The Who’s There Horror Short Challenge 2013 is over. The winners have been announced. The awards given. The prizes sent out to the deserving winners.
In the next week we will be doing something unique for a competition of this kind…
…we will be giving you a tiny insight into the ‘Awards’ judges thoughts, opinions and reasons for choosing the winner. Some will be brief, some insightful, some less insightful, some a waffling, baffled mess. All relatively entertaining (am I selling this to you yet?!).
Kicking off today, we thought we’d start with BEST DIRECTOR.
WINNER: David Sandberg for Lights Out
JUDGES: Ben Tillet and Jake Cuddihy
The words below are Ben and Jake’s, and in no way representative of Bloody Cuts as a whole, mostly because it’s articulately written and makes sense, which – if anyone follows this Blog knows – just isn’t Bloody Cuts’ style.
Incidentally, they actually made us dictate this as they stood at the foot of our bed, staring and speaking in unison. It was both terrifying and sexy.
“As we sat down to watch these awesome pieces of dark art, happy as leeches in tankfuls of blood, we suddenly remembered we had to pick a winner for the directing category.
How? By what criteria?
Is it the film-maker who best achieves what they set out to?
Is it our personal favourite story?
Our personal favourite execution? (hanging, by the way. Every time).
Did they finish filming the damned thing without a break down?
We didn’t really decide.
We had a number of favourites:
- Behind Closed Doors
- Book vs Antiquarian
- The Rat
- Suckin’ Face
- Where Lost Socks Go
Then halfway through one particular film, I realised I had stopped breathing…
…and so had the rest of the room.
We were under the spell.
I heard someone bleating the word ‘no, no, no’.
It was me.
By the end of this little gem, we were shouting at each other, laughing at ourselves and trying to block out the images in our heads as we went to the toilet alone.
I remember someone saying “it’s the audience’s experience that counts”, and directors are responsible for conducting that experience.
As well as everything else they must do, the director must also travel into the future, sit down and watch their own film with their audience; imagining what they’re going to see, what they will hear, and how that will feel.
So we’ve chosen as our winner the director who gave us the most powerful personal experience. Who most effectively climbed inside our heads and raped our minds.
So please turn the ‘Lights Out’ and find a cushion to hide behind for 3 minutes, with our choice for your best director; David Sandberg.”
Congratulations to David Sandberg and to Ben-Jake for using the phrase “trying to block out the images in our heads as we went to the toilet alone”.
The time is almost upon us. The votes are in. The ballots have been counted. The awards have been chosen. It is almost time to reveal… the winner.
The competition that began 4 months ago is finally coming to a close. Which of the Top 6 films will snatch that coveted top spot, alongside the huge stack of prizes (over $9500!!)?
The Top 6 have been watched by Joe Dante, Marcus Dunstan, Patrick Melton, Drew Daywalt, Gale Anne Hurd, Soska Sisters, Sam McCurdy, Ryan Connolly, Neill Gorton and Scott Beggs.
Watched. Judged. Voted for.
The awards categories have been damn tough to judge too. The awards judges have watched ALL the short films, trying to find that very-best actor, cinematographer, director, editor, effects person, grader, sound designer and writer…
Not an easy task, considering the huge wealth of talent, genius and quality on display.
But these have also been chosen… and will be revealed VERY SOON.
There it is. The Top 6.
These awesome pieces of work will now be judged by our panel of industry experts; Joe Dante, Marcus Dunstan, Patrick Melton, Drew Daywalt, Gale Anne Hurd, Soska Sisters, Sam McCurdy, Ryan Connolly, Neill Gorton and Scott Beggs.
Then the First, Second and Third place shorts will be revealed on FEBRUARY 23RD 2014 at 6pm, GMT.
It’s going to be a long month for some people…
Those who didn’t make the Top 6, don’t despair! We also have individual AWARDS that can be won by ANY of the shorts entered (not just the Top 50), which focus on:
These will be judged by members of the Bloody Cuts team, alongside other industry experts from these fields. Not only do these awards represent a solid piece of prestige for the filmmakers, they also come with individual prizes…which is nice.
