Wes Craven Presents: Studio 360’s Scary Short Film Fest

Extra Credit

Friday, January 31, 2014

Wes Craven Presents Studio 360's Scary Short Film Fest

Master of suspense Wes Craven has been orchestrating horror for more than four decades. It began with The Last House on the Left (1972), continued with Freddy Krueger and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), and went mainstream with the Scream series (beginning in 1996). Now, you have an opportunity to get a little payback.

We want you to create a super-short horror movie. Craven will judge the challenge. The theme, which he picked, is “young genius.”

Your entry must be 30 seconds or less. That may sound tough, but as Craven tells Kurt Andersen, “today the attention span of most kids is about five seconds. To keep them there for ten seconds is going to be tough.” Other advice from the master: break all the rules you think you should be following.

The deadline to be considered for our contest is March 2, 2014 at 11:59pm ET. 

UPDATE: The winner of our contest is Jake Jarvi for his film ...Jake.

See Wes Craven's shortlist here.

“I was really impressed and entertained by all that I saw,” says our judge.

Thanks to everyone who shared their work with us! 

WATCH: all the submissions

WATCH: Kurt's scary short, This is Not a Test


    Music Playlist
  1. Music from the opening of The Hills have Eyes
    Label: Fox Searchlight
    Purchase: Amazon
  2. Sleep Clinic
    Artist: Charles Bernstein
    Album: Nightmare on Elm Street Soundtrack
    Label: Varese Sarabande
    Purchase: Amazon


Wes Craven

Produced by:

Sean Rameswaram

Comments [58]

This contest has been really great. I've done other micro-short films, but this pushed me into explicit horror (although gentle horror, of course). The film now uses all of the clips taken on that cold day in February, runs four minutes, and can be seen here:


When James Fallon, Professor Emeritus, Department Psychiatry & Human Behavior, University of California, Irvine, and author of "The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain" reviewed "The Bumbling Psychopath," he declared:

"This is hilarious. A riotous parody. It cracked me up"

And it now has its own IMDB page:


"The Bumbling Psychopath" has been entered in film festival competitions in the USA, Britain, France and Australia. For me, it's a break-out film. Thank you Wes and Kurt for making it possible!

Apr. 18 2014 12:00 PM

ooops: "...super material for every psychotic filmmaker out there."

Mar. 10 2014 03:59 PM

- not really off-topic, a terrific interview, and supper material for every psychotic filmmaker out there…


Mar. 10 2014 03:56 PM
Jenny from Studio 360

Hi Krista -- Wes will be back on the show the weekend of March 15 to announce a winner, so tune in then! We'll also post a link on this page (up at the top).

Mar. 06 2014 02:29 PM
Krista from Sleepy Hollow, NY

Hi, same question others had, and I haven't seen an answer or maybe I missed it - when should we tune in to find out who the winner is? Eager!!!

Mar. 06 2014 01:03 PM
Jenny from Studio 360

Hi Joshua -- just checked, looks like it's working now!

Mar. 05 2014 09:13 AM
Joshua from Uniontown

My video is the second down on the submissions page . It was working fine. Now it's not. I checked youtube and the video is still working fine .but on your site all the sudden says its unavailable!!! Even if I don't win I'd like Wes craven to atleast see my entry which is valid entry, already worked , and nothing's copyrighted it's created all by me. Please help!!!

Mar. 04 2014 11:29 PM

Thanks, Catherine, Sadie, Brandon, Roque, and Jasmine -- we'll definitely watch, consider and enjoy your submissions.

We're working on the page 10 anomaly, Logan. Scary stuff.


Mar. 04 2014 12:17 PM
jasmine from bronx n.y

i entered my short at 11:58pm and it said thank you for your submission but my short movie http://youtu.be/Mvi5j7lBq4w was not on submission list.please consider looking into this .we worked hard on this.

Mar. 03 2014 01:51 PM

Just a tiny glitch, but page 10 of results still returns: "The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request." I only mention it because it probably contains the kinder, gentler version of "Young Genius / Psychopath," and perhaps as many as 19 other fine short films...

Mar. 03 2014 01:23 PM
Brandon from Smilax

Jenny, thanks! I just realized Vimeo has put most entries at 31 seconds instead of 30 seconds. My video is 30 seconds although it states it is 31 seconds!

Mar. 03 2014 12:33 AM
Roque Ayala

This is my first movie titled "The Physical". It is my first video project ever and I am really happy with it. I hope you will enjoy it as well.


Mar. 03 2014 12:23 AM
Catherine from Toronto


We had some trouble with our internet but are hoping we can still sneak in this submission. Thanks for watching!

Mar. 03 2014 12:21 AM
Sadie from Los Angeles Ca

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpKfTnwIyQo&feature=youtu.be is the link to my video. I posted it on 3/2 at 11:58 and it said survey closed even though I had another minute. I am 6 years old and I worked really hard and was up past my bedtime and I'm gonna cry if you don't submit it and watch me eat brains. Please. I followed the rules. Let me play too

Mar. 03 2014 12:14 AM
Jenny from Studio 360

Vincent and Brandon -- noted.
Liam -- up to you.
Edward -- thanks, link is fixed.
SDeaver -- thanks for troubleshooting.
Trevor and AB -- I'll contact you via email.

Randy, gregivansmith, Kris, and others -- Wes Craven will be back on the show to announce a winner in the next couple weeks, exact date TBD. We'll be sure to post an update here.

Thanks again, everyone, for sending us your great, horrifying movies!

Mar. 02 2014 07:28 PM
Randy Memoli from Middletown, NJ

When is Wes Craven going to make the announcement and what show is it??

Mar. 02 2014 06:56 PM
Louis Hansell from Louisville

I'm very excited to see all the entries for this fantastic competition!
I tried posting my submission "Ghoul School" and it said there was an error
but it looks like it posted a few times so sorry about that!
Stay Ghoul!


Mar. 02 2014 06:05 PM
Vincent from Staten Island, NY

I double checked my video on Youtube. It's listed as 31 seconds but when I play it the timer reads 30 seconds. Just wanted to be sure this was known so I'm not disqualified.

Mar. 02 2014 04:57 PM

Just wondering when the winner will be announced specifically?

Mar. 02 2014 04:52 PM

My son submitted his video without us realizing the name of our town would be public. We are not comfortable with that information appearing online. Is there a way to remove the submission and re-enter it with only the state appearing?

Mar. 02 2014 02:43 PM
Greg from Burbank

Thanks SDeaver!

I tried that as well with my vimeo link (removing the "s" from "https," and it appears to have worked (it asked if I wanted to tweet my submission, and I didn't get the "unreadable" message for the first time), although there's no confirmation as such.

Break a leg everyone!

Mar. 02 2014 12:40 PM

I successfully submitted a vimeo link, however I had to tweak it.

Change the "https://" to "http://" and it should work. It worked for me on Friday, although the results page with my entry is no longer accessible.

Good luck!

Mar. 02 2014 12:20 PM
John from Los Angeles

The system is not accepting vimeo links. Several of us have been trying all day to submit Vimeo links to no avail. Can you let us know the status? Will we be able to submit Sunday? Thank you.

Mar. 02 2014 12:55 AM
Brandon Fields from Smilax

Hey guys! My entry "Photo Session" somehow has multiple entries with YouTube and Vimeo. The links were broken and I kept getting an error that the "URL type was incorrect."

You can delete the earlier Vimeo and YouTube version and keep the latest Vimeo version submitted.

Mar. 02 2014 12:17 AM
Trevor Smith

I was wondering if someone could verify that a film was submitted. I tutor a young filmmaker named Julian and I tried to make sure his film was submitted to no avail. I just want to make sure it has been submitted since the deadline is quickly approaching. The film is called The Hand. If there is any way to let me know, please do.


Mar. 01 2014 05:23 PM
Stuart Marsh from Chicago, IL

It won't recognize my vimeo link, also none of the links to see submission work.

