Get ready to get weird!
The BizarroLand Film Debacle (aka the BFD) is a timed filmmaking challenge where participants have 72 hours to make a weird movie based on some bizarre story prompts. Oh, and the event takes place entirely online, so filmmakers everywhere — literally everywhere — are welcome to join.
How does it work?
- Sign up
Signups will be open from April 1 through May 31. The form is at the bottom of this page. Just scroll down a little. You can’t miss it.
- Pay the fee
The cost is $40 (USD) per team. You can PayPal the fee to PayPal.me/bizarroland. If you don’t have PayPal, message me on social media, and we’ll figure something out.
- Attend the Kickoff
The Kickoff will take place Friday, June 10, and there will be different sessions for the folks in different time zones. Each team will be randomly assigned their prompts and given their own deadline.
You only have 72 hours from the moment you get your prompts to write, shoot, edit, export, and upload a film that meets your prompts.
- Watch the stream
All the completed movies will be streamed live on YouTube on Friday, July 1, and then they’ll stay online through Monday, July 4. The entire program will be totally free to everyone around the world.
What are this year’s prompts?
During the Kickoff, each team will roll two twenty-sided dice (or 2d20 for my fellow nerds), and they get to pick which number will determine their Mood, and which will determine their Story Prompt from the following list. (If they roll a 20, they get their pick from the list.)
Note: The moods are just moods! They’re meant to inspire you creatively; they are not a literal requirement.
- Single-malt scotch
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Black coffee
- Miller High Life
- Unfiltered cigarettes
- Whole milk
- Magic mushrooms
- Pumpkin spice latte
- (YOU PICK)
- Dying and discovering a completely unexpected afterlife
- Having your body parts replaced against your will
- Summoning dark forces completely by accident
- Getting a herpes infection in an unusual place
- Being mind controlled by a pet or houseplant
- Gaining a superpower that only works while you’re using the bathroom
- Playing a child’s game with deadly stakes
- Building a partner out of some inert material
- Hearing the voice of God in an annoying song
- Being turned on by a nauseating substance
- Finding something else living inside your body with you
- Catching a disease that only spreads through DMs
- Staying in an Airbnb with bizarre rules
- Suspecting a loved one has been replaced with a clone/alien/etc.
- Attending a Zoom meeting that literally damages you
- Discovering an interdimensional portal to another world’s waste dump
- Freeing a genie/ghost/fairy/etc. who has very limited powers to repay you
- Joining a cult that worships something weird
- Eating something that isn’t food
- (YOU PICK)
Why the hell would anyone do this?!
Hey, if you’re not constantly on the hunt for any flimsy excuse to make a weird-ass movie, then I don’t think we can be friends. For real, though, every team that completes the 2022 Debacle will get an exclusive 2022 Debacle challenge pin that will never be on sale anywhere (unless some degenerate monster hocks theirs on eBay). The teams will also be competing for three unique trophies designed by a weirdo artist specifically for this shindig.
This year’s artist is Kevin Herdeman, creator of Melt Monsters! For the Debacle, Kevin created three special tentacled SasquatchMelts:
Frequently asked questions
- Is this one of those sketchy deals where the festival owns all the movies people make?
Absolutely not! When you sign up, you agree not to show the movie you make before our screening (which ends on July 4), but after that, the thing is entirely yours to do with as you please. Submit it to festivals, post it on your Vimeo, bury it under your couch and try to suppress the memory… whatever makes you happy!
- What are these “bizarre story prompts”?
This year’s prompts will be released soon, but in the past, we’ve had things like:
- An anxious movie about eating something that isn’t food
- A horny movie about a body orifice appearing someplace it does not belong
- An emo movie about an inorganic substance coming out of a body
- A nihilistic movie about a person revealing themselves to be something other than human
- A moist movie about receiving divine visions in waste
- One pin per team? Isn’t that super lame?
Yes, it is! That’s why this year, teams will have the chance to buy extra pins after they complete their movies — but only if they complete their movies, since that’s the only way to get one of these pins.
- Who determines the winners? Do you just give the trophies to your friends?
I don’t do the judging at all! I bring on a panel of judges to decide the three movies that nail their prompts the best while simultaneously being the most fun to watch.
- Do you allow the use of stock footage?
It’s fine, but I’m not thrilled about it. Basically, as long as the stock is not the only thing on screen, you’re in the clear.
- What about copyrighted music and whatnot?
Only use material you have the rights to. That includes music, likenesses, sound effects, whatever. Like it says when you sign up, you accept all the legal responsibility for your movie. And rest assured, if the lawyers come calling, I will give you up in a heartbeat.
- So I have some strong opinions about critical ra—
Let me stop you right there. If you submit anything that I determine, entirely by my own criteria, to be hateful, I reserve the right to not show it in the lineup, not send you a pin, and not give you a refund. Plus, I will probably spend your fee on drugs or abortions or something.