Check out the Awards details in full on the competition website – http://www.bchorrorchallenge.com/
Once again, we need to thank everyone that entered the Who’s There Horror Film Challenge. We watched your shorts, reviewed them, ‘judged’ them and re-watched them.
The toughest thing we’ve ever done, and we’ve done some very tough things…
We hope you agree with our Top 6 and understand why we’ve chosen them, but if not please send over your Top 6’s to our Twitter and Facebook pages – we’d love to see what you all think!
So, for 6 filmmakers the long wait begins again.
Until then, keep on making awesome films.
The consideration was simple. We had to watch all the shorts in order to choose the Top 6. All the shorts. All the way through.
Rather than watching the 280+ shorts individually across a number of days, we decided to convene at Bloody Cuts Towers to watch them as a group, as a whole, in one epic day of horror awesomeness.
At 11am we plonked ourselves down in the Bloody Cuts Cinema in Norfolk. Ready. Unsure how mentally capable we all were at handling this kind of experience,…
Those present for voting duties were: Anthony Melton, Ben Franklin, Jonny Franklin and David Scullion (me!). We also had Roy Franklin and Jessica Taylor joining us, so we had a full range of opinions – old, young, sane, mad, open-minded, cynical, jaded, optimistic, male and female. You can decide who represents what yourselves…
This also ensured the range of opinion from all different filmmaking perspectives: producing, directing, writing, cinematography, sound design, lighting, SFX and production design. All bases covered.
During the screenings there were a number of open discussions regarding some of the shorts, often about scares, themes, grading-fails, acting and consumer units. Consumer what? Look it up. We all learned a few interesting facts about buildings yesterday (thanks Roy!).
The range of work on offer was astounding, from witches, demons, zombies, ghosts, vampires, serial killers and chestwyrms all the way to evil books, ear-shattering soundscapes, blood-splurging taps, creepy messages from beyond, two charming giant-puppet-monsters and a possessed forklift truck (seriously).
There was the occasional film that might actually be a snuff film shot by a serial killer and one or two that broke our brains through the complex metaphysical and allegorical contextualisation of their imagery and sound, yet none of the shorts screamed “no effort applied”.
Everything had time taken behind it. Passion. Thought. Maybe a little lunacy…
…and we loved it. Knowing what it takes to make even the most barely-competent horror short (!) we are utterly honoured to have to many filmmakers enter this competition with such inventive work.
But there can be only one winner. Only six finalists can be judged by our panel of industry experts. 6 out of 280+ entrants. Not an easy task.
As a super-special treat, we are going to announce our TOP 50 shorts as decided through our voting process. This will be announced next Saturday at 6pm GMT.
Having sat down after watching ALL the shorts, we totted-up our scores and collated the findings. We argued about semantics, scares, themes, copyright infringement and consumer units.
Finally, after an hour of late-night debating, we came up with a short list. This will need rectifying. Tweaking. Re-watching. More arguments. Possibly some death threats.
But next week all will be revealed.
Well, the Top 50 will…
You’ll have to wait until January 26th for the Top 6 finalists to be revealed!
Today the survivors of the ‘Who’s There Film Marathon’ have all stumbled back to their respective dungeons, swamps, cells, castles and hovels, exhausted and awed by the talent, effort and ingenuity of filmmakers all over the world. Some of the images, stories and scares are still bouncing around our brains like creepy, evil pinballs. Probably will be for some time.
Congratulations to all that entered. We watched your shorts. And some of you are clearly insane.
Please pop on by the the Bloody Cuts Horror Challenge website and check out the amazing prizes, super talented judges and superbly generous sponsors. STAT.
That is our reaction to the filmmakers who responded to our Who’s There Film Challenge 2013.
We had expected a decent response considering the talent we knew was out there, but this has gone above and beyond our expectations.
“Don’t Move” writer David Scullion (yeah, me) had estimated /bet that we would receive 124 entries overall… so when we passed 250 he ate his words, with a side order of amazement pie.
