Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Wreak Havoc Wants Entertaining Horror

The Wreak Havoc Horror Film Festival screened its third edition this past September, at the Carolina Theatre in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Festival director Dan Sellers has a simple rule for filmmakers looking to screen at Wreak Havoc: Be entertaining.

"There is no particular subgenre we look for or favor," said Sellers. "The best advice I can give to filmmakers is to simply be entertaining! We will not pick a well made film if it's boring. Don't be boring. We are willing to take very low budget films, with poor production value, if there's entertainment value."

Entertainment value is a broad and subjective criterion. However, Sellers does have some additional advice. "Have something you want to say. Or at least do something original and different."

Sellers also emphasizes the need for high quality sound. "Sound quality is often an issue with small microbudget productions. If a film looks visually interesting, but our audience can't hear what's being said, then we're not going to go with it. We're willing to forgive a lot of technical problems if a film is simply fun to watch and entertaining." But not, apparently, if the audience must strain to hear the dialog.

* Tip: Record Quality Sound.

Many film festival directors I've interviewed over the years have complained about poor sound quality among their submissions. Apparently, all too many filmmakers devote much effort toward obtaining beautiful visuals, leaving sound as a mere afterthought. Cinematographers are honored on set, while sound recordists and engineers are treated like second class citizens.

If you're planning to enter the film festival circuit, find a talented sound engineer, and treat him or her like gold. It'll give your film a winning edge.


For a behind-the-scenes look at horror film festivals and the festival directors who manage them, see Horror Film Festivals and Awards. This book also includes a directory of over 200 horror film festivals, and a list of festival award winners from dozens of festivals over several decades.

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