Mar. 01 2014 05:06 PM
edward from mineola

the link is down again.

Mar. 01 2014 01:27 PM

Hello! I was just wondering which show (time and date) will Wes Craven announce the winners? Thank you :)

Mar. 01 2014 11:28 AM
Greg from Burbank

It doesn't seem to recognize my copied vimeo link. I keep getting this message:

I don't recognize this video url format. Try something like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bfli1yuby58.

Any help would be most appreciated. I even added the "www"'s in case that helped.
My link is this, btw: https://vimeo.com/87914659

Feb. 28 2014 11:45 PM
Jenny from Studio 360

Edward -- will do. Thanks for letting us know.

Feb. 27 2014 04:02 PM
Edward from mineola

Yesterday while trying to submit video the link was broken I wasn't sure if it was a problem on my end. Apparently the video submitted about 4 times and is posted on the page. Please delete all but one. They are all the same video. I apologize for the inconvenience, but I had no way to either confirm or deny the submission yesterday while page was down. Thank you

Feb. 27 2014 12:26 PM
Jenny from Studio 360

Terry -- Thanks for the heads-up. We've fixed the page.

Jim and others -- I've answered some of these questions below, but hopefully this clarifies:

- The film (story) must be 30 seconds or less. This does not include credits or title cards -- nor are credits or title cards necessary.

- The deadline to submit your film is this Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 11:59 ET. To submit your film, post it on Youtube or Vimeo and then fill out the form above (which requires the video's URL). That form will be timestamped with your submission time.

And rest assured, I'm an official representative of the show. (See also: http://www.studio360.org/about/staff/)

Thanks to everyone who's already participated -- what fantastic entries!

Feb. 27 2014 11:44 AM
Jim Sullivan from Dallas, Texas

I would like to get a clarification on the film time limit. Does the 30 seconds include either the opening title and/or the closing credits? In other words, is the entire length of the film limited to 30 seconds, or is it just the actual body of the film? I would like to submit an entry, but I don't want to be disqualified on a technicality.

Also, I under that the film (video) must be posted on either YouTube or Vimeo no later than one minute to midnight, Eastern Time, this coming Sunday, March 2, 2014.

Please clarify and/or confirm these issues. Thank you very much.

PS: I don't really want a response from any one that is not officially associated with the contest. Thanks in advance for respecting my wishes on this.

Feb. 27 2014 03:37 AM

There is a problem with the link that allows you to see the other entries.

Feb. 26 2014 07:33 PM

What channel is your tv show on?

Feb. 26 2014 04:05 PM

does young genius mean child/teen or can it include a young adult as well?

Feb. 26 2014 03:54 PM
Jenny from Studio 360

Jim -- Noted!

LoganFry -- We're not including credits/attribution in the :30 time limit.

Feb. 26 2014 03:07 PM
Jim from Montpelier, VT

Just wanted to note that my film 'The Mask' is indeed 30 seconds, despite the YouTube window saying it's 31 seconds.

Feb. 26 2014 02:28 PM
LoganFry from Akron

Whoa! Just to clarify. An exact 30 second film with an additional five seconds of credits and creative commons attributions (35 seconds total) will not be disqualified? I could live with two seconds, too. Or even one. Just need a number...

Feb. 25 2014 11:03 PM
Jenny from Studio 360

Hi Taylor -- that time limit is rigid. Your film must be 30 seconds or less (however, credits can be a bit longer).

Feb. 25 2014 08:40 PM
Taylor Henne from New York

Hi I just had a question regarding the length of the film. My film runs a bit over, by 10 seconds actually. Would that make it out of contention or are the guidelines set in a more loose manner so that submissions aren't extremely long..?

Feb. 25 2014 11:53 AM
Jenny from Studio 360

Hi Joe -- those songs were the ones we used in the set-up segment (see audio at the top of the page), listed just for reference. You don't have to use music in your submission, up to you!

