Judging the Bleedingham Horror Film Festival

Link to festival:

I will be a judge for the Bleedingham Horror Short Film Festival again this year, and it’s pretty great! I watch dozens of films that range from one minute to fifteen minutes long. The films are submitted by filmmakers from beginners to seasoned indie pros. Procedurally, I judge on a 1-10 scale in multiple categories based upon technical aspects (sound, editing, cinematography), story (my specialty) and the all-important “scary factor.”

It’s a joy to work with Michelle, Gary and Langley, who put on a great event at the beloved Pickford Theater here in Bellingham right around Halloween.

So what sort of stuff have I seen, being a judge? Well, I’ve seen funny animation where people get eaten. I’ve seen one-room ghost tales with a someone in a sheet…that actually worked. I saw a bowling alley horror film that incorporated a local legend. Stop-motion, which is always fun. Lots of serial killers, which gets old and, frankly, is often cliche and derivative…but hey, these filmmakers are learning. My advice is usually “learn to tell a good story and try not to start filming until you have one.” That’s what’s most often missing in the pieces I see. But I know how hard it is to make a movie, and so I give a lot of slack when I’m judging works that aren’t perfect. It’s all meant to be fun and encouraging. And it is.

Sooo, I have 21 films to watch already, and I’m off to do that!


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