I read once that Independent Films have a 99.8% failure rate, meaning only 0.2% ever make back their initial investment. That sounds exaggerated, but for most of us filmmakers, it’s effectively the truth.

It’s time to adopt a new strategy or get left behind.

For the past couple years, Timid Monster has been feeling our way through the nebulous world of self-distribution, looking for opportunities to set up shop and eek out a living doing what we’re passionate about: blowing crap up on camera and dishing out mad feels.

We’re happy to report that there is indeed a promised land…at least for our fellow sci-fi/fantasy producers: comic book conventions!

Here’s why we think you should join us:

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Festival Announcements

knoxville laurels

Avarice will be screening at White Sands International Film Festival on September 6 in White Sands, New Mexico and at Knoxville Film Festival on September 20 in Knoxville, TN. If you’re in the area, come out and support Avarice!

For more information about the festivals, screening times, and tickets, check out the websites for the festivals.

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Memphis vs. The Durian

Dan Baker —  August 16, 2013

It’s illegal to carry on public transportation in some Asian countries. It smells like something died. Its taste is often described as a cross between rotten mangoes, putrid onions, garlic, and windex. It’s the one food that defeated Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern.

It’s also a cherished delicacy with aphrodisiac properties.

Yes! I’m talking about the infamous durian. And we took one to downtown Memphis, Tennessee to see who was brave enough to try it.

Hilarity ensues:

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Greetings Memphis-area Filmmakers!

Timid Monster (that’s us) has partnered with Memphis Comic & Fantasy Convention to bring you the first ever MEMPHIS SCI-FI CINEMA SHOWCASE, featuring…well…hopefully your short!

That’s right, from now until the end of September 2013, we’re taking submissions for a special screening of Memphis-area sci-fi short films at this year’s Memphis Comic & Fantasy Convention, November 15-17.

Qualifications and Terms

  • The title says sci-fi, but we’ll take fantasy, supernatural, horror…really anything that would be at home at a con.
  • We’re now accepting music videos, trailers, vignettes, as well as short films.
  • Your film must around or under 20 minutes in length, including credits.
  • Your film must have been made within the Memphis metropolitan area. We will consider regional films as well (looking at you, Nashville), but Memphis films will take priority.
  • Memphis CFC is an all-ages event, so your film must be “somewhat family friendly.” Think PG-13.
  • You must own the copyright to your film, the soundtrack, etc… If you don’t, we’ll need a written release from the copyright owner(s).
  • There is limited screen time, so understand that your film may not be chosen to screen.
  • We would greatly prefer it if you are able to be present at the screening to introduce your film and take part in a Memphis-area Filmmakers Q&A, as well as help promote the screening and supply promotional copies of your film for giveaways.

If all that sounds peachy keen, then submit your film today. Have questions? Shoot us a message here.

Submission Form

We are no longer taking submissions at this time. Thank you!

Holy macaroni! UtopYA Con was Team Timid Monster’s first experience with the insane world of female authors of young-adult fiction. Fortunately for us, it was a good insane.

We figured, like any con, there would be some passionate fans and authors…what we were unprepared for was how utterly welcoming, kind, and generous everyone was. Not that normal con-goers aren’t, but there was elevated energy at UtopYA that has since overflowed into our lives.

That’s an unnecessarily flowery way of saying it, but hey, there you go.


So, to honor all the awesome authors we met, we decided to throw a little “Judge a Book by Its Cover” contest on our facebook page. Hundreds of votes from fans later, we have the results:

Drrrrrrrrrumroll, please!

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Holey moley! The Timid Monster team just got back from Nashville where we screened Avarice at the 2013 UtopYA con, a convention exclusively for female authors of young adult sci-fi/fantasy books (think Twilight and Hunger Games).

We knew going in it wouldn’t be as big as some of the other events we’ve been to, but what we weren’t expecting is the level of awesome we found in the authors present. Every single one of them was a humble, hard-working, ridiculously talented author, many of whom did their own graphic design and book trailers.

We wanted to do something special to celebrate all the talent and creativity, so we decided to hold a “Judge a Book by Its Cover” contest. We snapped photos of all the best book covers we could find and we’re turning the judging over to you, dear readers. Just jump on our UtopYA Photo Album on Facebook and “like” all your favorite covers.

