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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

20th Digital Studio Serves 30 “Bite Size Halloween” Shorts; Directors Tell Us Their Favorite Halloweentime Movies! [Watch]

20th Digital Studio announced today a series of 30(!) diverse, genre-bending short films for the Halloween season.

Bite Size Halloween ranges from horror comedy to psychological thrillers and everything in between. Created by up-and-coming filmmakers, these films will screen across digital and broadcast platforms Freeform, FX, and Hulu’s Huluween platform hub and YouTube channel.

This year’s cohort includes a well-rounded group of filmmakers representing different countries, identities, and backgrounds. The long term goal of 20th Digital Studio’s short film programs is to continue to guide and finance the growth of these artists’ careers.

We have some early tricks and treats, with 20th Digital Studio offering up a handful of shorts with some snack-sized bits of info from the filmmakers behind them, who also share with us their favorite Halloweentime movie.

Click here to keep up with a selection of shorts with all 30 available on Hulu.


RETREAT

Directed by Jessie Kahnweiler

“A girl at a silent meditation retreat is getting strange vibes, but is it all in her head?”

Talk about your short and the inspiration behind it.

Retreat is about a girl who goes on a silent meditation retreat and becomes tortured by her own thoughts. I wanted to make a film about my own experience dealing with anxiety and use levity to make people feel less alone, especially during these terrifying times.”

Could your story be turned into a feature?

“Yes! It was super fun to have to try and fit so much story in two minutes and now I think the movie wants to be a feature.”

Tell the Bloody readers about your favorite Halloweentime movie.

“I’m a total scaredy-cat so I don’t actively seek out Halloween movies because I am terrified by real life. But I LOVE The Shining. Jack Nicholson is so hot and insane and reminds me of so many of my ex-boyfriends. Spooky!”


Me.N.A.

Directed by Matthew Irving Epstein

“An unremarkable man hopes to find out he is special by taking an at-home DNA ancestry test — but did he read the fine print?”

Talk about your short and the inspiration behind it.

Me.N.A. (pronounced like DNA) is the story of this haplessly ordinary guy who is hoping to find out that he’s somehow special by taking one of those at home, DNA ancestry tests. Ultimately, he gets the test results back, and what happens next is more than he bargained for.

“The idea came to me as a result of a number of conversations I had about the implications of sharing your genetic data with a tech company that could ultimately use such information for nefarious purposes.”

Could your story be turned into a feature?

“I have a feature version that I’d like to do based more on the idea of what it would look like to live in a world where we use people’s DNA as a fortune-telling device, but very grounded in our reality. Behavioral genetics is an emerging science with a lot of potential for abuse and misinterpretation as scientists begin to examine how our destiny is tied to our DNA. As pro-science, I think we are obligated to follow all credible paths to new understandings of our world, but only if it serves to further connect us people, rather than divide us. The latter is a dystopia that I wouldn’t want anyone to live in.”

Tell the Bloody readers about your favorite Halloweentime movie.

Jurassic Park is my favorite classic ‘creature feature’ because it came out when I was four and obsessed with dinosaurs. Of the last ten years or so, my favorite scary movies are Green Room, Goodnight Mommy, The Cabin in the Woods, The Witch and The Invitation, because they all feature apt social commentaries for our times.”


OLD MAID

Written and Directed by Ryan Jennifer Jones

“While her wedding guests wait, a bride plagued with premarital anxiety is visited by the Old Maid.”

Talk about your short and the inspiration behind it.

Old Maid follows an ambivalent Bride who summons a dark spirit from a card game on the morning of her wedding. The idea was born out of a recent break-up – I found myself thinking a lot about the cringy “Old Maid” game from childhood and all of the cultural fears that are baked into it. Though we’ve obviously evolved as a society since the 19th century (when this game was conceived), the pressure to marry is still very real – especially for women. I thought this property could serve as a fun jumping-off point for that conversation.”

Could your story be turned into a feature?

“I’d love to expand this short into a badass, terrifying feature. There’s so much to explore with the Old Maid character – ideally, the feature version will further subvert the trope of the unmarried ‘spinster’, while delivering some serious scares. A longer version might feature two parallel tracks: On the one hand, we’re dealing with an ambivalent bride, and all of the real-world fears she has about her upcoming wedding… but when that fear invites the curse of the Old Maid, we come face-to-face with a spirit whose origins are grossly misunderstood.”

