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Amateur film makers are now producing material that would have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars to put on TV decades ago. There's so much trash out there nowadays; however, the profusion of digital technology is allowing those with great talent to get their work out there too. BloodPool Wants Short Films with Strong Characters Located in Liverpool, UK, BloodPool will hold its debut screening this October 27th. This is a shorts only festival. Altogether, ten shorts will be screened, to be followed by "interactive attractions" (e. g., a haunted house) and a party. Festival director (and former film student) Junior Davies wants films that "grab your attention from the go, are unique, and hang on suspense leading to an unforeseeable scare. A horror filmmaker should have the skill to hang on a shot and build tension. This leads to your audience guessing what's going to happen. The more cine-literate audience might be more aware, but a great director can use this as a pre-jump to try and catch them out. " * Character Is King "I think the biggest mistake filmmakers make with a short film is not developing a character, " says Davies. "The more your audience feels for a character, the more they will be drawn in to what's about to happen. " Like almost all horror festivals, BloodPool accepts all subgenres, but "paranormal is a favorite of mine, being able to see how filmmakers use different camera tricks and effects to confuse and scare the audience. In our first year, we've accumulated a lot of killer based thrillers which is also scary, as it's more believable. " ================ For a behind-the-scenes look at horror film festivals and the festival directors who manage them, see Horror Film Festivals and Awards. This book also includes a directory of over 200 horror film festivals, and a list of festival award winners from dozens of festivals over several decades. Upstate New York Horror to Screen in Rochester Founded in 2014, the Upstate NY Horror Film Festival will hold its 5th screening this October 12 and 13 at The Cinema Theater, in Rochester N. Y. Festival director Joseph Kelly is himself a 15-year filmmaking veteran. Based on his experience, he advises filmmakers to do diligent pre-production. "If your film is five minutes, 30 minutes, or a feature, plan it out. When you first start making films, you are so eager to get out there. But know your budget. Do your research. "Great video and sound is a good start, but there are so many other factors that go into a film. I prefer good acting over boobies any day. It's good to see a nice rack, yes, but in the long run, you want the best picture possible. " After the first edit, Kelly advises filmmakers to get audience feedback before submitting to festivals. "Have a few friends watch the film when complete. Take their notes. Some films drag too much. I saw a 30 minute film that was shot great, sounds great, with great effects, but that film could have easily been edited into 15 minutes. "Get your point across to your audience before they fall asleep in their popcorn. I personally had this problem until I realized, it's not what you want, it's what your audience wants. " Post-production is not only about editing. After you review your first edit, your film might require additional production. "If you need ADR, go get it, " says Kelly. "If you need to take a week and do pickup shots, do them. You will always have mistakes. Even the greats have mistakes, which they might not realize until the 50th time they watch their films. It's going to happen. Just do the best you can. " While Upstate NY Horror welcomes all subgenres, Kelly says that "we are starting to pull in more sci-fi films as well. No Sharknados. Just some good alien films. " This year Kelly will be screening his own film -- Clown Motel: Spirit's Arise -- at his festival: "Each year submissions pile in more and more, and we are still giving everyone an equal chance. We had films play in our theater that were on a shoestring budget to multi-million dollars. " A theater that, Kelly adds, "is considered one of the five oldest movie theaters in the United States. " Slice of Fright Is a Festival for Short Shorts Nic White is a film festival veteran. "I've directed various short film festivals in the last five years, " he says, referring to the Bump in the Night Film Festival and Spring Shorts Film Festival. His latest venture, the Slice of Fright Film Festival in Bay City, Michigan, will hold its first screening this October 13. Slice of Fright seeks short short horror films. "Five minutes or less. The more bizarre the better. Films that create a strong tension from start to finish. Strong stories. "The biggest mistake I've come across is lack of story. Some filmmakers create beautiful visuals, but neglect the story. If you want an audience to sit through your film, reward them with an interesting, amazing, blood-curdling story. "Focus on story first. What is your film trying to say? If you keep that in mind as you dress the set, select costumes and makeup, adjust lighting, etc, it helps tie everything together. When your message is clear, it bleeds into the theme. " White also advises filmmakers to avoid the "obvious mistakes. Poor audio quality and lighting. It's hard to watch a film if you struggle to follow the story. Lighting and audio play a major factor here. " What makes for a great horror story? White offers two tips. "A great horror film always has a unique killer. Freddy, Michael, Jason, Art the Clown. And great horror always