Thursday, February 28, 2008

HollyShorts Monthly Screening, MARCH 14th at the Echo Park Film Center

March 14th HollyShorts Monthly Screening short film lineup
The Chameleon Directed by Elliott Owen (8 min.)
Signerz Directed by Roman Cortez (15 min.)
Parallel Cut Directed by Edgar Metro (22 min.)
Ghandi at the Bat Directed by Stephanie Argy/Alec Boehm (11 min.)
68 & Clear Directed by Dawn Westlake (12 min.)

Tickets to the screening are $10. Free Wine and Beer. Event hours 7pm-11pm. Filmmaker Q and A to follow screening. For more,


HollyShorts Film Festival (HSFF) is an annual film festival showcasing the best and brightest short films from around the globe. HollyShorts is devoted to the advancement filmmakers through screenings, Q&A sessions and networking events. The HollyShorts Film Festival showcases the top short films produced 30-minutes or less. The 2007 festival took place August 12-13 at Cinespace: Digital Supperclub in Hollywood, CA.
For more information, please visit:
Call for entries for the 2008 HollyShorts runs from January 15th - June 5th.
For sponsorship queries, please email us at
To submit to our Monthly Screenings (Rolling Submissions for $10), email:
Filmmaker behind the scenes news at:

HollyShorts Film Festival History
The inaugural HollyShorts Film Festival took place at The Space Theatre in Hollywood August 2005 and featured 23 short films from the U.S., UK, Poland, Canada and Thailand. The 2nd annual HollyShorts Film Festival took place at Cinespace in Hollywood, CA and featured 53 of the best short films from around the world. 13 different countries were represented. The third annual HollyShorts Film Festival took place August 10-12, 2007, drawing over $26,000 in prizes awarded. The festival featured three screening venues. Best Short film honors went to "Songbird" Directed by John Thompson. Thompson was awarded a one week audio rental package courtesy of Action Audio and Visual, featuring sound and communications equipment rentals to utilize for his next film project. The festival featured Actor Adrian Grenier's short film "Euthanasia," a DJ performance from the legendary hip hop DJ Biz Markie and 57 short films in competition; three days of screenings, parties, insightful panels along with a slew of networking platforms for HollyShorts participants. The 2007 HollyShorts Film Festival included the following partners:, h Magazine, Showbiz Software Stores, Action Audio and Visual,, Stash DVD Magazine, UCLA Extension Department of Entertainment Studies, Dreamhouse Ensemble, LA One Stop, LBN E lert, Indiepix, Choice Hospitality, Film Radar, Shortend Magazine, Sand Jewelry by Therese and Vice Hollywood. For more information, visit

About HollyShorts
HollyShorts is an organization devoted to showcasing the best and brightest short films from around the globe, advancing the careers of filmmakers through screenings, networking events, and various panel and forums. The HollyShorts Film festival showcases the top short films produced 30- minutes or less. For more information, please visit Filmmaker news available at

Friday, February 22, 2008



Hilarious Production Marks First Play of LA-Based Theatre Group’s 2008 Season

Los Angeles February 20, 2008---Get ready for murder, mayhem and laughter, as the Dreamhouse Ensemble unleashes their first production of the 2008 season with THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940 by John Bishop at The Space Theatre in Hollywood. The story reveals a German maid, a NY policeman, an Irish tenor, an eccentric millionaire, and a group of overzealous show people inside of a mansion full of comedy and mystery.

THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940 opens on March 7th and will run through April 20th. Advanced tickets can be purchased online today by visiting THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940 is directed by Dreamhouse Ensemble Chairman Alex Sol. Sol recently directed the critically acclaimed and LA Weekly Theatre Award nominated play “Galatea.”

In making the announcement Director, Producer and Space Theatre owner Alex Sol said “We are delighted to bring audiences one of the most hysterical and dynamic experiences on stage THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940. We’ve picked a group of the most talented actors in the community and we truly look forward to our first production of the season.”

THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940 is set in ritzy Westchester County, New York and stages a wacky whodunit mystery for all ages. When ten theatre types gather together to audition for a new Broadway musical, a blizzard traps them in a luxurious mansion. The one hitch? There is a killer on the loose in the house just waiting to put a little twist in the limelight! With sliding panels, secret passages, and a German maid who apparently has more lives than one, accusing fingers point in all directions in this drop dead comedy!

