HollyShorts In LA’s Top 5 Short Film Festival List, Panel Tonight, Monthly Screening Tomorrow, Video Ink Article, 9th DC Shorts Screenplay Competition, Late Deadline Submissions
Shorts Need Love, Too: LA’s 5 Best Short Film Festivals
Nearly every filmmaker you’ve heard of got their start on the short film circuit. There’s no better place to catch a glimpse of the next generation of Hollywood talent than at one of the dozens of short
in Los Angeles. But with so many to choose from, it’s difficult to know which ones are really worth your time and money. Here are five you really shouldn’t miss:
2015 HollyShorts Banner⎜Courtesy HollyShorts Film Festival The HollyShorts Film FestivalFor something a little more under the radar, try the
. If AFI Fest is slightly unattainable even for the best short filmmakers, HollyShorts is the benchmark most up-and-comers are striving for. An excellent crash course in what viewers new to short cinema have been missing, the festival is also impressively dedicated to advancing the careers of its filmmakers. A weeks’ worth of quality screenings are complemented by a series of can’t miss parties, panels, and networking events that have been producing a remarkably lively atmosphere for both filmmakers and audiences alike for over a decade.
The 11th annual HollyShorts Film Festival will be held August 13-22, 2015 at
Panel Event Tonight
VideoInk and HollyShorts Present: “Anatomy of a Web Series/Film Project
Join VideoInk and HollyShorts + Our Experts in Conversation:"Anatomy of a Web Series/Film Project"Including OPEN BAR + SNACKS!!
Each month we’ll be choosing a topic and holding a simultaneous event in both New York City and Los Angeles.We’ll be bringing in multiple experts to speak about the KEY lessons learned involved in the production, distribution, and monetization of web series/film content.
What goes into making a successful series or film for digital platforms? Which elements are required to ensure that as many people buy/watch your content, and provide a bountiful return on the investment you originally made? There are a lot of platforms for creators to put their content on, but is there an equation that allows you to take full advantage of all – or as many as possible – of those?At this event, VideoInk and Hollyshorts will sit down with the team behind a successful web series or film project to examine how exactly they turned it into a success. The conversation will span financing, creative, distribution, and monetization, with helpful tips for creators and producers seeking to navigate the sometimes overwhelming digital waters. LA Location:Ignited Spaces Hollywood-7080 Hollywood Blvd #1100, Los Angeles, CA 90028
HollyShorts Monthly Tomorrow
Hollywood, May 20th, HollyShorts is back tomorrow for the popular monthly screening series at the world famous TCL Chinese 6 Theatre. We will be having two screenings our 7:00pm will be a block containing the best from FABA. The 9:30pm will be another compilation of great shorts. Our audience winner gets a software prize from Lightspeed valued at $1,000. We are also happy to announce a special offer from True Vision Entertainment, who are offering our attendees $150 off stage rental. Simply mention ‘HollyShorts’. Our regular deadline just ended, if you have missed the regular film submission deadline, late submission closes May 22nd. See submissions.
Congratulations to our HollyShorts April Winner -
MARTINI CREW BOOKING will film the Q&A with the participating filmmakers, then Join us at the Hotel Roosevelt, Spare Room, for after screening drinks and raffle. Located on Hollywood Blvd, a block down from the TCL Chinese Theaters. Final Draft will be giving you a chance to win, Final Draft 9, Jungle Software valued at a $100 each, Christopher Styles currently will be offering; A Men’s package deal including a haircut and face shave, valued at $60 and a Women’s package deal including a shampoo/blow-dry, manicure, pedicure valued at $60.There will also be drink specials at The Chinese Theatre’s bar, Sid’s Bar and Lounge.
Tickets are $15 for each show, there’s a 2 show purchase special for $25. Purchase now by simply clicking on the logo below.
