Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Hollywood Investigator Is Now an Urban Fantasy Satire

You've read the tabloid -- now read the novel!

Hollywood says it loves equal opportunity and multicultural diversity. Development executive Diana Däagen thinks the studio's hiring is based more on ageism, sexism, and nepotism.

And so, surrounded by followers of Wicca, astrology, Native American shamans, telephone psychics, UFO prophets, a channeled warlord from Atlantis, and the alchemy of Hermes Trismegistus, Diana's coven of New Age witches hatch a plot to infiltrate and diversify the entertainment industry until Hollywood "looks like America" -- no matter how many eggs must be broken along the way.

Only the intrepid supermarket tabloid reporters of the Hollywood Investigator and Weekly Universe family of family publications can stop Diana's path toward world media domination.

Hollywood Witches is an urban fantasy/satire, available on both paper and on Amazon Kindle.

Friday, June 11, 2010

How To Make an Award-Winning Horror Film

Tabloid Witch Awards founder and director, Thomas M. Sipos has come out with a book, Horror Film Aesthetics -- filled with tips on making a creative horror film.

Horror Film Aesthetics is published by McFarland, which specializes in the university and library market. The below is excerpted from the book's Preface:

"This is a book about horror film aesthetics. That sounds abstract and theoretical, but quite the contrary, this book is intended to be pragmatic. A practical and useful guide for aspiring horror filmmakers. This book analyzes how various cinematic tools -- acting, makeup, costuming, set décor, framing, photography, lighting, editing, and sound -- have been used by past films to effectively (or in some cases, ineffectively) create horror on screen.

"This book is an 'aesthetic how to' guide for horror filmmakers. Not to help them copy past films, but rather, to spark their imaginations. To expand their understanding of the horror genre -- its nature and appeal to viewers -- and their appreciation for the full creative potential of their film and video equipment. Aspiring filmmakers often read technical manuals to learn what the buttons on their cameras do, but they don't bother to learn how to use those buttons creatively. I know this as a horror film fan, critic, and journalist, and also from screening films for the Tabloid Witch Awards horror film contest and festival, which I founded in 2004 and continue to manage.

"This is not a book about how to use film and video gear. This is a book about how to use film and video gear effectively. In a way that conveys your horror story and themes in a clear, entertaining, and frightening manner.

"Student and independent filmmakers should find this book useful, but it is also intended for the hardcore fan. I hope this book will enable fans to 'see things' in horror films they may have previously missed, and thus gain a deeper appreciation for the genre. An appreciation that leads to greater viewing pleasures."

Horror Film Aesthetics should help any filmmaker create an award-winning horror film.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

76 Entries So Far...We Need More Horror Features

As of June 10, the 2010 Tabloid Witch Awards has received 76 entries -- 5 features and 71 shorts. Entries have come from the United States, Ireland, England, Germany, Spain, France, Austria, and The Netherlands.

Short film entries are facing stiff competitive (though still welcome), but this is a good year to enter a horror feature. Little competition in that category so far.

The Tabloid Witch Awards is a No Entry Fee horror film contest and festival. To enter the 2010 awards, your DVD must be in our in-box by September 30, 2010.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Viscera Film Festival to Screen Women's Horror! Buy Tickets! Donate!

The Tabloid Witch Awards is a sponsor of the Viscera Film Festival, and is thus happy to post their appeal from the Viscera ladies:

"Want to support women in horror? How about women horror filmmakers? Then donate today and become an official Sponsor of the Viscera 2010 Premiere!

What you do: Donate any amount from $1.00-$99.00.

What the Festival does for you: List your name/Company's name on the Viscera Festival Website. Project your name/Company’s name on the big screen. Hand out any of your promotional material.

What it means: Your donation of even $1 will help to pay the expenses of the theater, bloody carpet, backdrop, video/photography services, catering, and the organization of the Festival.  We believe that women are truly coming together in one of the most difficult industries to break into today. Any donation will help to serve that purpose!

How to do it: Push the Paypal donation button and pay by Credit Card or Paypal account!

About the 2010 Viscera Festival:

The first annual all female-directed and/or produced horror film festival "Viscera" comes to Los Angeles on July 17th, 2010!

The Chainsaw Mafia,, and the Downtown Independent are excited to announced the Viscera 2010 Film Festival Premiere, which will be a bloody carpet theater event on July 17th, 2010 in Los Angeles, California!

Twenty-eight short female-directed/produced horror films, from 30 seconds to 30 minutes, and from all over the world, will appear on the big screen for one night only! These films represent 3 years of films painstakingly curated by Shannon Lark of The Chainsaw Mafia and released on the Viscera DVD collections.

Brea Grant (Heroes, Halloween II), Cerina Vincent (Cabin Fever, How to Love Like a Hot Chick) and Amber Benson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Drones) are the Festival's special inspirational guest presenters and will host the award ceremonies. Special Guests in attendance include Juliet Landau (Angel, Ed Wood), Guinevere Turner (American Psycho, Go Fish), Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp), Mary Lambert (Pet Semetary), Jessica Harper (Suspiria), Micheline Pitt (PinUp Girl Clothing), and Allison Anders (Gas, Food, Lodging) as well as many of the filmmakers.

The Downtown Independent Theater features 222 stadium style seats within the theatre, along with a rooftop bar with a projection screen for those who don't want to miss the show.

Co-Directors Shannon Lark and Heidi Martinuzzi encourage both men, women, filmmakers, and all artists to attend the event in support of the ambition and drive of filmmakers who have stepped outside the traditional roles of women in horror films and taken on directing, writing, and producing their own independent projects. Several filmmakers will be present to walk the bloody carpet and accept their statues, followed by an after-party on the Downtown Independent rooftop until 2am.

Tickets are only $15.00 and available now online, with the carpet walk starting at 4 p.m. Show support for the event by joining Viscera's Facebook page, making a donation, and purchasing the newly released 2008-2009 Viscera DVD.

The Chainsaw Mafia was created by Chainsaw Mafia CEO Shannon Lark to promote independent filmmakers through internet-based networking, live performance, and annual film festivals with monetary awards. The Chainsaw Mafia was created and facilitated by women, who actively encourage progressive roles for women and men in all areas within the horror genre. Increasing and expanding boundaries of the genre with interactive theater, film, photography, and dance, The Chainsaw Mafia assists the men and women who create the horror genre to produce their art and promote themselves. is an online entertainment magazine created in 2004 by Los Angeles-based film journalist Heidi Martinuzzi. Pretty/Scary celebrates creative, innovative, intelligent, and awesome images of women in horror, sci-fi & fantasy films, literature, and art."

Also read the Hollywood Investigator's interview with Shannon Lark!

Mike Flanagan Raises 154% of Absentia's Budget

Seeking to raise $15,000 for his next film, Absentia, 2006 Tabloid Witch Award winner Mike Flanagan has raised $23,150 via

Flanagan has now raised %154 of his next film's budget. Sweet!