www.bloodycuts.co.uk is/was a really cool experiment in how to deliver a horror movie anthology to the world, outside of normal film channels. It was started by two go-getting Brits, Ben Franklin and Anthony Melton, and it’s goal was to be a site that hosted 13 original short horror movies (I believe they got to Number 9 before disbanding). They were a group I admired and thought highly of as people, though none of their movies really knocked my socks off (but the craftsmanship is pretty great).
You can check out their films here and see what you think.
In any case, I was happy to see a bunch of horror filmmakers gather a bunch of like-minded crew and actor-folk and do their thing, on their own terms. Nice. But then, in late 2013, they did something EPICALLY COOL. They hosted a huge online short horror film contest called WHO’S THERE? A HORROR FILM CHALLENGE.
The idea was simple–contestants were to make an original film, 3 minutes in length (or shorter) and post it. No entry fee. No limits other than entries had to loosely relate to the theme of “Who’s There?”. Being filmmakers themselves, the prizes for the top 3 films were amazing packages of equipment and software. All in all, it was a thoroughly cool thing for them to do, and horror-heads around the world set to work.
In the end, I believe they got something like 260 fully completed entries, narrowed it down to 50 semi-finalists, then 6 finalists, and ended with the Top 3 plus stuff like Best Director, etc.. You may recall the short movie Lights Out, which went super-viral this past year (current tally is almost 7.5 million views on YouTube!). That was from this contest.
I thought it would be fun to post a few of my favorite shorts from the contest, in case you missed the whole thing when it happened. Also, since I am a moviemaker myself, I feel compelled to post the one we made, which I am proud of even if it didn’t (sniff) win anything.
Here you go:
1. PLAY TIME – Directed by Ryan Thompson.
This was the Grand Prize winner and is pretty amazing…
2. A… – Written & Directed by Peter Czikrai.
Second Place, though probably the best overall production value.
3. GhostFace – Directed by Luka Belle.
This is one of my personal top 3 favorites. Luka is a really talented photographer and filmmaker in Minnesota. Check out his site some time, it’s got a lot to look at.
4. Departure – Written & Directed by JR Lipartito.
Lisa Sumiyoshi, the actress in this one, got the award for Best Acting. For my money, this is one of the scariest in the bunch, with some wicked cool audio design.
5. WHO’S THERE? – Written & Directed by Steven Bray.
I’m impressed by how this one feels like a chunk taken out from a larger story, and seems much meatier than 3 minutes.
6. Post It – Written & Directed by Alistair Quak.
This one got the award for BEST WRITING.
7. SAMARITAN – Written & Directed by Lil’ Ol’ Me.
This was a blast to make with my friends Jim Sullivan and Joe Sacksteder, and with a special guest appearance by Merrill “World’s Gamest Partner” Hodnefield, my sweetheart.
There you have it. Roughly 21 minutes of inspired horror movie making from around the world. Though it looks like Bloody Cuts is going into retirement mode as an active anthology site, I wish everyone involved TONS of good luck and happiness. And thanks again for that awesome contest.
Onward and upward!