TCL Chinese 6 Theatres Address: 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028
1st Program 7:00pm, 2nd Program 9:30pm
Parking @ Hollywood & Highland complexTake elevator to 3rd Floor look for HollyShorts
*After Party Invite Only with Ticket Purchase
Hacking the YouTube ‘Creator Playbook’: Mastering Playlists
This article ran originally on VideoInk – the most reputable source for breaking news, industry analysis and features related to online video, OTT and streaming businesses. Visit
for more info on topics similar to this article.YouTube’s playlists let you curate your viewers’ experience on your channel. They allow one video to flow seamlessly into the next, increasing watch-time and creating order in a channel you’ve hopefully populated with
. In addition to strategies for optimizing your playlists’ potential, we’ll let you in on YouTube’s newer features that will help you get the most out of your programming.Types of Playlists:1) Series: If you have a couple of different series running on your channel, make a playlist for each to help organize them for your audience.2) Themed: Say you have a bunch of videos that feature beauty tips. Group them together for a playlist that’s all about looking your best. You can also throw in other people’s content to round out the playlist. A shoutout like that may prompt the ‘Tuber’s content you’re using to feature you, later.3) Most Viewed and Least Viewed: Compile your most popular videos and throw in some new content. This will draw viewers in to watch new stuff that they might not seek out by themselves.4) “Best of [Blank]”: People can’t resist clicking on the word “best.” You can use this knowledge to make a video compilation that showcases the work you’re most proud of.Draw Attention to Your Playlists:1) Give Them Context: Add descriptions and titles that will entice viewers and make your playlists pop up early on in search results. Use keywords that relate to popular trends or videos of yours that people already watch.2) Pick the Right Thumbnail: You have the power to choose, here, so make it catchy!3) Address Your Subscribers: In the “Notes” field, write like you’re messaging your subscribers directly. As always, the more personally involved you make subscribers feel, the more invested they will be in your content.Use Advanced Features:1) The Interstitial Creator: In the “Edit Playlist” interface, you can insert recorded and text-based videos in the midst of the content you’ve put together for your playlist. These interstitial shorts are “automatically unlisted,” as the “Creator Playbook” will tell you. This means that they will remain solely in the context of your playlists and not bother subscribers’ by popping up on their feeds.2) Start and End Time: Also in the Edit Playlist interface, this feature lets you showcase only the parts of your videos that make sense in the playlist’s context.3) “Hosted” Playlists: You can use the interstitial content feature to make introductions, as well. Welcome people to your playlist by giving them a brief rundown of what to expect up front.4) “Playlist Mode”: Tell your viewers how to watch your videos in playlist form by providing the appropriate link. The URL should include “&list=,” which you can get to through the playlist page’s “Share” feature.This is really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what you can do with your playlists. Feel free to mess around and explore your creative options. Once you’ve gotten the whole playlist thing down pat, you’ll be ready to use it towards tent-pole programming, making your channel as structurally sound as network TV.
9th DC Shorts Screenplay Competition
FINAL DEADLINE: MAY 30
EVENT DATE: SEPTEMBER 18, 2015DC Shorts is proud to present a different kind of screenwriting competition. A panel of readers consisting of filmmakers, screenwriters, and critics review and provide condensed feedback for scripts of 15 pages or less.
Six finalists are invited to attend DC Shorts and, with the assistance of local directors and agents, cast a live table reading of the script from a bank of actors. The readings are performed in front of an audience, who vote on their favorites. These votes, along with the scores of the readers, determine a competition winner.
The DC Shorts Screenplay Competition awards up to $2,000 to a winning script, and guaranteed acceptance into the 2016 DC Shorts Film Festival.We consider screenplays in every genre and subject matter. However, because the finalists are read in front of a live audience, the judging committee looks for material that can be successfully conveyed to a general audience in a table reading.
For information or to enter, go to
LATE FESTIVAL DEADLINE SUBMISSION MAY 22nd
You can now submit to ‘'HollyShorts” through FilmFestivalLife, Click for Festival, FilmFreeway and Without A Box.
CALL FOR EXTENDED LATE SCREENPLAY MAY 29th
The 2nd annual HollyShorts Screenplay Contest is part of the 11th annual HollyShorts Film Festival (August 13-22nd, 2015). We are looking for short screenplays 15 pages or less. All Semi Finalists will be announced and invited to the festival with an all access pass. Top 3 screenplays will be announced/awarded at the HollyShorts Awards Ceremony and the winning 1st place script receives a production deal courtesy of Evil Slave. The completed short will screen at the 2016 HollyShorts Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theatres.
