Dallas Filmmakers' Horror Short Scares Up First Place in Universal Studios Contest

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A very proud Friend of Unfair Park sends word: A short film he worked on has taken top prize in a contest sponsored by Universal Studios -- thanks, in large part, to a big thumbs-up from competition namesake Rob Zombie. Mr. Cummings (and why wouldn't you stick with that name?) was among the panelists, along with a Variety writer and other industry pros, who whittled down submissions to a list of 10, with online voters casting the final say. And the winner is ... Elizabeth Schieffer's Jasper, starring local acting vet Juli Erickson in a role I won't spoil for you. The film follows on the other side.

Schieffer also handled the special effects on the film; hence her directing and producing credit. I asked Don Merritt, part of the winning Size Fives Production team, for more info -- like, where was that thing shot, anyhows? "It was shot in the alley behind Post Asylum on Dyer Street (behind Milos) in one night," he says via e-mail. "It is basically the opening scene for a feature we will be shooting. It was shot with VERY LITTLE money."

Ah, but winning top prize means $1,000 in cash -- and a showing on Chiller TV, a posting on SyFy.com, and, for the director, a trip for two to the opening night of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. Mazel, mazel. Boo.

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