Thriller or Horror  Film Competition 2017



You have three weeks to write, shoot and edit a five-minute thriller or horror short film. Then you get to invite your friends, family and random strangers to the impressive Dartmouth Loew Auditorium to see your film premiere on the “BIG SCREEN.”



Amateur and pro filmmakers alike are invited to participate in this competition. Films entries will be judged in these three categories: 1) Middle School, 2) High School and 3) College & Adult.



Friday, September 1 stOnline Registration Opens

Monday, October 2 nd, 6 pm & 6:30 pm – Fun Workshops at CATV Studio

Monday, October 2 nd, 7 pm – Mandatory Kick-off Meeting at CATV Studio

Monday, October 23 rd, 4:45 pm – Films are due delivered to CATV Studio

Monday, October 23rd, 11:59 pm – Films are due by Dropbox to CATV email (info@catv8.org)

Sunday, October 29th, times to determine – Two Film Premieres & Award Ceremonies



Register on-line at www.catv8.org or through this link, or in person at the CATV office, 85 N. Main Street, White River Junction, VT by Monday, October 2nd, the day of the Kick-off Meeting.


Registration fee is $25 per team, payable by check, cash or credit card.


IMPORTANT TO NOTE: He who registers early is a happy filmmaker. Number of entrants is limited, so it is recommended to register early (before the Kick-off Meeting).



To get your thriller juices flowing, enjoy two, free half-hour filmmaker workshops for beginner filmmakers, courtesy of the Dartmouth Film Club and the Hopkins Center of the Arts. Workshops will run back-to-back, 6 pm & 6:30 pm, on Monday, October 2nd right before the film competition kick-off meeting. Space is limited so call CATV (802.295.6688) to reserve your place. Workshop details to come.



Please attend the kick-off meeting at CATV’s studio, 85 N. Main Street, ground floor suite 142, WRJ. It is mandatory for the team leader (or assigned designee). At the meeting, you will find out this year’s inspirational prompt which is important to incorporate into your film. (Psst: The judges assign 25 pts if you incorporate the prompt creatively!! See judging rubric for more info.) This meeting is a good time to ask questions about the competition and schmooze with other filmmakers, and the last moment for slow pokes to register their team in the competition.



All films must abide by the following:

  1. Final film duration limit (five minutes). Film duration starts at the first image or sound of the film.
  2. Cast and crew of your production must be volunteers.
  3. Only work allowed prior to the competition is 1) cast and crew organization, 2) location scouting and 3) equipment prep. Resist the urge to write your script or capture footage!!!!
  4. Keep it legal, part 1: Entries must be original work of the team and must NOT infringe on other’s work. Copyrighted music is not allowed unless you have approval from the rights owner. Proof of written permission must be shared with final film submission.
  5. Keep it legal, part 2: Films may not contain defamatory statements about any person, company, organization or entity; may not invade privacy or other rights of any person, company or entity; may not violate applicable laws & regulations. Be good.
  6. Keep it legal, part 3: Talent release forms are the responsibility of team leader and must be available upon request.
  7. Note that all submissions will air on CATV television and will be uploaded to our various media libraries (video-on-demand, Vimeo, social media platforms, etc). So make sure you have the rights to use all the creative in your film.
  8. Include the prompt given at the mandatory kick-off meeting.
  9. Keep it PG: This is where it gets tough. We challenge you to make a really good movie that is scary without obscene, indecent, gory, or drug-using content.
  10. The final movie you submit must follow the final film submission guidelines (noted below) in size, format and titling.
  11. Final film must begin with five seconds of full-screen black, followed by a title card that states:

2017 CATV & HOP Halloween-O-Thon

(Name of your film)

(Team name)


Whew! You made it through the rules without glazing over. Bravo!



Deadline for final films is Monday, October 23rd by 4:45 pm if hand delivering to the CATV studio, OR by 11:59 pm if submitting through Dropbox. Submit your final project in QuickTime file format (.mov) on a thumb drive in person or electronically via Dropbox (share with info@catv8.org ). The movie file resolution and format must be HD 1920 x 1080. Digital file name must read Your_Film_Name_2017Halloween.mov




Our illustrious judges will award 45 points to Artistic Merit, 30 points to Technical Merit and 25 pts to Adherence to the Assignment.



Judging Rubric (100 points total)


45 points – Artistic Merit

15 points – Content/Plot                                                                                         

Excellent, seamless structure to communicate the story to an uninitiated audience.  The message/intent of the film was clear on the first viewing.  Excellent dialogue; distinctive and compelling characters

15 points – Creativity                                                                                         

The production displayed independent thought and imagination.  The style and concept was novel and distinct

15 points – Entertainment                                                                                         

Excellent overall impression, enjoyment factor, and replay value


30 points – Technical Merit

10 points – Sound/Audio                                                                                         

Audio levels were consistent; clear sound with an absence of distracting noises (buzzes, hums, hisses, etc.).  The music selection complemented the story

10 points – Editing                                                                                         

The transitions were seamless and smooth, complementing the continuity of the story

10 points – Cinematography                                                                       

The film was visually stunning.  Lighting, camera movement, angles, and shot selection were excellent.

25 points – Adherence to the Assignment                                                                                                                                               

The team adhered to the competition rules, and the prompt was incorporated creatively to tell/contribute to the story




SAVE THE DATE: There are two premieres on Sunday, October 29th. Each if followed by an award ceremony. Premieres are at the Loew Auditorium in the Black Family Visual Arts Center adjacent to the Hopkin Center in Hanover, NH. Oooooo the BIG SCREEN. Come in Halloween attire if the mood strikes you! Specifics to follow.



Yes, there are awards—woohoo!!! And the rumors are correct, both moola and fun awards will be given at the Premiere. Hot dang!



If you have any niggling questions after the ever-helpful kick-off meeting, don’t hesitate to call the alacritous CATV crew at 1.802.295.6688.



CATV: CATV is a public access television station in White River Junction, VT that has reach into NH too.   We are a communication conduit that fosters community connectedness. We help community members to harness and apply the power of media so they can examine their diverse perspectives. CATV rocks!


The HOP: This collaboration with the Hopkins Center is part of the HOP’s Community Venture Initiative (CVI) which provides new opportunities for Upper Valley residents of all ages to create, access and explore the arts. CVI builds the Hop’s commitment over its 50-year history, to community-oriented programs involving a strong network of local organizational partners like CATV.