Feb. 24 2014 10:59 AM
Joe from Springfield

I noticed a sort of song list at the bottom of the contest announcement. Do we have to use either of these songs? Do we have to use any music?

Feb. 24 2014 09:52 AM
Jenny from Studio 360

Louise -- Those first three were the rules that Wes Craven broke in the "Scream" series. In the first movie, a character jokes about those tired tropes, horror movie conventions that actually lull audiences rather than shock them. Craven was saying (in the film and in his conversation with Kurt) that to scare people, you need to take them by surprise (hence, breaking the rules). But in terms of the rules for our contest, you'll need to stick to those in order to be considered.

LoganFry -- Indeed! Tough break, Kurt.

Gavin -- What good would contest rules be if we didn't follow them in our judging? Filmmakers can take the "young genius" theme in any number of directions. But yes, we'll be looking for it.

Feb. 19 2014 10:53 AM
Louise from Indiana

Just wondering -

I heard the interview with Wes Craven as we were driving thru the blizzard of 2014, & I was taking notes.
Of the 30 second submission, the rules were:

1. Never have sex
2. Can't drink, or do drugs
3. Never, Never say I'll be back.

Then, I noted the theme "Young Genius" , & under that I wrote
Know the rules, & break them.

Just seeking clarification - can or should the above listed rules be broken?

Feb. 18 2014 12:06 PM

Plz note that Kurt's submission is *50* seconds long, including title card and credits. Without the title card and credits, it's an exact 30 seconds. Plz tell Kurt he's out of compliance with rules, and can't win!

Feb. 17 2014 07:53 PM
Gavin from England

Hey, will the competition by judged accurately? I've watched some of the entries, some are great but a lot don't follow the rules, especially the 'YOUNG GENIUS' theme. I'm only asking, as I've seen a lot of competitions who post rules but never follow them LOL thanks :-)

Feb. 16 2014 02:43 PM
Jenny from Studio 360

Hi Alicia -- yup, it's deliberately vague. It's up to the filmmaker to what extend she/he wants to riff on that theme. "Young genius" could be a character (as in Kurt's movie), a plot point, a motif, or something else altogether. How/what is up to you -- but it should in there.

Hope that helps!

Feb. 12 2014 05:00 PM
Alicia from Islip, ny

My apologies in advance If this seems like a dumb question, but it's not clear what the "theme young genius" entails...and unfortunately in watching clips and reading the q&a, I'm not getting any clarity. Is the horror short ABOUT a young genius, as I would assume, or is there a specific reference that I may be missing? Sorry again for asking, but I wanted to be clear before submission. Thanks in advance!

Feb. 11 2014 10:48 PM
Jenny from Studio 360

Mike G -- Good Q. No, but extra kudos if you can squeeze them in (as some have already done).

Feb. 07 2014 11:58 AM
Mike G from west palm beach

30 seconds long including the credits? Or are credits considered as something separate time-wise?

Feb. 06 2014 06:51 PM
Jenny from Studio 360

Hi Stefanie -- The entire movie needs to be 30 seconds or less.

Feb. 05 2014 11:11 AM
Stefanie from New York

What are the exact rules? Can we do a three part movie each 30 seconds or does it have to be separate pieces?

Feb. 04 2014 04:21 PM
Jenny from Studio 360

Jen --

The rules: it must to be less than 30 seconds and riff on "young genius."
The prize: bragging rights that you scared the Maestro himself.

Looking forward to watching your entry!

Feb. 03 2014 06:21 PM
Jen from Fl

What are the rules? Do you win anything?

Feb. 03 2014 03:16 PM
Jenny from Studio 360

Good spot, Diana! We're stuck in the past... Fixed now. Thanks!

Feb. 01 2014 08:05 PM
Diana Lingren from Nebraska

I heard about this contest this morning. Isn't the deadline supposed to be 2014, instead of 2013?

Feb. 01 2014 06:37 PM
Steven Kale from was state

Would love to enter!

Jan. 31 2014 11:31 PM

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