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

Extra Credit

Friday, March 14, 2014

We asked you to create 30-second horror films. Our judge, the filmmaker Wes Craven, gave you the theme “young genius.” We got more than 300 movies — from Canada, Italy, England, and all over the United States. Some are funny, most are scary — a few, so creepy we couldn’t watch them twice. (Watch all the submisisons here.)

“I was really impressed and entertained by all that I saw,” says Craven. “There was a great amount of imagination and sophistication in these.” He tells Kurt Andersen that they compare favorably to the entries he judged for the movie-making reality TV show Project Greenlight.



...Jack — by Jake Jarvi in Chicago, Illinois
“Slick in the best sense of the word,” Craven says. “Very well-lit, very well-conceived. Very, very powerful and unsettling.” Jarvi’s day job is making videos for a fashion magazine — on the side, he makes the web serial PoPS. “Jack-in-the-boxes just by their nature are meant to torture children!” he says. “They’re one of the scariest things you can put in front of a kid, so I always kind of carried that with me.”



A Boy and His Robot. — by Tim in Cleveland, Ohio
“Chilling, economical, and well done,” Craven says. Kurt agrees: it’s his favorite entry.


Those We Love — by Alex in Los Angeles, California
“A tight concept, good acting, even on the part of the boy, good cinematography, and an economical and clear set-up,” Craven says.

Watch more of Wes Craven’s runners up

Read Penny Jones’ scary short screenplay

    Music Playlist
  1. Music from the entry "There is no God"
    Artist: Bernie in Seattle, Washington

    Watch the submission here

  2. Sleep Clinic
    Artist: Charles Bernstein
    Album: Nightmare on Elm Street Soundtrack
    Label: Varese Sarabande
    Purchase: Amazon
  3. Godzilla theme
    Album: The Complete Movie Soundtrack Collection- Vol. 7 : Super Heroe Movies
    Label: 7 Productions
    Purchase: Amazon


Wes Craven and Jake Jarvi

Produced by:

Julia Lowrie Henderson and Sean Rameswaram

Comments [13]

Krista Madsen from Sleepy Hollow, NY

We have a 30-second film fest happening now in Sleepy Hollow, NY that was inspired by the Scary Short Film Fest.

The #SleepyHollowShorts Film Fest needs your submissions!

As far as “rules” for this super-short filmmaking contest, they are short and sweet: submit no more than 30 seconds of footage, filmed partially (or fully, if you wish) in our fine village of Sleepy Hollow. Get your wee movie uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo.com and tag it #SleepyHollowShorts so we can find it.

Shoot, edit, upload. Repeat.

We are happy to accept as many shorts as you wish to share; and all ages and levels of ability are welcome. This contest is meant as a fun means to explore, pique people’s interest, and share our own experiences in the real village beyond our nationally renown name. Capture unique angles on our citizens, our restaurants, storefronts, workers, bridge builders, the sights (Philipsburg Manor, our very own lighthouse, Rockefeller Preserve, a Virgin Mary tree, etc.) and sounds (from the fire horn to church bells). The trick of course is all in the editing, and the goal: to create and convey some specific slice of a captivating story.

Submissions must be uploaded by Thursday, September 25 if you want to be part of the film screening at Sleepy Hollow’s annual Oktoberfest, where submissions will run in ongoing loop on the ground floor of the Kathryn W. Davis Riverwalk Center on Saturday, September 27 from 1 to 5 p.m. Next stop: SleepyHollowShorts will be showcased at the block party coinciding with the Haunted Hayride at the end of October – which you’ll get a pair of VIP tickets to if you happen to win this thing!

For more information: http://sleepyhollowink.com/sleepyhollowshorts

To see an example: https://vimeo.com/100225527

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SleepyHollowShorts

Questions? Email krista@sleepyhollowink.com

Sep. 13 2014 09:21 AM
Jenny from Studio 360

Hi Spatha -- sorry for the delay in responding. Yes, that screenshot was chosen by the filmmaker.

Mar. 31 2014 10:33 AM
Spatha from New York City

In introducing 'Jack', why show a still from the last scene? It's a spoiler, and it ruined the film's impact for those with whom I shared it. Was this the choice of the film's creator?

