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Mr. H Made a Short Film Inspired by the COVID-19 Outbreak–And You Should Too!

Regular readers of Dread Central know that we’re huge fans of the video essays produced by UK film critic and academic, Mr. H. He recently took a detour from journalism to make a short film inspired by the current Coronavirus crisis, and incorporating news footage of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Give “Isolation” a spin embedded at the top of the article.

Inspired by the global issue at hand I made this short film or, micro film, to show the gravity of what some people are feeling during their imposed isolation and the reasons behind doing it, to save lives.

Should you find yourself inspired by Mr. H’s short film, please consider participating in Dread Central’s Outbreak Breakout Short Film Contest!

While the Entertainment Industry has slowed substantially during the Coronavirus crisis, quarantined filmmakers and film fans may find themselves with time on their (normally busy) hands. We decided to give you guys a project to stay busy and inspired: The Outbreak Breakout Short Film Contest!

It’s simple: Make a short film inspired by COVID-19 and/or outbreak/pandemic horror movies. You can make an original story or an homage to an existing franchise (like Night of the Living Dead, or Quarantine). It can be as long as 2 minutes or as short as 30 seconds.

In an effort to level the playing field while simultaneously supporting the DIY spirit of this contest, all entries must be filmed on a smartphone! You can use film editing apps to complete your film. If you’re new, HERE are some great film editing apps you can use on your iPhoneAndroid users, we’ve found some apps for guy guys, too; pop over HERE.

The Grand Prize Winner will take home a $500 cash prize; Second Place will get $200 in Dread store merchandise and Third Place will get $100 in Dread store merchandise.

But that’s not all. We’ll share your film with everyone here and on Dread Central’s YouTube channel. And… Your film will also be reviewed as a proof of concept for a potential feature film produced by Dread! No guarantees on your short getting made, but it’s got a chance!

Deadline for submission is Monday, April 6th at 5 PM (PST).

Send your film to with “OUTBREAK BREAKOUT” in the Subject line.

You must agree to the terms below:

1. Film Length, Content, Format & Type: Film entries shall not exceed 2 minutes running time including credits (credits not to exceed 5% of the total running time). Entries must be filmed on a smartphone, but outside editing software can be used for production. The submission must suitable (nothing more than a “hard R” rating) for Dread Central’s audience. Submissions must be in MP4 format.

2. Eligibility: The competition is open only to US residents.  Submissions must be received no later than 5pm PST on Monday, April 6th.

3. Prizes: The Winners shall be announced on April 13th, 2020.

4. Releases and Copyright: Original, non-copyrighted material.  Each filmmaker must guarantee that no copyrighted material was used for the creation of their short.

5. Judging: The panel of judges will be comprised of Dread Central staff. Judges’ decisions will be final.

6. Deadline: All submissions must be submitted by end of business, April 6th, 2020.

7. Dread will be granted the exclusive first right to develop your short into a feature if it wins a top 3 prize.

We want to make one thing very clear: This is NOT an invitation to ignore self-isolation and social distancing. We do NOT want you to go out and film empty streets, mingle with your actor friends, or purchase supplies. We want you to embrace the “Quarantine” spirit of this contest by using only what’s already at your disposal. Entries that appear to ignore these guidelines will be disqualified.

Have at it, Dread Central fans! Show us what you got!

What did you think of Mr. H’s pandemic-inspired short film? Are you excited to participate in The Outbreak Breakout Short Film Contest? Let us know in the comments below or onFacebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.

What do you think?


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Written by Josh Millican

Josh Millican is the Editor in Cheif at Dread Central.

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