Overview

What’s this all about then, eh?

The BizarroLand Film Debacle 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.

Every team that completes the Debacle will have their movie screened publicly for the entire world to enjoy… for about a week. Then I pull the movies down, and you’re free to do with yours whatever you like — submit it festivals, throw it up on your website, delete it from your hard drive and drink away the painful memories… you know, whatever!

Also, each team that completes the Debacle will also get some sweet Debacle pins that will not be for sale ever.

Last but definitely not least, a team of judges will watch all the completed movies and award their three favorites with some badass trophies made by an indie artist.

How does it work?

  1. You register your team.
  2. You pay the fee.
  3. You wait for the kickoff, during which you’ll randomly be assigned some ridiculous prompts for your movie.
  4. Shoot! You have exactly 72 hours starting from your kickoff to write, shoot, edit, export, and upload your movie.
  5. The weekend after your shoot, your movie will premiere to the ENTIRE WORLD on YouTube, and it’ll stay up for people to watch for a little over another week.
  6. You stare at the wall, grinding your teeth and sweating in tense anticipation of next year’s Debacle.

What does it cost?

$50 US

But wait!

You can get a discount on your registration fee by talking other people into signing up for the Debacle. For every team that signs up and lists you as a referral, you get to knock off $10 from your fee, with a maximum discount of $30. Plus, the teams you refer get their own $10 discount. Everybody wins! (Except me when it’s time to start shipping trophies…)

And take note that even though the maximum discount for you is $30, you can still refer a hundred teams, and they’ll all get their $10 discounts.

Are there any restrictions on the kind or length of movie I can make?

The movie can be a maximum of 10 minutes in length. As for content, there are no restrictions on violence, nudity, gore, coarse language, or whatever else.

Unsimulated animal harm will result in immediate disqualification without refund.

Besides that, there are two things you need to keep in mind:

  1. When you join the Debacle, you take all the responsibility for securing the rights to the content you use in the movie. Most likely, this will only be an issue between you and your conscience, but I promise that if any lawyers come calling, I will not hesitate one nanosecond to throw you under the bus.
  2. Don’t be shitty. Any movie that I decide by my own arbitrary and inarguable criteria to be hateful I will cut from the lineup without refund.

2024 Trophies

This year’s trophies were designed and created by Luna Kustoms:

2024 Prompts

Every team will be randomly assigned a Vibe, a Prop, and a Lazy Plot Device to build their movie around. During your kickoff, I will roll three ten-sided dice (or 3d10 for my fellow D&D nerds), and you will get to decide which category to assign each number to:

Roll Vibe Prop Lazy Plot Device
1. Angry Doll/stuffed animal Amnesia
2. Creepy Duck tape Breaking the fourth wall
3. Filthy Kitchen utensil Expository voiceover
4. Glitzy Liquor bottle Fake death
5. Horny Mask Flashback
6. Jittery Panties Found footage
7. Queasy Power tool It was all a dream
8. Sweaty Sandwich Jump scare
9. Weary Trophy/medal/prize Magical ending
10. (YOU PICK) (YOU PICK) (YOU PICK)

Timeline

April 1 through May 31 — Registration

Fill out this form to sign up your team.

June 3 through June 7 — Registration invoices are sent out

Each team will get a PayPal invoice (probably?) in their email for the registration fee minus any referral discounts they’ve earned. If you can’t use PayPal, email me, and we can work something out.

And check your damn spam folder!

June 14 — Deadline to pay for registration

Teams that don’t send their payment by the end of the day on June 14 will be removed from the lineup.

June 20 — Kickoffs

The kickoffs will happen over Zoom, and I’ll do them at several different times throughout the day to accommodate folks in weird time zones.

During your kickoff, your team will be assigned your vibe, prop, and lazy plot device as described under 2024 Prompts above.

June 20 through June 23 — Shoot weekend

All right, ramblers… Let’s get ramblin’! Your 72-hour clock starts ticking the minute you get your prompts. If your kickoff happens at 7:43 PM on Thursday, for instance, then you have until 7:43 PM on Sunday to get your movie written, shot, edited, exported, and uploaded.

June 28 — Live screening premiere

The movies will have a live premiere on YouTube, which means that there will be a live chat running during the runtime. The screening will be public, so make sure you tell literally every human you know about it so they can see your masterwork.

After the premiere is over, I’ll go live on Facebook to announce the winners.

June 28 through July 7 — Screening available on demand

The movies will stay live and public on YouTube for a week(ish) after the premiere so you can keep hounding your friends and family members to watch it dozens of times over.

Previous Trophies

Every year, I reach out to an independent artist I usually find on Instagram and beg them to make some unique Debacle trophies. So far, every year, the artists I’ve harangued have not only come through — they’ve knocked it out of the fucking park. These are the trophies from Debacles past, and I am totally not sick with envy that I don’t get to keep any of them for myself.

2020

Bootleg action figures by Dain Marx

2021

Furby abominations by Sophie G. Stark

2022

Sasquatch Melts by Kevin Herdeman

2023

Venus de Garf statues by Kate Parnell