Mar. 18 2014 01:41 PM
GSM from Baltimore

The one that took first place would not have been my pick. Too mainstream, the kind of thing you always see in horror flicks. One of the guidelines was to "break all the rules." Looks like all the rules were followed in this one. In all fairness, horror is not my thing--more into light comedy.

Mar. 17 2014 11:19 PM
sanjuro from Finland

It's horror movies, of course it involves violence, and compared to violence in some studio movies (Saw and whatnot), it was very tamed. This guy can't be serious. He's just a troll pulling your leg. Don't fall for it.

Mar. 17 2014 07:31 PM

In the "Those We Love" clip the child that grabbed the hammer should have been seen baeting the baby to death. After all that is what his father said "when someone we love is sick we just want to help them right we just wanted to help them not be sick anymore" and when the baby was crying and the kid walked into the room with the hammer the film should have showed the little kid SMASHING THE BABY'S SKULL until it was smashed and brains were all over the floor. YEAH

Mar. 16 2014 03:35 PM

mar 78 and B Von they are just movies Grow Up Dudes

Mar. 16 2014 01:44 PM
David from Studio 360

B Antonio and mar78: I'm sorry to hear that you were offended by the premise of the contest. While there may be works of horror that are less violent than the films your fellow listeners contributed, please bear in mind that these are not professional film makers, but passionate amateurs. It's certainly a basic principle of the genre that we vicariously experience nightmares we would never want to see in the real world (and the same would go for thrillers, crime, and even plenty of comedies). As to whether the films are misogynist -- I believe you are referring to "A Boy and his Robot," which does feature the torture of a girl -- I can't speak for the filmmaker, but I would read that short film as an indictment, not a celebration, of the kind of violence we are capable of perpetrating on others from a comfortable distance. That the scenario is so horrifying is precisely why Wes judged it an effective use of the medium. Thanks for your comments.

Mar. 16 2014 12:56 PM
Georgeandkira from Hackensack, NJ

You got me to go to the website FOR THE FIRST TIME.
3 cheers for the Scary Short filmmakers. Kira

Mar. 16 2014 12:06 PM

I completely agree with B Antonio Vav. I watched the winner and first two runners up clips--all were created by men and had male characters enacting violence upon female characters. Is it entertaining to see women pulling themselves along, bleeding profusely, with knives in their backs? Do you get a kick out of seeing a girl screaming, covered with blood, cowering submissively while she's being tortured? Really horribly misogynist. Come on, Kurt Andersen, you're smarter than this, aren't you? There are horror films that are subtle and just as frightening--the eerie variety found in Australian New Wave films. Why do you reinforce women suffering as entertainment? It does have a profound cultural impact.

Mar. 16 2014 11:44 AM
B Antonio Vav from Pittsburgh, PA

Someone said the NPR audience is always polite. I don't feel like being polite. I'm angry. But I'll be civil. One of the most pressing problems in our society today is violence. Movies, tv shows, all kinds of print material, online games and videos all depict increasing amounts of very realistic beatings, murders, torture, and rape. Our country's prisons are filled to overflowing with people who participated in brutality against men, women, and even children. We should be frightened of the growing appetite for and acceptance of this sickness. We must start with teaching children that hurting other children, hurting an animal, hurting anyone is wrong. But Kurt Anderson and Wes Craven in Saturday's On The Media, chose three films---two of which feature a boy abusing a girl, the other ending with a boy preparing to take a hammer to an animal's head---which are disturbing and sickening, calling them the 'winners' in the 'scarey' shorts contest. Kurt and Wes, it's time to catch up with the movement against violence in this country and watch what you call entertainment. Be ashamed.

Mar. 15 2014 07:35 PM
Ashton from Louisville

Love these shorts! However, can someone explain to me how "Jack" fits the "young genius" theme?

I thought "Those That Love" or "A Boy and His Robot" fitted the theme very well. They should have won based on the theme rules.

Just my two cents.

Mar. 15 2014 04:54 PM

Why does Wes think that blood and screaming are core to horror films?? "Those We Love" is FAR more frightening to me than the other 2 winners. I saw it for the first time a week ago and I'm still thinking about it ... and it continues to haunt me. The Other two winning films are certainly well done - but completely forgettable.

Just one man's opinion ...

J. Lewis

Mar. 15 2014 02:53 PM

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