Creative Web Culture

Scare Tarantino in 15 Seconds To Make a $10k Short Film

Mihir Patkar 27-10-2015

Forget 15 minutes of fame: 15 seconds could earn you a lot more. A new Halloween-themed Instagram contest masterminded by director Eli Roth might get your 15-second horror clip turned into a short film, with a budget of $10,000.


Instagram allows users to upload 15 second videos, and the contest — dubbed “15 Second Scare” — asks budding filmmakers to deliver chills in that short time frame. Sounds like an uphill task? Wait till you hear the panelists who will be judging your entry.

How to Enter ’15 Second Scare’


15 Second Scare is organized by Crypt TV, a digital production house for weird and spooky videos. The contest is headed by Eli Roth, director of Hostel and Cabin Fever, who is renowned for making low-budget horror flicks. Roth is one of the judges, along with a celebrity panel that includes:

This elite panel will judge if your submitted clip is scary enough to grant a shot at making a full-fledged short film. The Grand Prize winner will get a development deal with Crypt to have their entry developed into a short film, with a budget of up to $10,000.

“Anyone with a smartphone can enter; you don’t need any connections in Hollywood, just your creativity” Roth said. “It’s a fun Halloween event that anyone in the world can be a part of. I’ve terrified you all these years, and now it’s your chance to scare US. Let’s see what you’ve got!”


The contest rules are pretty simple:

  • You have a maximum time limit of 15 seconds.
  • You must upload your video to Instagram, tag @CryptTV, and hashtag #15secondscare.
  • You must have an original idea and script, not something you’ve seen elsewhere.
  • You must submit your entry before October 31. In fact, the winner is picked on October 31, so the earlier you get in, the better!
  • You do not need to be in the US to enter: it’s open worldwide.

How to Make a Great Instagram Horror Video

Yes, 15 seconds doesn’t seem like much, but you’ll be surprised by much each second is actually worth once you start filming. If you’re a budding filmmaker with an interest in horror, this is a great opportunity.



Size Up Your Competition: You can search through Instagram on the web 5 Ways To Search For Awesome Things on Instagram Web Instagram has recently launched an upgrade that is sure to be a game changer. It's a mobile-first app, but with their recent update, it will soon be known for much more than that. Read More and find other videos tagged with #15secondscare to figure out the level of films being uploaded and whether you can match or better that.

Get Inspired: You need to get into that grim and dark mood if you’re going to do this video justice. There’s actually a great short horror filmmaker you can turn to for inspiration. YouTuber Fewdio has a collection of terrifying short films to watch Void Your Bowels With Terror Thanks To FEWDIO's Short Horror [Stuff to Watch] From terrifying games to feature-length horror films, as humans we seem to love being scared. Getting the adrenaline pumping and stepping outside of our comfort zones doesn't have to involve skydiving or a wing suit;... Read More , which will get you in the right frame of mind for this exercise.


Start with a Script: Don’t just begin shooting a video with a bare idea. You need to make those 15 seconds count. The first step is to write an actual script, and then start shooting. We’ve got a list of scriptwriting tools and resources For Your Next Great Movie Or Play: 16 Free Scriptwriting Tools & Resources Writing is hard. Most of us know the feeling of having to pull an all-nighter to wrap up a thesis paper due in the morning - and those papers rarely broke 40 pages. I can’t... Read More which should get you started.


Shoot with Your Phone: Remember, this is going to be made for Instagram, so you don’t need expensive equipment. That said, don’t use the Instagram app itself to record the video. You should shoot with your camera app, which is just one of our 8 tips to make unforgettable Instagram videos 8 Ways to Create Unforgettable Instagram Videos Creating an Instagram video is easy. Making it unforgettable, however, is a lot tougher. Fortunately there are various tips and tricks that you can use to help you create a video to make an impression. Read More .


Editing Is Critical: You need to also use a capable video editing app to turn your clip into a masterpiece. We’ve featured five great Android video editors The 10 Best Video Editors for Android Looking for the best video editor for Android? Here are the best video editing apps for Android users. Read More and the best iOS video editing tools iPad/iPhone Video Editors And Tools: These Are Your Best Options Ten years ago it took a fairly powerful computer in order to edit video, but now you can do everything on your iPhone or iPad. Read More , so make your pick and edit wisely. It’s always a good idea to shoot more than the 15 seconds you need, and then whittle it down to the best 15.

Be Wary of Aspect Ratio: A normal widescreen 16:9 video isn’t going to work for Instagram. Instagram’s default view is a square 1:1 video, but it has recently added more aspect ratios. You can now share videos with aspect ratios between 1.91:1 and 4:5. But keep that in mind while shooting.



Cheat with Hyperlapse: Yes, 15 seconds is a short time, but Instagram’s Hyperlapse lets you cheat to fit more into them Fit More Into 15 Seconds With Instagram's New Hyperlapse Videos We live in an age of short-form content; say what you can in 140 characters, show what you see in 6 to 15 seconds. But there are always cheats and tricks, like Instagram's new app... Read More . Hyperlapse basically speeds up the footage, so everything moves faster but you can shoot more than 15 seconds. It’s tricky to get it right without looking comical like an old Charlie Chaplin film, so use it wisely. Hyperlapse is iOS only, but you can shoot Hyperlapse-style videos on Android How to Shoot Instagram-style Hyperlapse Videos on Android Microsoft Hyperlapse Mobile brings hyperlapse video to Android, a technique introduced to the iOS version of the Instagram app in 2014. The app is in beta, but is already capable of producing incredible results. Read More too.

In case you still want help on anything, our grand guide to Instagram video The Ultimate Guide To Instagram Video: Everything You Need To Know Another major update seen in Instagram since it was acquired by Facebook is the addition of Video updates in June. Are you using Instagram video? Do you know how to shoot a good one? Everything... Read More should give you everything you need to know.

The Best So Far…

And before you go, let’s take a look at some of the best #15secondscare videos so far.

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#15secondscare @crypttv

A post shared by Jorge Jaramillo (@lordbinah) on

Share a Freaky Video

Have you made or seen a #15secondscare video that freaked you out? Drop a link in the comments below, we’re thrilled to check these out.

Image Credit: solar22 via

Related topics: Filmmaking, Instagram, Online Video, Short Films, Video Editor.

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