MARION, Iowa -- We often associate the month of October with spooky characters like goblins, witches and vampires.
With the global pandemic moving most if not all of our social interactions online, it seems appropriate to add "Endless Zoom Meetings" to the list of spooky things.
Iowa father Greg Dietzenbach is taking the 2020 "Zoom scaries" to a whole new level this Halloween.
Dietzenbach, a creative director at an advertising and marketing agency, has a reputation in his community for creating unique and hilarious Halloween costumes for his son and daughter every year.
"My kids challenge me every year to make a unique costume. Building a 'Transformers' sock robot for my son almost broke my brain... another year [my daughter] went as our neighbors' doors. So, this year I wanted to make it a lot simpler."
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We are not quite sure what Dietzenbach's definition of simple is, but the costume he created for 12-year-old Ada is hardly that.
With the help of his fancy work tools including a large format printer, Dietzenbach recreated the infamous Zoom interface.
With a total of nine spooky participants, seven of those include photos of Ada transformed into the Invisible Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Wolf Man, Frankenstein, Dracula, Mummy and Blair Witch. The eighth participant is a real-life Ada poking her masked face through a cutout.
Dietzenbach recreated the Zoom interface we have become all too familiar with and added some subtly spooky changes -- replacing "End Meeting for All" with "End Life" and "Share Screen" with "Share Scream" and of course -- "666 Participants."
"The best part of this costume creation was the photo shoot I had with my daughter," Dietzenbach said of the seven monsters/meeting attendees his daughter transformed into. "We were laughing the whole time as we tried to make all the monster faces."
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Who is the ninth participant? It could be you if you live in Marion, Iowa.
The ninth participant is an "empty" square that reads "Next Victim." Unlike the rest of the squares full of images of Ada in costume, this space will be filled by the onlooker when they come close enough, thanks to an iPad with a front-facing camera taped to the back of the foam board.
"Halloween was one of my favorite holidays when I was a kid and I'm happy to share my love of Halloween with my kids," Dietzenbach said. "2020 has been tough, it's nice to know we'll be giving some joy to others (at a safe distance of course)."
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