Tell the Bloody readers about your favorite Halloweentime movie.

“It’s hard to pick just one, but I think my favorite horror film in recent memory is probably The Babadook. I really dig a scary movie with a strong allegory – one that might just as well work as a drama. To me, that’s what makes the horror genre so dynamic: We explore universal fears and taboos (like the taboo of a mother resenting her child!) through the lens of the supernatural. Also, Jennifer Kent is a genius. Those scares got to me on a bone-marrow-level.”


TROUBLE

Directed by Naledi Jackson

Trouble is about a pianist named Dante who unwittingly agrees to play a gig at a plantation wedding. While he tunes the piano, he comes in contact with supernatural forces that reveal the plantation’s sinister history.”

Talk about your short and the inspiration behind it.

“When I decided to pitch something for Bite Size Halloween, I had to examine what horror meant to me on a personal level. I realized that it’s not the demons or zombies or stereotypical haunted houses that scare me — it’s the terrifying institutions of violence, like plantations. I find it insane that people still get married at plantations, and I wanted to make something that articulated that feeling of dread. So, in a sense, this piece is about exploring the subjectivity of horror. One person’s blissful wedding day is another’s worst nightmare.”

Could your story be turned into a feature?

“The short feels like the beginning of a larger story, so yes, I’d definitely see it as a feature too! I’d love to see the Ghost activated further in a visceral way and cause a lot of trouble for the oblivious wedding guests.”

Tell the Bloody readers about your favorite Halloweentime movie.

Donnie Darko will always have a special place in my heart. I think the experience of adolescence itself can feel pretty apocalyptic, and Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance captured that doomsday anxiety in a nuanced and compassionate way. There are so many more films I’d love to mention but I re-watched Donnie Darko recently and was surprised at how well it held up!”


EYE EXAM

Directed by Aislinn Clarke

A woman goes in for a routine eye exam and discovers her optometrist might have nefarious intentions.

Talk about your short and the inspiration behind it.

“The short was written by Jack Tarling. I liked the potential I saw in the story to make something like a classic 1950’s Twilight Zone type piece. It was a lot of fun to make, particularly the old school creature design element (by Dan Martin) and the gorgeous art design by Alice Walker.”

Could your story be turned into a feature?

“I think this piece is short and perfectly formed as it is, but I can envision a series of short horror moments for family audiences. A shorter modern-day Goosebumps-type show. I would love to work on that!”

Tell the Bloody readers about your favorite Halloweentime movie.

“My favourite Halloween movie is Trick ‘r Treat, which is the perfect mix of cozy and scary with a spot on Halloween atmosphere. I love it. Of course, I watch horror movies all year round anyway though!”


FIRST DATE

Written & Produced Allyson Morgan

Talk about your short and the inspiration behind it.

“The short is about two women on a first date – or so one of them thinks. I tend to be inspired by turning traditional relationship stories on their heads and all the ways that modern dating can be truly horrific, particularly in the early stages when you meet someone online that you don’t really know. When I was brainstorming ideas for this project, I kept coming back to the image of finding a picture of yourself in a stranger’s home – and not knowing why it was there or even remembering taking the photo. I took that seed of an idea and spun it out from there!”

Could your story be turned into a feature?

“Of course! (I hope 20th Digital Studio agrees!) I think there’s a lot about the ins and outs of this relationship to mine – but mostly, I’d like to explore the ways in which both of these women are heroes and villains in this story, and the nuances, choices, and vulnerability that put them where they are. I’ve been thinking about playing with all of that either through a feature or a limited series. Plus, who doesn’t want to see a long-form queer erotic thriller with MAGIC?”

Tell the Bloody readers about your favorite Halloweentime movie.

“Always and forever: Scream. I saw it in the theater when it came out initially and I’ll never get over how brutal, terrifying, and funny it is at the same time.”

Directed by Meredith Alloway, the short will be available soon.


Once again, click here to keep up with a selection of the shorts with the rest streaming on Hulu.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/sponsored/3635765/20th-digital-studios-bite-size-halloween-directors-tell-us-favorite-halloweentime-movies-watch/

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