For media credentials email
Spotlight Event & Book Signing
Kirker Butler, two-time Emmy nominated writer for
Family Guy, The Cleveland Show and Galavant
Author of the Novel Pretty Ugly
Wednesday, May 20, 7:30-9:15pm
Ticket Price $15
Free to Writers Boot Camp Professional Members
Pro Members RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
All others reserve tickets here: Tickets
Please join host Jeffrey Gordon (JG), founder of Writers Boot Camp, as
we celebrate the release of Kirker Butler’s novel, Pretty Ugly, a satirical look
at a dysfunctional southern family complete with an overbearing stage mom, a
9 year-old pageant queen, a cheating husband, his teenage girlfriend, a crazy
grandmother, and Jesus. JG will moderate an interview with Kirker, who will
sign copies of the book after the event where books will be available for sale.
The conversation will cover Kirker’s background in the business and his
experience as a two-time Emmy nominated writer and producer, as well as
his segue to writing the book.
Kirker’s television credits include writing for Family Guy, The Cleveland
Show, The Neighbors and Galavant. Pretty Ugly is his debut prose novel,
though he’s also the author of a graphic novel, Blue Agave and Worm. He’s
also contributed to The Huffington Post, The Academy Awards, and E!
News Daily among others.
Here’s what some famous people have said about Kirker’s book:
“The person who wrote this book asked me for a quote, so I gave them one.” -
“Pretty Ugly is everything you’d want in a novel: funny, poignant, exceedingly
well-written. I look forward to reading it.”–Stephen Colbert
“I love this book, and I think Kurt Vonnegut would have loved it, too. In fact, it
might have been his favorite book of all time. Hell, I’m just going to go ahead
and say it: Kirker’s book is hilarious, and it was Kurt Vonnegut’s favorite book
of all time.”–Seth MacFarlane, creator, Family Guy and TED
“What I’ve read of this book I have liked!”–Amy Sedaris
“A funny, slam-bam-thank you, ma'am, voyeuristic look at the world’s most
dysfunctional family. I could not put this book down!”–Jennifer Garner
Kirker has worked as a lifeguard, a country music DJ, a Tommy Hilfiger Jeans
specialist, a medical supply deliveryman, a Christian music DJ, a bartender, a
precious jewelry clerk, a prop PA, a telemarketer for a comedy club, a wedding
DJ, a brewery waiter, a videotape editor, an entertainment news producer, an
actor, a bouncer at a nightclub (one night), a host at a different nightclub, a
singing telegram guy, a receptionist at Neiman Marcus, and the set decorator
for N'SYNC’s first I Want You Back video.
Writers Boot Camp just celebrated its 26th anniversary supporting writers
and filmmakers. More than 50 movies made in just the last four years
were written by our alumni and many top alumni are currently staff
writers or show runners on top television series.
Additionally, our alumni have had more than 500 books and novels
For more information about coursework and Professional Membership
benefits, call 1-800-800-1733.
One of the ongoing benefits of Pro Membership is not having to buy a ticket to
an event like this one!
Directions to Writers Boot Camp at Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Ave, Santa Monica CA 90404:
From Cloverfield Blvd go east on Michigan
(Michigan Ave is just north of the 10 freeway, running parallel)
Go to the end of the street to the Bergamot Station entrance.
Park inside the lot and walk to the SW corner, Bldg i.
Last year was a blast! Join us in our 11th year by submitting to #HSFF2015 before FRIDAY! #LATEDEADLINE
PEN CALL FOR ENTRIES • Select a Category of Entry to continue.
Short Animation (Film)Animated Short films 40 minutes or less.
Short Live Action (Film)Live action short films 40 minutes or less. Sub categories include Horror, Action, Drama, Narrative, Director, International, Female Director, Studen… More
Short Documentary (Film)Documentary short films 40 minutes or less.
Music Video (Film)Winner in the MUSIC VIDEO category receives $5000 in goods and services from COMPANY 3. MUSIC VIDEO submissions 7 minutes or less.
Webisode (Film)Webisodes should be between 1 to 15 minutes. One Web series submission can have multiple episodes within 15 minutes.
Commercials (Film)Best Commercial category winner will receive $5000 in goods and services courtesy of COMPANY 3.
Trailers (Film)Feature film or short film trailer competition, 3 minutes or less.
3D shorts competition (Film)3D short films 40 minutes or less. Films submitting for this category must be exhibited in 3D.
Youth Film Competition (Film)High school or first year college student short film projects 15 minutes or less. Filmmakers must be under 21 years of age to be eligible.
Digital Microbudget (Film)Digital Microbudget films 5 minutes or less; filmed with cell phones (IPhone or Android), tablets, GoPro, etc. Budget must be under $500.
