The Ed Marzola Interview (3) - The Pasaje Special Effects
Tell me a
little bit more about this man, Fernando Quenard.
He was the originator and driving force of this attraction. He
was the creator, main idea man and company president. He first
built the Pasaje in Argentina and later brought it over to
Europe starting with Spain.
After a small Pasaje del Terror was installed for a single
Christmas season in Bilbao and proved to be a success, Fernando
set up a permanent and by far the most successful venue at the
Madrid amusement park (Park de Atracciones de Madrid) where the
Pasaje brought attendance numbers similar to that of the big
roller coaster. This is quite a feat in itself as the cost of a
single Pasaje del Terror is a fraction of what a roller coaster
Later on Fernando produced many other major shows throughout
Europe, including "Hollywood Cars", a large display of cars used
in famous movies with attendances of well over 10,000 persons a
The Pasaje del Terror at the Madrid amusement park has since
changed names. It is now called El Viejo Caseron (the old
Others were installed in Spain, Portugal and Italy on a variety
of special exploitation schemes, such as royalty basis, straight
sell out (a turnkey sale), etc..
Sounds like it was a good team?
We had a very creative and competent team taking care of
business. As well as Fernando there was Ignacio Brieva
as creative and artistic director. Eduardo Gerardi, a brilliant
electronics and mechanical engineer who designed most of the
robotics and hydraulics used in the Pasajes. Marcelo and Susana
d'Orto, who lent their expertise in acting, scripting, training
and supervising all the actors and many others.
Could you tell me a little about the special effects that
As in virtually all other similar attractions, they can be
grouped in wide categories such as:
Audio: Stereo sound effects, localized sound sources such as the
growling sound of a mad dog coming at you, "sequential" sounds
such as the flapping wings of a bat "flying" over your head as
you move through a darkened corridor, eerie wind effects,
trickling water sounds and an occasional lighting and thunder
Wind machines and compressed air jets: In the case of the "bat"
flying above your head, we experimented with an air cannon, that
would release a puff of air at the right time to make you
believe a bat had just grazed the top of your head.
Ambient effects: Such as mists, wet walls to throw off your
sense of normalcy as soon as you touch them, soft mats on
certain floors to make you feel insecure in a dark hallway (this
was effective when making a transition from a flat and solid
floor into another one that had several inches of foam rubber
backing), slightly slanted floors to further create a sensation
that nothing was normal, etc.
Light effects: including lightning, cemetery blue lights,
flashes, and electric two-way mirrors (now you see it, now you