Legendary, YouTube Launch Halloween Film Contest with Guillermo del Toro (EXCLUSIVE)

Legendary Entertainment’s relationship with YouTube is about to get scary.

The companies have collaborated on “YouTube Space House of Horrors: A Legendary Halloween” for which Guillermo del Toro will advise YouTubers as they create short horror films before selecting a winner who will receive a development deal with Legendary.

Starting Sept. 22, individuals with channels on YouTube will get the chance to use one of the the company’s YouTube Spaces to produce a horror short they’ve written.

Each location will provide sets inspired by Del Toro’s films, including a great room from an old manor house lined with walls of books; a sinister staircase and Gothic windows that lead out to a haunted garden; a room filled with exotic and occult artifacts from around the world; an abandoned solarium cluttered with over-grown plants, birdcages and weathered tools; and a claustrophobic attic with foreboding art, dusty mirrors and a hidden trap door. All of the sets are designed to be connected and make up the rooms of one house.

YouTube Spaces currently exist in Los Angeles, London and Tokyo, with a location in New York City about to open in November. The Halloween event will still utilize that space, and give creators a sneak peek at the production facility.

Individuals with channels on YouTube that have at least 10,000 subscribers, and are part of the YouTube Partner Program, get to film in the production facilities and use its cameras and editing equipment for free. Over 3,000 videos have been produced at the L.A. space alone from around 500 channels.

For the Halloween contest, DelToro will select the scariest videos to come out of each region and provide a personal rough-cut creative consultation with the creators.

YouTubers have until Oct. 27 to produce their films.

Legendary and YouTube said the contest is meant to seek out a brave new voice of horror, while being part of YouTube Spaces’ programming initiative that rallies content creators around cultural events.

“Legendary loves all things horror and we especially love Halloween,” Emily Castel, chief marketing officer at Legendary told Variety.

By partnering with a global platform like YouTube, the contest also will help to start promoting DelToro’s return to the horror genre with “Crimson Peak” that Legendary will release Oct. 16, 2015 through Universal. DelToro presented the first footage from the film, that stars Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska, at San Diego Comic-Con in July.

“This is about reestablishing Guillermo del Toro as the definitive master of the horror genre he helped define,” Castel said.

“I think it is important to find new voices in the genre,” Del Toro said. “Horror is such a unique way to express yourself at the most revealing, intimate levels — it can come from anywhere: domestic stories, historical research, the world news — it surrounds us and speaks through us. This is a great channel to see reveal fresh perspectives. Legendary’s Halloween and YouTube are perfect homes for them.”

SEE ALSO: How ‘Godzilla’ Roared Again with Director Gareth Edwards, Legendary’s Thomas Tull

Once produced, the shorts will stream on each creator’s YouTube channels, the YouTube Spaces channel, as well as Legendary’s YouTube channel and be promoted on social media platforms when the videos become available between Oct. 21 and Halloween.

The winning creator will work with Legendary to develop the short into a digital series or feature-length film.

Legendary previously collaborated with YouTube Spaces to promote “Godzilla,” with a select group of 29 YouTube channels selected to produce shorts with props from the film.

The “Godzilla” shorts wound up generating over 25 million minutes of views, prompting the companies to consider opportunities to work with more YouTube talent.

“We were astounded on the success of that and how the talent at YouTube responded to it,” Castel said.

Since the “Godzilla” promotion, YouTube has been approached by other studios and TV networks looking to promote their projects, including Lucasfilm with the “Star Wars” franchise.

“We wanted to do something that let creators be more ambitious with their content,” said Liam Collins, head of YouTube Space LA, of studio partnerships like the one with Legendary. “Access to great intellectual property that Guillermo has developed over time is something you can’t buy. The fact that Legendary is making it available is really exciting.”