HollyShorts Alumni John Painz, Owner of Words From Here production company, brings his personal experience with agoraphobia to the screen with his feature Stuck. Stuck dives into the debilitating anxieties and challenges that build John’s confinement for the past two years and how he surmounts to facing the outside world.
Synopsis: Stuck follows John, an agoraphobe who hasn’t left his apartment in two years. After his therapist quits on him, he is replaced by Dr. Claire Morning, who, with the help of some interesting therapy, challenges John to leave his apartment in 30 days.
Tell me a little about yourself:
I was born in Brooklyn, New York, and spent most of my younger years in Syosset, on Long Island. My dream, when I was a kid, was to become a comic book artist like Bill Sienkiewicz or Dave Mckean. My dad got me into comic book collecting and drawing became my favorite past time.
I loved movies. Loved, loved them (Schwarzenegger films in particular), but I watched them strictly for entertainment sake, and never sat down and dissected them in any real way. It wasn’t until I was in college that I started paying attention to the styles of different directors, especially David Lynch. His film Wild at Heart is my all time favorite film. That is not to be confused with what I think is the best film ever made.
After high school, I went to the School of Visual Arts and landed in the Illustration department. Fortunately or, unfortunately, once college was over I found myself doing graphic design for a paycheck. I couldn’t get any work in comics, so, that paycheck turned into a career. I was a graphic designer for fifteen years until I turned my sites to filmmaking.
What was the lure to your desire of filmmaking?
In 1999 or so I created Words From Here, which was a website that was born out of the first Project Greenlight. I felt at the time that the web needed a community-based site for screenwriters to get reviews and resources for their work. So, with a forum and a site and all that, a bunch of us got together and started reading each other’s work. I had contests once a year and gave out some donated prizes. A few of the winners got optioned, which was great. But after about five years I got burnt out because I wasn’t charging people. Just offering help and all that. So I shut the site down for about four or five years until late 2010 when I met my producing partner Julie Sisson. I re-configured the site and name as a production company. It was around that time that the bug to create something new was rearing its head. I re-tooled a feature called 8 for Vegas, about a pool team that traveled from New York to Las Vegas to try and win the grand prize of a national pool tournament. I was in a pool league when I first wrote the feature (it’s also how, years later, I would meet Julie, actually), and thought a sports comedy slash road trip film would be fun.
Ultimately, the lure of filmmaking was in my continued love of storytelling. Didn’t matter if it was while illustrating a comic, or writing a novel or a script. I love all of those formats. But, as the DSLR revolution was taking place, I had the opportunity to try my hand at something I’d wanted to do for a long time.
What experience have you had with agoraphobia?
I have been dealing with agoraphobia on and off for the past five years. There was a six month stretch in late 2009 where I couldn’t leave the house without having a crippling anxiety attack. It made for a very difficult time and was followed by some severe depression. I’ve been dealing with anxiety issues for the past 15 years or so, but after a long drought of unemployment, not leaving my apartment became a daily routine, and it evolved into a much larger issue.
After six months, I had no choice but to fight through it when I got a full-time job. It was a very stressful time, but the combination of anxiety, no money, and depression forced me to take a long look at how much energy I was giving over to these issues. A lot of what is talked about in the script is personal philosophy. I didn’t do any research for the therapeutic measures that take place. I started writing and worked my way through them with what I thought might help people who were suffering talk about issues that affected their lives.
I wanted to come up with some unique ways to not only keep the main character interesting, but also get the viewer out of the apartment. I felt that was one of the keys to the success of the script. So, I used the device of multiple characters talking into a video camera. While we stay in the main character’s house for a significant amount of the film, the additional characters not only helped the pace along, but solidified all of the potential difficulties people might have with this debilitating disorder.
If you had unlimited funds and resources how would that have changed your story if it would have?
In this hypothetical world, I would have shot a different script. In fact, I doubt Stuck would have ever been written, and that would have been a shame because I’m quite proud of it. If it had to be Stuck, I honestly wouldn’t have changed much for a first feature. Maybe an additional camera, some more lighting. I would have also liked to have paid my cast and crew more. They dedicated a lot of time to the project, and I couldn’t have done it without them.
Tell me about your process from page to screen?