makes you think. " Which is not to say that Slice of Freight requires a psycho killer. "We're open to all subgenres, " says White. "Personally, I'd like to see more creature films. " Slice of Fright will be presenting festival attendees with "door prizes" and their award-winning filmmakers with "one-of-a-kind trophies. " "There is a great deal of support for independent films within Bay City, which has a talented community of DIY filmmakers. And it's the home of one of Michigan's best independent film festivals, Hell's Half Mile. "Directing a festival in Bay City is special for me. I grew up in Bay City. It's great to go back home. " Vancouver Horror Show Seeks Shorts The Vancouver Horror Show will hold its first annual screening this October 23, at the Cinematheque Theatre in downtown Vancouver. Twelve shorts, no features. Yes, that's right. VHS is a "shorts only" festival. "A short film is a delicate balance, " say Team VHS (David Taylor and Meghan Hemingway). "It's challenging to strike the chord of simple, effective storytelling with enough twists and turns to keep us interested. " To keep them interested, horror shorts should have "a compelling story, a specific vision, engaging characters, attention to detail, and a unique voice/point of view. The film must evoke fear, dread, or unease, using tropes recognizable to an audience as something that one would want to escape if encountered in real life. "We are open to any subgenre of horror, but are not as fond of horror intended to shock through gore and viscera at the expense of a good story. That being said, when gore and viscera enhance a story, the result can be moving, scary, and memorable. " They also advise tight editing. "I can't tell you how many films could have been exponentially better if they'd had more ruthless editing. Sometimes it is clear that a filmmaker loved a particular scene or performance, but it ultimately took away from the overall story. "A good filmmaker needs to be highly self-reflective, and be willing to let go of things they might love, but ultimately do not serve their project. Bringing in a trusted, outside editing eye that is less personally invested about the material can be a huge benefit. " Team VHS also warn against vagueness. "There is a fine line between letting the audience come to their own conclusions, and not telling the story. Sometimes a little bit of fog is mysterious, but if it's too foggy the story suffers and the viewer is left dissatisfied and frustrated. Filmmakers should remember the story they set out to tell, and be sure that on that final cut, the narrative integrity is sound. " In addition to having a "great editor, " Team VHS also advises filmmakers to obtain a "great cinematographer. " "At Vancouver Horror, we focus on a 'good film, ' before a 'horror film', which lends itself to a freedom when curating. Each member of the team is encouraged to fight for their favorites. The only rule is that each film must have 'an element of horror. ' "We believe in the universality of fear and want to bring together artists from all over the world to bolster our global community and get inspired by each others' work. Hotlanta Wants Fast-Paced, Exciting Horror Horror Films in Hotlanta will hold their second annual screening this October 25 - 26, in Atlanta, Ga. It's a film festival that emphasizes "exciting horror. " According to festival director Caroline King, Hotlanta seeks horror films that are "Action packed and scary. The last thing we want for our audience is boredom. Our films really need to be exciting. " Toward that end, there are a few things to avoid. " Slow editing is a deal breaker. If your film is a long, teary-eyed drama, where someone gets stabbed at the end of the film, then submit it to a drama film festival. "Great horror films scare the crap out of people. They make people jump, cover their mouths, hide their eyes and cringe. We like antagonists, villains, monsters, scary situations or circumstances that wake people up! " She also advises filmmakers to avoid "Long, slow, time-wasting, rolling credits. And production company logos that never end. They kill the momentum at the event and slow everything down. Make festival cut with credits that are 60 seconds or less. It keeps the audience pumped up, ready for the next film. " Although Hotlanta wants exciting scares, there's also room for laughs. "We like to select a few comedic horror films that can bring some great laughs to the event, if they are really clever. But they must still be horror films. " Some filmmakers worry that their films will only get a cursory peek at festivals, before being unfairly rejected. King assures that's not the case at Hotlanta. "We have twelve judges that watch every film, and read every screenplay, before final judgment is passed. " Yes, that's right. Hotlanta also has a screenplay contest. Northeast Wisconsin Horror Recommends You Keep It Short It's too late to submit for 2018, but co-founder Paul Salzer offers the following tips to filmmakers who plan to submit for their 2019 season: * Keep It Short "When submitting to smaller festivals, keep your films as short as possible. Smaller festivals have far less minutes than you might realize for showing films. They are more likely to select multiple short films in place of one feature length film of equal selection rating. Larger festivals have multiple screens and a better chance of showing multiple longer films. " * Read the Rules "Avoid submitting a film without reading the festival’s submission guidelines first. We, for example, want complete films. Therefore, we