By John Wolcott HBJ Freelance Writer
EVERETT — Thanks to movie producer Jonathan Holbrook, Everett is getting international attention for his short cinema competitions, viewable on his Short 10 Cinemas website. Winning entrees also are expected to premiere January 2014 on the big screen of the Historic Everett Theater.
Named Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 by The Herald Business Journal, Holbrook’s fertile mind continues to generate new ventures in the world of movies. The founder of Tall Taurus Media in Everett in 2000, he produces corporate image, product and production videos, digital signage for businesses and a variety of other video ventures, many of them winning awards for their imagination and professional production.
His latest idea is promoting his own short-movie competitions, a venue he knows well and one that film enthusiasts find challenging and, sometimes, profitable. Holbrook has involved sponsors in the competition venture who offer software prizes, trophies and — for the top winner of all five competitions, a $4,000 Adobe Production Premium Suite and Magic Bullet software combo and a glass sculpture trophy.
“But perhaps the greatest attraction for cinema producers everywhere is getting more eyes on their product,” said Holbrook. “With the reach of the Internet, their winning work can be seen around the world and you never know who might be watching, perhaps someone looking for your kind of talent, someone who might finance you or hire you.”
Holbrook’s own creations are produced with a team of local professionals that include himself as executive producer (plus writer, director, editor and a significant source of creative talent); Earl Gray as producer; Robin McGee as project manager; and Michelle Westford as an actress, comedian, singer and all-around cast member. Local actress, director and musician Sam Samano, featured in two recent Holbrook short films, is the film festival coordinator and producer.
Short10Cinema was founded by Holbrook in 2010 to help filmmakers show off their quality films from all over the world, all produced within the competition’s 10-minute screen limit, with 100 hours allowed for scripting, casting, filming, editing and submission. This year, Holbrook decided to create the ultimate film competition with a series of five challenges in different genres: comedy, music, horror, science-fiction and drama.
In the first challenge this year, 17 entries were submitted from film companies in Washington, Tennessee, Illinois, New Jersey, Colorado, Texas, Michigan, Massachusetts, Canada, Finland and the Philippines.
“Four of the entries dropped out but of the 13 we reviewed and judged, most looked pretty good,” Holbrook said, “but all of them will be on our website so everyone gets publicity.”
The “Best in Show” winner of each of the five challenges will be shown at the Short10Cinema Film Festival in Everett in early 2014.
The entries will be used for publicity for the competitions but “the filmmakers will keep ownership of their films, unlike some competitions,” Gray said. “There are competitions sponsored all over the world and they’re clamoring for submissions.”
The films and filmmaking competitions are also promoted on Facebook and Twitter, Holbrook added, “and it’s working … In December, for instance, we had 45 followers on Twitter, now we have over 1,000 and growing.”
“From an artist’s perspective, they want to be show off their talents in as many films as possible to get known better known,” said Westford. “Amazing things can happen with will and talent.”
Holbrook said “indie short films” attract a lot of attention in the filmmaking world and “it’s good for Everett, which is beginning to be recognized as a center for movies and talent through these short film competitions.”
For more information, go to www.talltaurusmedia.com or www.short10cinema.com or call 425-374-7901. To see the entries in the first set focused on comedy, go to www.short10cinema/short-films/all-challengers-of-2013.