In 2013, I had set a goal to shoot a feature the following year. I knew the scripts I had wouldn’t do, as they were big budget films. I had never written with budget in mind before, so I grabbed a piece of paper and I wrote ASSETS across the top. I made a list of everything I could get my hands on for free. First thing was my apartment. My cat. A hallway. Lobby. Central Park. An office… and so on and so forth.
As I looked at the list, story ideas began to emerge. After a while, I figured there was really only one reason a person wouldn’t leave their home, and I started forming a story about an agoraphobic character. The script came quite quickly in my head after that. I wrote the first draft in a week and sent it off to Julie and our co-producer Lynn Mancinelli. I got some great feedback from them both and started in on a second draft. Then a third.
Since you’ve directed, written, edited, and acted in your feature. Which role do you find the most rewarding?
The entire project was rewarding as a whole. This project couldn’t have been better for a first feature. 80% of the film takes place in one location. We had a minimal crew, and no more than three actors at a time (and only for one scene). We were able to take our time and not rush, so the film was not overwhelming for being the writer, director, editor and lead. I’m not sure I would ever do that again, especially with a more complicated script. Besides 5AM, I’d never really acted before. But, the character was essentially me, and I felt that I could balance all of the roles I was responsible for, and still have the essence of the character with me at all times.
But if I had to pick one, it would be as editor. It was a crash course in storytelling. There is the tenet of there are three times you make a film. When it’s written when it’s shot, and when it’s edited.’ Well, being responsible for all three of those things, it was a great relief to be able to think like an editor while being in the first two phases. I learned about pace, shaping performances, the art of compromising and simplifying, while writing and directing the film. Then, in the 5 months it took to edit Stuck, we removed an entire plot line and two scenes and were still able to get an 85-minute film out of an 82-page script. You see all of these pieces before editing and you know it will fit, and then you cut a part and see a streamlined story you didn’t think of before. You hear about it happening on big budget films, but until you experience it… it was really amazing.
How did you go about funding your feature?
We started out our fundraising adventure for Stuck with an Indiegogo campaign. We had used them in the past for two seasons of our web series 8 for Vegas, and knew that we were going to shoot Stuck with whatever we raised. I had planned to finance some of the films, and asked friends, family, and the general public to help however they could. My cast and crew were very helpful in spreading the word. In the end, we had three people donate a significant amount of money, and all received Executive Producer credit.
What are you working on next? Possibly a comic book series?
I would love to work on a comic series, but my main focus is now movies. I have a fantastic script in the works that I can only describe as an urban nightmare. I was trying to figure out what our next film would be, and I harkened back to Woody Allen’s Manhattan, and Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, and how much the two films utilize New York City as a character. Having lived in the city practically my entire adult life, I started cultivating some wonderful locations that could be used and came up with some doozies. So, I shared the idea with my two producing partners Julie Sisson and Lynn Mancinelli, and we’re all very excited. We’re hoping to start shooting in September. The film is yet untitled.
What advice do you have for your fellow filmmakers?
Kubrick said, “Perhaps it sounds ridiculous, but the best thing that young filmmakers should do is to get hold of a camera and some film and make a movie of any kind at all.” So, ok, you don’t need film anymore. This is where Coppola comes in. “Suddenly one day some little fat girl in Ohio is going to be the new Mozart…and make a beautiful film with her father’s little camera recorder, and for once this whole professionalism about movies will be destroyed forever and it will become an art form.” I think we’re now at the point in the last decade or so where this is a reasonably consistent reality.
When Julie Sisson and I worked on our web series, we received some money from a friend. He handed me the check and said, “Look, this project, it doesn’t matter if it sucks. You’re just starting out, and that’s ok. Just make sure you finish it. I’ve met too many people who’ve said they were going to do this and that and never did a thing, they just talked. Just make sure you finish it.”
A project doesn’t have to be great to have taught you a valuable lesson. We live in a great time for filmmakers. Don’t worry about the grand payday or the fame or any of that shit. Worry about finishing what you started. Get it out there, find out what you did wrong and how you could fix it, then try another project. You should look at each project as a stepping-stone and understand that each production is going to present its own challenges.
Being a director means you’re the captain of the ship, and as soon as you start in with the screaming, yelling, or the melodrama or what-have-you it affects every single person down the line. It’s one of the worst things you can do to change the mood of the entire production. It affects performances, levels of involvement, attitudes… everything. Figure out a way to get out of a bad situation without making it worse, and then sort your issues out on a one-on-one basis.