is the measure of brightness for projectors.  Lots of people will say you need 2000 or more lumens to do a good projection effect.  I find that 1000 lumens is excellent for my effects, but if you have more brightness available, it can't hurt.

You'll also need a video player!

Some of my effects come on a DVD, like Sybil the Clairvoyant and The Ghoul, so you can pop that straight in a DVD player that's connected to your projector and have at it!

To play downloaded effects, like Spooks or The Haunted Tombstones on a DVD player, you'll need to author a DVD with simple software like iDVD.  Look up how to loop files with your program, and you'll be in business!

A more streamlined solution is to use a Media Player.  These can be found for under $50 on Amazon, and will allow you to play looped video off of a flash drive or SD card.  All you have to do is transfer the video files onto the card, and plug it into the player.  My DVDs include media player-ready files if you open the disc on your computer.

Some projectors are even capable of playing video themselves, so take a look at what's out there!  There are a lot of choices, but it's hard to go wrong.  Remember, it's only Halloween!

For more projection tips, check out my blog post!