The author whose book cover gets the most likes by Wednesday, July 3rd at 11:59 pm central wins a Timid Monster prize package and internet fame.

So get to it! The clock’s-a-tickin’!

View Our 2013 UtopYA Con Photo Album and Vote for Your Favorites Now!

PS – Authors, feel free to tag your photos, add your Amazon links, etc… go nuts! This contest is for you!

What we thought would be a goofy cosplay sideshow at Anime Blues Con has blown up to be a massive ball-o-awesome. Over 9,000 people browsed the photo gallery, leaving more likes and comments than can be counted. To the cosplayers, THANK YOU for letting us take your picture, you all looked amazing. To everyone else, thanks for jumping in on the craziness and making this little contest so much fun.

Winners will receive Premium Digital downloads of our award-winning short films Avarice and John Gray.

Without further ado, the winners of the 2013 Anime Blues Cosplay Photo Contest as picked by you:

Best Photo & Best Cosplay

yoko littner gurren lagam

Domi as Yoko Littner from Gurren Lagam

Cosplayer Domi is quite industrious! With a little help from a LOT of friends, she managed to completely sweep the Best Cosplay category and edge out contenders in the Best Photo category. Congrats, Domi!

Runner Up

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Allura as Harley Quinn from Batman

Allura was oh-so-close to snatching the Best Photo prize from Domi. Her spot-on portrayal of Quinn claimed almost 80 likes.

Funniest Photo

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Shawn as a terrifying clown that haunts your nightmares

Yikes! Funniest? Alrighty. I’m not sure what else to say here other than I wasn’t exactly laughing as this chased me through my nightmares last night, but hey, to each their own. Congrats, Shawn!

Most Helpful Monster

comic con cosplay contest


We wanted to make sure everyone got a chance to see their cosplay photo on Facebook, so here’s a big high-five shout-out to Deric for tagging the most cosplayers in our album. You rock, Deric!

That’s all for now folks. Timid Monster and our photo-booth will be back in the fall at Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention with a comic book themed booth. In the mean time, check out one of our films, read a blog post, or check out the rest of the pics in the 2013 Anime Blues Cosplay Photo Contest.

*** The winners have been announced here! ***

This year at the 2013 Anime Blues Con, the Timid Monster team set up an anime themed photo-booth and asked people to give us their best pose. We got to meet over 200 of the coolest cosplayers ever and they were all nice enough to let us take their picture.

We had so much fun that we’re going to keep the party going; we’re giving away a Timid Monster Prize Package to the best, the funniest, the most authentic, and the most helpful cosplayers we met this weekend.

Here’s How it Works:

Browse the 2013 Anime Blues Cosplay Photo Contest on Facebook, and…

    The top prize goes to the photo with the most likes.
    For the pic that makes you laugh: to vote, type “FUNNIEST” in the comments.
    For the most authentic and accurate cosplay: to vote, type “BEST COSPLAY” in the comments.
    Help make sure nobody misses the opportunity to participate in the contest by tagging as many cosplayers as possible. The person who’s correctly tagged the most photos wins a prise package of their own.

Nominate as many photos as you want. The photos with the most votes in each category by 11:59pm central, Wednesday, June 26th win serious otaku street-cred as well as a Timid Monster Prize Pack.

We hope you had fun in our photo-booth; we had a blast meeting each of you, and look forward to seeing you again at the next con!

For the second year in a row I was invited to help create the digital backdrops for the musical numbers at the Tony Awards. Theater was such a big part of my high school days, so getting to build animations for Broadway’s top acts is a real joy for me.

For those of you who want to keep up with my work, here’s the four pieces I worked on (all hopefully cued up correctly):

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Great things come in small packages, right? That’s what our culture is certainly telling us. Attention spans are getting smaller. And our writing reflects that. Nobody has time to read an entire paragraph! Give it to me in one line.

It’s true in writing and it’s true in life. There is so much noise going on around us. So many distractions to take away from what’s important.

It just so happens that this is also the mysterious and horrifying world of the logline. Any unnecessary words will distract from what’s important about the story. A badly written logline could sink a movie before it even gets made. And a life with too much clutter can take away from what’s truly important to you.

Thus begins my logline/life comparison…

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