The play is a brain teaser: Who killed who? What's going to happen next?
Reviewers and press: RSVP your seat by contacting HS Public Relations at
The hilarious performance can be seen at The Space Theatre when The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 opens March 7 and runs through April 20th. Friday and Saturday, Curtain time is 8PM, Sunday, 7PM. Tickets are on sale now at Tickets are $15 online, $20 at the door.
About The Dreamhouse Ensemble
The Dreamhouse Ensemble is a Non Profit, independent theatre company that performs at THE SPACE THEATRE, located in Hollywood, California at 665 N. Heliotrope, between Normandie and Vermont Ave.

For ticket reservations, visit or call (323) 661-2585. Press and critics, or call 818-760-9897.

Monday, February 18, 2008



Official Selections to Be Screened at 4th Annual
HollyShorts Film Festival
August 8-10, 2008

Contest Winner Gets Meeting With Top Music Video
Director Agent at Partizan

February 19, 2008 HOLLYWOOD, CA--- HollyShorts
announced today a call for submissions for the
festival’s inaugural music video competition.
Finalists will be screened during the 4th annual
HollyShorts Film Festival (HSFF), which takes place
August 7-10, 2008 in Hollywood and the winner of the
contest will get a meeting with a top music video
director agent at Partizan. The chosen music videos
will be screened in competition alongside the official
short film selections of the festival.

In making the announcement, festival director and
HollyShorts co-founder Daniel Sol stated: “As we enter
the 4th year of HollyShorts, we are quickly reaching
our goal to be the premiere destination and platform
for artists worldwide to showcase their projects in
front of the right audience in the heart of the
industry. We look forward to screening the best and
brightest music videos from around the globe and thank
our friends at Partizan for helping make this contest
and new category into a reality.”

Submission forms can be completed directly online by
visiting or by submitting on
Withoutabox directly at

All submissions must be 7 minutes or less. Deadlines
to submit U.S. and International music videos for the
2008 HollyShorts Film Festival are:

Music Video category
Regular: $20 (at office by 4/11/08)
Late: $30 (at office by 5/16/08)

Complete information and eligibility requirements are
available on
The submission link and complete information regarding
eligibility and entry rules for the 2008 HollyShorts
Film Festival are available on the HollyShorts Film
Festival website at Information
is also available through the HollyShorts hotline at
818-760-9897, by email to For
sponsorship information, please email with your query.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Oscar Shorts Review

Hollywood Reporter deems Suzie Templeton "Peter & the Wolf" "Most Successful" amongst animation nominees.

PBS will feature the short on March 26 on its GREAT PERFORMANCES series. (check local listings)

Sergei Prokofiev's fanciful musical tale, Peter and the Wolf, is given new life in this innovative animated interpretation. Conceived and directed by award-winning animator Suzie Templeton, this modern-day "Peter & the Wolf" uses stop-frame model animation, puppets and digital photography to re-tell the enduring classic, and features the Philharmonia Orchestra under the direction of Mark Stephenson performing Prokofiev's beloved score. Check out the GREAT PERFORMANCES promo from PBS...

By Sheri Linden
LOS ANGELES For a third consecutive year, the 10 Oscar-nominated shorts hit the theatrical circuit thanks to Magnolia Pictures and Shorts International.

They're nearly all films whose craftsmanship and detail fill the big screen, and to varying degrees their stories compel. The shorts arrive in about 50 cities Friday, with the Rain Network providing digital distribution.

Among the five live-action nominees, three deal in some aspect with the everyday world of work. Italy's "The Substitute," by Andrea Jublin, is a spirited 17-minute collision between a typically self-absorbed group of teens and the strangely confrontational man who's subbing as their teacher -- and who has a hidden agenda that's as much about his own needs as theirs. For all its energy, the film is more concerned with an idea than characters and leaves the least impression of the bunch.

But the office drones in the Belgian film "Tanghi argentini" are vividly drawn. Before his date with a woman he met online, nebbishy Andre (Dirk van Dijck) enlists the help of an aloof colleague (Koen van Impe) for tango lessons. Elegantly lensed and crisply edited, the 14-minute tale unfolds with wit as the unlikely duo perfect terpsichorean flourishes amid the filing cabinets. The film by Guido Thys provides a nice twist.