don’t select film trailers, no matter how good. We also note in our guidelines that non-English speaking films need English subtitles for our audience. " * Maintain Interest "Our selection committee is composed of several film bloggers and reviewers. These judges' look at over 100 submissions in a few short weeks. As such, their interest can be difficult to hold. You need to keep the judges motivated from the beginning of your film to the end, otherwise it might not stand out enough to be selected. " Salzer adds that these judges' "tastes range from splatter gore, to supernatural terror, to dark comedies. Because of this, we get a diverse selection of films at the screenings. "It's amazing how tastes change from year to year. Last year, we had quite a few zombie and clown films. This year, the focus seemed to be on imaginary friends. " Salzer is onto something. It had been a while since I saw any "imaginary friends horror. " Then just last week, Rafael De Leon Jr's Goodbye Old Friend won an Honorable Mention at the 2018 Tabloid Witch Awards. "We don’t give out awards, " Salzer continues. "Instead, we offer filmmakers an opportunity to speak to the audience directly between our film segments. We also hold a social during the first evening for filmmakers and our judges. " As do other festival directors, Salzer recommends that you "go to the festivals if you can. Meet other filmmakers, fans, and reviewers. Talk to them and share your love the genre. " Northeast Wisconsin Horror screens at "the historic Time Theater of Oshkosh, " which receives all the proceeds from the event "so that it can continue giving the community a unique theater experience. " Requiem Fear Fest: Keep It Short Many horror film festivals die after one screening. Some last only two years. But a film festival that reaches its third anniversary is likely in it for the long haul. The Requiem Fear Fest will hold its third annual screening this September 22, in Montreal Canada. If you plan on entering for their 4th event, festival director and co-founder Steve Villeneuve offers this advice: * Keep short films short. "If you are doing a short film, try to make it around seven minutes. If you go over that, be sure your film is rock solid. Every festival will take three 'okay' 10 minute films over an 'okay' 25 minute film. " * Hook 'em early. "Timing is important. For feature films, you have about 15 minutes to catch the attention of the judges. If he's not hooked after 15 minutes, it's strike one. After 20 minutes, strike two. Twenty-five minutes and they are still not hooked, strike three [and you're out! ]. * Sound is important. "Bad sound is just bad. If your film has bad sound, you start with two strikes. " Requiem isn't solely about catering to filmmakers. Requiem also cares about its audience. "I'm all for the public, " says Villeneuve. "Bring me some fun film that people will find epic. On our first year, we screened Night of Something Strange. It was amazing. This year we are screening Camp Death III in 2D! " What distinguishes Requiem from other horror film festivals? For one thing, "We're doing a horror flea market, " says Villeneuve. "Fans shop for a while. Then they stop to watch a film. Then they go shop again. That's the beauty. " several decades.
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The 14th Annual Atlanta Horror Film Festival is held September 10 - 12, 2020 SEPTEMBER 10 - 12, 2020 at synchronicity theatre
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Why do I always read the comments before the film... 2017 fantastic horror film festival awards winners. Atlanta HORROR Film Festival Awards Atlanta Horror Film Festival September 10 - 12, 2020 Best Feature The Black String by Brian Hanson Best Horror Short Night Crawl By Gregory Shultz Best Horror Comedy Short Half-Cocked By Aaron Barrocas Best Foreign Short Lobisome By Juan De Dios Garduño Best Mini Short Rear View By Austin Faust Best Sci-Fi Short Unregistered By Sophia Banks Best Local Short Finley By J. Zachary Thurman Best Animated Short La Noria By Carlos Baena Best Actress Savannah Foran-McDaniel Here There Be Monsters By Drew Macdonald Best Actor Brian Ramian The Monster By Neil Stevens Best Cinematography Zachary Ludescher Ice Man By Daniel Byers Best Screenplay Brandon Shypkowski & Joey Beni Killer Date By Colton Tran Best Student Film Cybolica By Alex Greenlee Audience Choice Award Beauty Juice By Natasha Halevi Best Director (Feature) Brian Hanson The Black String Best Director (Short) Matthew Evans Landry Re: Possessed Homes 2018 Awards Best Feature Alive by Rob Grant Best Thriller Feature All Light Will End by Chris Blake Best Horror Comedy Feature Bong of the Living Dead by Max Groah Best Short Film Baghead by Alberto Corredor Marina Best Horror Short Ultraviolence by Chuong Vo Best Thriller Short Black Eyed Child by Tony Morale Best Supernatural Short Samantha by Josh Carley Best Action Short Wyrmwood: Chronicles of the Dead by Tristan Roache-Turner Best Sci-Fi Short Terra by Johnny Han Best Horror-Comedy Short Vinyl Destination by Dan Cummings Best Animated Short Attack of the Potato Clock by Victoria Lopez, Ji Young Na Best Foreign Short Post Mortem Mary by JoshuaLong Best Local Short Apples & Oranges by Ryan Buffa Best Screenplay Doris by Hayder Hasen Best Cast Mouse by Celine Held, Logan George Best Special FX Caronte by Luis Tinoco Pineda Best Student Film Inappetence by Katarzyna Babicz Best Director September by Mason McDonald Audience Choice Award We Summoned A Demon by Chris McInroy.
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