Guillermo del Toro is arguably the most prolifically creative mind working in film today, and yet he still has the time to help out young filmmakers. This morning, YouTube announced their upcoming House of Horrors: A Legendary Halloween, and none other than Guillermo del Toro will be judging the performances, according to The Nerdist.
Legendary films and YouTube are joining forces to provide the setting for the House of Horrors contest, literally. Between September 22 and October 28, 2014, creators will have a chance to shoot and edit their short films at YouTube Spaces in four separate locations on the planet - with all of the sets being inspired by the work of Guillermo del Toro. Del Toro will judge the sequences, shot either in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo or New York.
The backdrops offered at the YouTube Spaces facilities feature a Gothic inspired great room from an old manor house complete with an accordian stairway and an immense fireplace. Another set is of a moonlit Gothic garden filled with strange statues. Still another set is a large room beset with all manner of strange and exotic ornaments and artifacts from all over the world. The solarium is filled with overgrown plants and weathered tools, and finally, the attic setting can best be described as "claustrophobic," complete with dusty mirrors, paintings and the obligatory trap door.
After each short film is complete, Guillermo del Toro himself will view each of them and pick the scariest ones from each of the four regions. Del Toro will then personally call each of the finalists and give them a personal consultation on the rough cut of their short film. The grand prize - if you haven't already guessed it - will be when Legendary offers the opportunity to one lucky filmmaker to fully realize their vision in a feature-length film.
How to enter? According to Variety, you must have a YouTube channel with at least 10,000 subscribers and must be a member of the YouTube Partner Program. If you meet that criteria, you can shoot your short film complete with cameras, editing equipment, makeup effects artists, etc. for free.
Guillermo is currently finishing up a horror story of his own: a film entitled Crimson Peak starring Charlie Hunnam, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska. Del Toro's Crimson Peak has been described as a Gothic horror story in which a young writer realizes her husband isn't who he claims to be. Crimson Peak is set to be released on October 16, 2015.
Here is Guillermo del Toro explaining the YouTube and Legendary Pictures sponsored House of Horrors Initiative.
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