For the hapless protagonists of "The Mozart of Pickpockets," the workday involves city streets and acts of petty crime. French writer-director Philippe Pollet-Villard co-stars with Richard Morgieve, and their terrific sad-sack chemistry as these clownish thieves gives the half-hour its punch. Their luck changes after a homeless deaf boy latches on to them, but it's a less-than-convincing narrative element.

The two most affecting live-action entries are the spare Western "The Tonto Woman" (U.K.) and the heartrending hospital-set drama "At Night" (Denmark). The former, based on a story by Elmore Leonard, centers on a high-plains Hester Prynne (Charlotte Asprey), a woman physically marked by her Mojave captors and ostracized by her community after her release. She finds unexpected human connection in the form of a Mexican drifter (Francesco Quinn). The half-hour film by Daniel Barber uses archetypal widescreen desert vistas to strong effect.

In a far different setting, three young women have formed a community within the coolly lit rooms of a cancer ward in "At Night." The 43-minute film by Christian E. Christiansen is direct and intimate but never maudlin. Restrained performances by Julie Olgaard, Laura Christensen and Neel Ronholt -- and Henrik Prip as one girl's father -- have a devastating emotional power.

The animated contenders deliver an array of imaginative narrative filmmaking. "I Met the Walrus" (Canada) is the exception in the sense that it's a documentary snippet. Josh Raskin uses audiotape of John Lennon, recorded in 1969 when 14-year-old Jerry Levitan snuck into the Beatle's Toronto hotel room and coaxed an interview out of him. In its brief five minutes, the film free-associates line drawings and other playful 2-D visuals to Lennon's down-to-earth intelligence and subversive humor.

Offering its own brand of playful subversion is France's "Even Pigeons Go to Heaven," by Samuel Tourneux. A wily priest-cum-huckster, brandishing a list of his would-be customer's sins, urges an old man to buy a contraption built of "celestial titanium" that's guaranteed to transport him to heaven.

A mood of dark mystery pervades another Canadian entry, Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski's "Madame Tutli-Putli." The silent claymation fantasy unfolds on a night train, where a woman in cloche and pearls, surrounded by her precariously stacked belongings, faces her fears. The imagery is rich with texture and atmosphere.

Four-time Oscar nominee Alexander Petrov (who won for "The Old Man and the Sea") takes a classical approach in "My Love," a fever dream set in 19th century Russia, where a pampered 16-year-old boy is attracted to his glamorous neighbor and his family's good-natured servant. At 25 minutes, the piece feels a bit long, and its melodrama is not always absorbing, but with their watercolor shimmer and nightmare depths, the impressionistic visuals are fluent.

Most successful is "Peter & the Wolf" (U.K.-Poland), by Suzie Templeton, which fills its affecting half-hour with a delightfully rendered array of human and animal characters. Precisely choreographed and edited to Prokofiev's music, the piece is a ballet both comical and poignant and a triumph of CG personality.

Suzie Templeton bio
BAFTA-winning director Suzie Templeton burst onto the international animation scene with her multi-award winning film Stanley, a surreal and darkly comic story of a man who falls in love with a cabbage. She followed this with the phenomenally successful Dog, a heart-breaking and chilling film about a boy coming to terms with the death of his mother. This film has won many of the animation world’s top prizes, including a British Animation Award and a BAFTA. In collaboration with BreakThru films, Suzie is now developing on a new half-hour adaptation of Prokofiev’s classic Peter and the Wolf, for cinemas and television.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


February 13th, 2008

Thanks Times Online UK for this cool story,:

Marilyn Milgrom, script consultant

This is a short article in which to deal with a big subject: how to write a good script for a short film. Rule number one: there are no hard and fast rules.

But, if your aim is to get your film funded, there are definitely some guiding principles that will help to ensure that your project is taken seriously.
short film book.jpg
Why Am I Making this Film?

No-one makes a living out of writing or directing short films. Most people see short films as a tool for learning and testing ideas, or a way of demonstrating that they have the talent to do something else. Generally that ‘something else’ is to make features.

Whether you are working alone or as part of a team make sure that the project you are developing plays to your strengths and is achievable within your budget. Don’t make an intense character study if you’re scared of actors or develop an action story that will require stunts, car chases and special effects if you know you will only have £5K to make it.

What is a short film?

The most important thing to say is that a short isn’t a feature film and that it is generally a bad idea to try to squeeze a story you are developing (or have written) as a feature into a short.

