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Booth's Blog: The UK’s Biggest Horror Comp ‘Shortcuts To Hell’ Is Back
By James Whittington, Thursday 22nd May 2014

Emily Booth BladesI am genuinely excited to announce the news that our Shortcuts To Hell film competition is back and on the manhunt for some seriously hot new horror talent. And this time the competition is a lot more focused and driven on YOUR BIG DEBUT HORROR FILM. For those of you who don’t know we launched the competition last year in association with FrightFFest and Movie Mogul which saw 157 submissions all vying for the amazing prize. I, along with the other judges chose our 6 finalists of whom NFTS student Weronika Tofilska was announced as the overall winner claiming her prize of £6,666 and a development opportunity with Movie Mogul.

The result of this devilish competition has seen the event billed as ‘The UK’s answer to the ABC’s of Death’ with the best 26 short films making it into the anthology horror Shortcuts to Hell: Volume 1 available on iTunes and Blinkbox.

This year it’s a little different and even more exciting. But you gotta get your asses in gear! From now you have about 10 weeks to submit a 3-minute short film version of your full-length horror movie idea and must clearly demonstrate the core idea, premise, story and characters in narrative form. A shortlist of twenty-six finalists will then be invited to an interview where you will have the opportunity to pitch your feature film directly to the jury panel. Including me! And as I have just written, produced and starred in my own short film Selkie I honestly know the hard work it takes.

Three finalists will then go forward to this year’s FrightFest 2014 event at the Vue West End in London, and have their 3-minute films screened before the discerning FrightFest audience. An amazing accolade in itself, your film will be broadcast on Horror Channel throughout August and September, where the overall winner will be chosen by public vote! It’s the X Factor of Horror!

John Shackleton of Movie Mogul said this about what your entry should aim for: “Entries must be narrative driven short films, not trailers, scenes, pitches or promos, the overriding criteria is for the filmmakers to illustrate their exciting feature film concept, within a short form. It’s all about the big idea... do you have a strong hook that can be realized on a very restrictive budget?“

John also informed me that it wasn’t just the winner who gained bigtime last year. He is also working with 4 of last year finalists on projects, script writing and development, so doors will open to anyone who makes it to the final.

This really is a remarkable opportunity to find a creative and highly driven individual and change their lives. Receiving exposure at FrightFest and on TV with Horror Channel, the winner will have the opportunity to direct their debut feature film with Movie Mogul and Wildseed Studios on a guaranteed minimum cash budget of £20,000. This year we hope to launch a career, could it be yours?

Remember – that first passionate albeit low budget film can lead to huge things. Just read my blog last week about the success story of Monsters director Gareth Edwards whose second movie was Godzilla! Look at Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead, Steven Spielberg’s Duel, Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste and ask yourself; “Do I want to be up there amongst horror royalty?”

It does happen, it will happen again – but to who?!

Find out all you need to know in the link below. There ARE less film ‘restrictions’ this year but you still need to prove a budget spend of £666 and the film must be 3 minutes or less. The challenge has begun!

Shortcuts To Hell Website

Click here for last year's winning entry.


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