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  1. As a horror YouTube channel with slightly more than 10K subs (https://www.youtube.com/user/hauntedsunshinegirl ), I couldn’t wait to apply! Just received word that my concept was approved so I am booking actors, hiring crew and searching for a good deal on flights from Portland, OR (where my channel is based) to YouTube Space LA. This opportunity is too good to pass up!
    YouTube was my medium of choice to tell stories and it has led to a book and film deal with The Weinstein Company. I have no complaints about Youtube AT ALL! Don’t let location, age, time or lack of resource slow you down. I was 16 when I started my channel and found tons of support within the YT community. I knew next to nothing about film or YT or pretty much anything but I knew YT was a growing medium. And that was enough.
    Thanks YouTube and Guillermo del Toro for the chance to freak you out! I won’t let you down!

    • You are absolutely right Paige, and good luck! I only want to know if I produce the short film on my own can it enter the contest? Or has to be produced strictly on the Youtube Space?

      • Freddie, I am just a YouTuber that is doing an entry so I don’t really know, but I think it has to be filmed AT one of the Spaces. That is sort of the point, ya know!? To showcase the spaces. I feel your pain. Hopefully you will like my short and what I do with the space!

  2. Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I
    never seem to get there! Thank you

  3. Frank says:

    I was really looking forward into getting into this competition, but my youtube channel don’t have at least 10K subscribers. But I already came up with a really great idea for a horror film, so I got that going for me which is nice.

  4. I am a huge fan of Guillermo and his craft of storytelling — but why is this contest limited to those with such a high number of subscribers? I understand being a YouTube Partner signifies a certain level of quality; however, I have spent a considerable amount of energy over my lifetime learning the craft of filmmaking, both the business side as well as the creative side, specifically in the horror genre. I have not had the resources to seek out a large following on YouTube. I’m certain there are a number of filmmakers out there lacking the required 10,000 subscribers, including myself and some who have commented previously, that could produce a noteworthy horror short/promo which would give any YouTube Partner out there heavy competition. I mean – this contest is seeking notable horror elements and not tongue and cheek, slapstick comedy horror – at least I assume. If offered a space in this contest, I’ll work my best to prove it, seriously. Any takers?

  5. cc says:

    From somebody that came from very humble beginnings in Mexico limiting the access to only people with a lot of subscribers seems a bit ironic.

  6. Must have 10,000 subscribers? Guillermo that is totally unreasonable and will limit entries from some very talented people.

  7. Brandon says:

    10,000 subsribers? I just made a feature and did all the VFX in house, but can’t submit because I don’t have youtube subs??!

  8. I am from Mexico (like Guillermo del Toro), and like many others I have the same question, if we produce a short film on our own, will be considered on the contest?

  9. I should add the next project was AIRLOCK a web series that I will be posting as soon as its online!

  10. I live in Australia and my attitude is this, while we unfortunately don’t have access to whats on offer, this is all about imagination and hard work and you can always find a way. If you have the story and the drive give it a go. It does suck a little (but let that motivate you), I love horror, I just finished working on two sic-fi’s ( a started as a runner, moved to props buyer/maker and then assistant set decorator and ended up production designing the next project with 3 weeks notice to build sets with next to no money. The film was ‘INFINI’ – remember that name!!! because we did it with next to nothing.


    Creativity is problem solving mixed with passion, you do it because you have no choice its in you.

    Guillermo if you read this, one day I will meet you and we will talk horror and I’ll show you something that meant as much to me as CRONOS did to you!

  11. Kat says:

    Do we have to use the spaces provided? I want to enter, I have ideas but I’m in toronto….

  12. Daniel says:

    Legendary can talk. They’re a film studio with only 31,000 subscribers.

    And they want help pomoting their film/s with Joe/Jane public with 10,000 subscibers?

    That’s not asking too much.

  13. So let me get this straight: Unless you live not only in those countries, but in those specific parts of the country, have 10,000 subscribers on YouTube and are part of the partner program you cannot enter this contest. If so, then this is a big load of crap.

    • Kat says:

      I’m reading it as though they will give you an added boost if you do….I want to enter. I have none of the criteria listed there. I’m still going to do this though. I want to and I will prove to them that I can make a great story, even without their help.

  14. Logan Adams says:

    well, this sucks. I live in Kentucky. No access to rad stuff.

  15. Brad says:

    Why isn’t Toronto on the list!?
    We love working with you!

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