Most festivals will accept as a short anything that is under 30 minutes, but many programmers and curators also say that they find it difficult to place longer short films (ones over 20 minutes). If your film is over 20 minutes long it may well need and be able to cope with more characters and a secondary story strand. The majority of funding in the UK is aimed at films that are around the 10 minute mark.

If your film is basically going to function like a joke then keep it short (2-3 minutes max) and make sure the audience won’t see the punch-line coming a mile off. Films like this will make far more of an impression if they not only make us laugh but also manage to allude to something that gives us pause for thought.

Finding the Story

Any kind of dramatic story requires 3 basic elements:

A world

A character

A problem

Short films are no different; you just have less time to establish and develop each element. Most successful short films focus on ONE moment or event in the life of ONE main character. Because of that it is unusual for a short film to take place over a long period of time – it’s usually just looking at the immediate build up to and/or consequences of that one event. A lot of the best short films play out more or less in ‘real’ time, and a story that spreads over more than a few days is unlikely to work well as a short film.

The World

Because of the need to establish an instantly recognisable world in order to get on with exploring a character’s problem, it can be useful to set your film around a familiar event or ritual: a wedding, a birthday party, the first day at school, tea with stuffy relatives, Christmas Day etc. With a setting of this sort you can take for granted the audience’s familiarity with the situation and you have immediately placed your characters into a story world full of barely suppressed emotions, which is always useful for generating dramatic tension and story events. The other advantage to choosing a setting of this sort is that it gives the story a finite time frame.

Another popular setting for the short film is the journey. Most short films focus on a pivotal, significant event in the life of the main character so that the story inevitably takes the character on a metaphorical emotional journey and it can work well to use a literal journey as its setting.

The Character & the Problem

The most important questions to ask yourself when you begin to develop your story are:

Who is the main character?

What is their problem?

How will the audience recognise the problem?

Are the stakes high enough?

Am I telling the story from the best point of view?

The audience must be clear from the outset who the film is about and they won’t be if you aren’t. Your main character is the one who has the problem and if there isn’t a character in the story with a problem then you don’t have a film, or at least not one that will work as a dramatic narrative.

What is driving your main character through the story must be one of the following:

a want

a need

an obligation

And in all cases it must be clear to the audience, even if it isn’t to the character, what this is. But what must also be present in the story - and apparent to the audience - is something that is making it hard for the character to pursue their want, need or obligation. The fact that something is making it hard is what turns it into a problem and, like we said before, no problem, no film.

Making Problems Manifest to the Audience

The way in which you turn a character’s inner problem into the heart of your film and make sure that the audience can SEE it is one of the most important ways that you can demonstrate your skill as a filmmaker and not just as a story-teller. When we’re reading books we can be inside a character’s head but when we’re watching films we need to see characters DOING things that show us what they are thinking and feeling.

Are the Stakes High Enough?

Ensuring that there is something at stake in the story means that the audience can understand what the character stands to lose if they do not solve their problem. If the story hinges around a life or death situation then it is clear what is at stake but if it is simply that the car breaks down think about how you set the film up so that the audience knows why it really matters that the character completes this particular journey.

Am I Telling the Story from the Best Point of View?

Think about the story of Cinderella and imagine if you told it with one of the ugly sisters as the main character. You could still make a good story but it would not have a happy ending (in one of the earliest versions of the story the sisters have their eyes pecked out by blackbirds at the end!) and therefore would have a very different meaning – it would function more as a cautionary tale than as a feel-good fairy story.

What Does My Story Mean?

You probably don’t set out to write a film with a moral or even with a conscious awareness of what your story means but every story communicates some meaning to the audience. Once you are sure how the story begins and ends then you have a clear indication of its meaning and this will help you make important choices as you refine and develop your script particularly in relation to…

The Tone of the Film

Tone is intimately connected to genre and though genre is less of an issue in shorts than in features it is still important to think about what kind of film you are writing in broad terms.

To summarise so far

A good short film needs a story in which something happens that has a discernible effect on the main character. All successful short films focus on one moment/event. That moment is likely to be:

one of universal significance

a moment that is of significance to the protagonist (whether s/he knows it at the time)

one that produces a situation in which the stakes are high for the protagonist

This is an edited extract from Get Your Short Film Funded, Made and Seen, the Shooting People Shorts Directory. To buy this book, go to