On Wednesday 8th October the opening of the London Film Festival dominated news in the capital.
But, at The Phoenix Artist Club on Charing Cross Road there was also something exciting happening in the world of film. The Shortcuts to Hell II competition was about to change a short filmmaker’s life and launch a new talent on the UK movie scene.
“It’s a bit different this year. It was not just about finding a great short film, it was about asking people to create a three minute piece that could translate into a potential feature film. (For the winner) the prize is turning your short into a feature and changing your life and having a career in the horror industry!”
Narrowed down to three finalists who all waited nervously as the votes flooded in via Facebook, the winners were Joe and Lloyd Staszkiewicz for Hubert’s Ghost. An irresistible horror comedy in the ParaNorman vein, it follows the romantic scrapes of a young lad whose family reside in a haunted house and must pretend to be ghosts themselves.
Smart, inventive and with lo-fi effects and hi-fi charm it has the scope to make the leap to feature length. The film will play at FrightFest 2015 and have its small screen debut on the Horror Channel.
Movie Mogul co-director John Shackleton explained the ethos behind the Shortcuts to Hell project:
“I’m a filmmaker myself and recognise how tough it is out there and how few opportunities there are for filmmakers to make their mark. This competition has evolved from the first year which was about short films to this year which is about the feature film and providing the support, the network and the infrastructure to make that first film.”
The project has a starting production fund of £20,000 minimum, with the support network Shackleton mentions potentially bringing other funding partners to the table.
Lloyd Staszkiewicz was gracious in victory explaining that the “horrible process” had overall been “good for us. It’s amazing to have won this competition. It’s been a tough experience, going through the public vote, but Joe and I have learnt a lot during the process. We’re certainly more ready now to make the movie than we were before.”
Check out the delightful Hubert’s Ghost short below before its feature length big brother hits screens in 2015.
For more information on the Shortcuts To Hell organisers click the links below: