This Horror Movie Scene Won $300,000 With Clive Barker's Blessing

Nearly 1,000 aspiring filmmakers vied to receive a budget to make a short into a feature film.
Project Greenlight/Vimeo

Aspiring horror director Danny DelPurgatorio and writer Anthony Williams' just got a stamp of approval from a master.

The pair are the winners of “Clive Barker Presents Reel Fear" Horror Contest, which in addition to a mentorship from Clive Barker, also grants them a $300,000 budget to turn their project Wither into a feature film. 

They won on the strength of a proof-of-concept video based on a pre-written scene the contest asked all of its applicants to re-create in different ways. 

Here's the prize-winning scene:

And here's the logline for WitherThe film will follow Dr. Spencer Woodrow, who can no longer hide from the ghosts of his past. He has no choice but to revive the dead to trap their souls. In crossing these boundaries, Dr. Woodrow and those he cares about most will suffer consequences far beyond his imagination.

The prize comes from Project Greenlight Digital Studios and Shudder, with the contest receiving nearly 1,000 entries after inviting filmmakers to pitch horror film concepts. After being winnowed down by a panel of judges, 10 semi-finalists were voted on by the public.The top five finalists were given funding to direct a short scene representing their abilities, and the finalists were interviewed by Shudder about their vision.

"Being selected was so humbling and even more so considering the remarkable quality of the other finalists' work," director DelPurgatorio said in a statement.

Williams added of the partnership with Barker and the contest's organizers: "I am looking forward to working with them to bring our film to life and to scare the hell out of people."

In addition to Wither, two other filmmakers who submitted pitches are getting their projects developed as TV series for Shudder. Megan Rosati’s Bloom centers on a young woman obsessed with beauty who lands a job with a wellness company. Soon, her fascination with the company's projects turns into a nightmare as she seeks to uncover what really is in its "all-natural" supplements. In addition, Evan Brace's Known Among the Mountains is set in a rural town in the midwest, where its working class families must fight to survive a mysterious element after making a discovery in a rock quarry.

Project Greenlight is a digital content initiative from Adaptive Studios, the producer behind HBO's TV series Project Greenlight, which won an Emmy in 2016. Shudder is an AMC Networks-backed streaming service specializing in horror and suspense.

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