Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Slice of Fright Is a Festival for Short Shorts

Nic White is a film festival veteran. "I've directed various short film festivals in the last five years," he says, referring to the Bump in the Night Film Festival and Spring Shorts Film Festival.

His latest venture, the Slice of Fright Film Festival in Bay City, Michigan, will hold its first screening this October 13.

Slice of Fright seeks short short horror films. "Five minutes or less. The more bizarre the better. Films that create a strong tension from start to finish. Strong stories.

"The biggest mistake I've come across is lack of story. Some filmmakers create beautiful visuals, but neglect the story. If you want an audience to sit through your film, reward them with an interesting, amazing, blood-curdling story.

"Focus on story first. What is your film trying to say? If you keep that in mind as you dress the set, select costumes and makeup, adjust lighting, etc, it helps tie everything together. When your message is clear, it bleeds into the theme."

White also advises filmmakers to avoid the "obvious mistakes. Poor audio quality and lighting. It's hard to watch a film if you struggle to follow the story. Lighting and audio play a major factor here."

What makes for a great horror story? White offers two tips. "A great horror film always has a unique killer. Freddy, Michael, Jason, Art the Clown. And great horror always makes you think."

Which is not to say that Slice of Freight requires a psycho killer. "We're open to all subgenres," says White. "Personally, I'd like to see more creature films."

Slice of Fright will be presenting festival attendees with "door prizes" and their award-winning filmmakers with "one-of-a-kind trophies."

"There is a great deal of support for independent films within Bay City, which has a talented community of DIY filmmakers. And it's the home of one of Michigan's best independent film festivals, Hell's Half Mile.

"Directing a festival in Bay City is special for me. I grew up in Bay City. It's great to go back home."


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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