Bloody Cuts’ producers Ben and Anthony said “This pleases us”.
Yes, they said that statement in unison, like some kind of creepy demonic twins. They were also holding burned dolls and occasionally wept crimson tears. Call a doctor immediately.
They also said things individually, so check out their thoughts here…
“We really hoped for a strong reaction to the competition, but I don’t think we predicted quite that many entries, and to such a high standard too. It was thrilling to see so many landing in our inbox on that final day, and we couldn’t be more excited to take them to the judging stage. Overall it’s been fantastic to inspire others into making great horror, and with such a huge response it’s actually had the positive effect of making us want to get out there and make even more quality short films ourselves!”
“We’ve always encouraged folks to just get out there and do it, not to be afraid of criticism and to embrace the awesomeness that is filmmaking and 280 plus teams have all done exactly that. The response to the competition has been phenomenal, Ben, Jonny and I were absolutely blown away by the quality of films submitted to the competition and hugely excited to see the truly international reach of our humble little horror challenge. Each and every filmmaker involved here should be HUGELY proud of what they’ve achieved, not only in the production of their films but of the camaraderie and support shared in the online community surrounding the competition. The insanely high volume of fantastic, varied and well executed horror shorts is going to make the selection process over the coming weeks really hard… But we’re all really excited to dive in to 13 (YES 13) hours of horror goodness.”
What surprised team Bloody Cuts the most was the demographics involved in the entries. Who doesn’t love demographics?! It’s like “demon-graphics”, except less about paintings of Satan and more about the study of quantifiable population statistics. Thrills!
The final count knocked us sideways, but it was the sheer scope of entries that sent us into a Lovecraftian madness. We received entries from all across the globe. Like where?!
Be prepared for a list. You ready? Here goes:
The United States of America
We may’ve missed off a couple of places, so apologies for anyone in Wessex or Atlantis is you’re location isn’t mentioned above. We have a lot of documentation to look through…
Looking back, we have received over 100 entries from America, with California smashing out about 25% of those, which is no surprise considering it’s apparently the modern home of film. Britain also delivered a good 50+ entries, sent in from all over the United Kingdom, from Cornwall to Dundee, from Pye Bridge to Newcastle.
To those filmmakers involved in creating your shorts, we thank you for the time, dedication, passion and work put into making these films. Judging this will be the toughest thing we’ll ever have to do.
Team Bloody Cuts is planning to do a massive one-day session on January 11th, with an aim of watching all 13 hours of content and picking the top 50 or so…
…and then having to whittle these down to 6. Not an enviable task.
We will keep you updated on our progress as always.
The final six will be revealed on January 26th 2014. If you worship something, begin praying / sacrificing / howling into a bucket NOW.
It has arrived.
The monster under your bed. The serial killer in your closet. The banshee on your windowsill. The horde of zombies in your shopping mall. The cockroach under your skin. The ghost in your toilet. That demonically-possessed motorbike that keeps following you everywhere and has now somehow got into your kitchen while you’re making a blueberry pie, which is really annoying because you’ve got guests and the motorbike is creating a lot of mess and noise and is basically really bloody embarrassing. Stupid motorbike.
It is HERE.
Deadline day has arrived with a resounding SCREAM.
The entries have been spilling forth like a tidal wave of crimson gore exploding from a hotel elevator, all over the face of a lunatic writer.
Death, violence, blood, ghosts, monsters, chills, horrors and evil beyond your wildest imaginings. They keep on coming. More and more and more like an unstoppable plague of killer bumblebees, stinging our souls with horror and terror and madness.
Over 100 entries and counting
Only a few hours to go. Filmmakers are still sending in entries. That 11pm guillotine will soon be dropped, decapitating any late entries and sealing off the entry-vault for good.
The beast is at the door. Knocking. Growling. Laughing. Probably drooling a bit. Scratching at the woodwork, begging to be let in so it can devour your loved ones and bathe in their lower intestines, and maybe their kidneys.
That beast is DEADLINE DAY.
The Who’s There Film Challenge 2013 closes tomorrow. We’ve been busy collecting the films and slapping them into a YouTube playlist, which is over 4 hours of viewing…
… and the competition isn’t even closed yet! We know there are a lot of filmmakers busy beavering away on their last minute edits, grading and scoring. Good luck. Have fun. Try to ignore the beast at the door. He’s quite loud.
Check out the ENTRIES so far below…
To fully realize the scale of this far-stretching competition, we’ve had entries from Brazil, Canada, China, England, Germany, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Scotland, Serbia, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, The Netherlands, The United States, Wales and more!
One came from a town called Voorhees, which certainly tickled us…
Deadline Day is tomorrow.
1 week to go.
1 week to get that edit finalized. Or begin shooting, if you’ve only just heard about this competition (where’ve you been?!)
1 week to upload your film to YouTube and get that paperwork together.
1 week before the competition closes, slamming it’s portcullis down, leaving the folks at Bloody Cuts’ inside our tower with only a bottle of yak’s blood, half a wheel of blue cheese and one gigantic sackful of exciting short horror films to watch… and judge.
1 week to go.
We also noticed that tomorrow is something called Christmas…
… so from everyone at Bloody Cuts we wish you a ghoulish, fun, furious and wonderful Christmas! Enjoy sacrificing your turkey to a dark lord (useful AND tasty).
We’re pleased to say that we’ve been sent more presents from filmmakers… if you consider BTS photos, posters and screenshots as ‘presents’… which we definitely do!
Thanks to all the filmmakers for sending this awesomeness in.
Have some of this:
Sent in by Kingdom Horror
Sent in by Blue Dog Sound & Vision
Sent in by Jesse James Hennessy
Sent in by Alistair Quak
Sent in by Scary Business Entertainment
Sent in by Brian Bevel
You have just over two weeks before the Who’s There Film Challenge 2013 stops accepting submissions. Any submissions sent after December 30th will be disqualified… but also sacrificed to an unknown Pagan god, who may (or may not) bring about the downfall of mankind.
So make sure you enter on time.
The entries have kept on coming from all around the globe, including another entry from Singapore (go Singapore!), one from Las Vegas and one from Rajasthan in India!
At Bloody Cuts Towers we’re really pleased to see such a worldwide response to this horror short competition. We are thoroughly enjoying the entries so far and can’t wait to see what other horrors are lurking in the darkness, waiting to come shuffling and screaming into our inboxes!
People have been generous again, whacking their post / pre / during-production photos, posters, images etc… online for us to see.
Got something to share?! Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a tiny smattering of the work filmmakers have been creating for the Who’s There Challenge 2013…
Sent in by Mark Ferris
Sent in by Craig James Moncur
Sent in by Dave Thorpe
“The Devil’s Tramping Ground” – Sent in by Doorway Films.
Sent in by Katherine Ramdeen
Keep ‘em coming! We’re fascinated by the variety of shorts, ideas, techniques, styles and imagery on display out there.
This is going to be a tough competition to judge.
December 30th is now lolloping ever closer, like a zombie antelope, wanting to ironically hunt you down, disembowel you and hang your severed head on its living room wall.
For us at Bloody Cuts towers it’s been awesome, seeing the creation and results of entries from all over the globe. We’ve now received entries from as far afield as Austria, Canada, Sweden, Paraguay, Singapore and someplace called ‘London’… and we expect to receive a LOT more.
Check out this small selection of awesome stills, behind the scenes shots and posters from some of the filmmakers busy making their mini-masterpieces across the globe…
Watching You – Sent in by Ryan Thompson
Sent it by Lee Robinson
Sent in by Red Hand Studios
Sent in by Neil Stevens, Gary Rogers & Adam Millard
Sent in by Adam Milicevic
Sent in by Seraph Films
Sent in by UA Productions
Sent in by Alexandros Mattei
Sent in by Jayme Sandman
Sent in by Richard Northwood
We see there are no zombie antelope films yet though…
Who’s there? A zombie antelope! Mmm… maybe not.
Less than 20 days to go.