GOTHTOBER FAQ 2022

Here’s the scoop: 

This year’s theme: Gothtober Hotel

Dead and Breakfast? Arrive as Guests, leave as Ghosts!
From the Bates Motel to The Shining, to The Starlight Hotel, there is no shortage of creepy places in horror lore.  Does the place feel a little bit off? Is there something not quite right? Naw… can’t be, it’s just your mind playing tricks on you. 
Just ignore the scythe behind the bellhop station, and don’t mind the wall that appears to be weeping blood near your hotel room’s bathtub.  

Our 20th Anniversary!!!

Also: Gothtober is TWENTY YEARS OLD this year!!!  What started as an early experimental endeavor in Flash has now become a contemporary and (partially) living archive of over 300 short films, slideshows, sound pieces, and many other types of experimental art, all of it with a distinctive Halloween flavor! 

The Gothtober Countdown Calendar has been through an assortment of natural disasters, six presidential elections, two recessions, plenty of inflation, and an ongoing global pandemic. Gothtober is certified Public Internet Art, made with love, by JP Head Candy Corn and Cristin High Priestess of Web, (as well as a handful of programmers and administrative volunteers over the years) who wanted to share a love of artistic collaboration and seasonal weirdness with like-minded people who like to make stuff.  


Haunted Hotel specific concepts:  Room 217, Strange Disappearances, Unwanted visitors, paranormal activity, poltergeists, room keys, tiny shampoos, nervous employees who act like they’re hiding something, killer room deals, slashed prices, Doom Service, ghoulish hotel attendants, locked doors, tiny goblin doors, trap doors, mystery, intrigue, 

Films/Helpful Reference: Psycho, The Shining, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Tower of Terror, Identity, 1408, Vacancy, The Innkeepers, American Horror Story: Hotel (technically not a film but a 12-part series you can watch on Hulu), Hell House, Bad Times at the El Royale, Hotel Artemis, The Night, Ghostkeeper, Mountaintop Motel Massacre, The Witches, Reaper, The City of the Dead, Daughters of Darkness, Terror at Red Wolf Inn, Inn of the Damned, 

Mix ANY OF THE ABOVE (or whatever else you can think of) with HALLOWEEN!!! 

And As Always: Theme too much for ya this year? “Halloween” is always the default theme for every calendar. You know, stuff like: The fall season, pumpkin spice, scarecrows, murderous psychos wandering through town, terrifying phone calls coming from inside the house, full moons, crypts, creeps, that chill in the air… 

RULES for PARTICIPATION

• Movies not to exceed 3 minutes in length! That means: do not go over 3 minutes pretty please with pumpkin spice on top! Your movie can be 30 seconds long, or 1 minute, or 2 minutes and 46 seconds, but NOT OVER 3 minutes!!!  

• Slideshows not to exceed 20 frames! 
 
• Please only show NEW or never-before seen material to debut on Gothtober.

• Please wait until January of 2023 to distribute your original piece outside of Gothtober.
 
Gothtober is powered by SparkleBlob, a Los Angeles based 501-C3 non-profit organization that also runs Artist Workshops, Art Happenings, Performances, Weekly CraftNight, and The SparkleBlob Annual Holiday Puppet Show. 


DETAILED MEGA FAQ


TECHNICAL FAQ

What are the requirements of making a:

What is Gothtober?

The Gothtober Countdown Calendar™ is a curated time-release online museum of 31 works of art by 31 different artists. The official run of the show is from October 1st to the 31st, a new art piece being revealed with each day of the month. The best way to see what it is though, is by visiting it!

What size do I need to design for?

Average movie size is either ye olde TV ratio of 4:3, or 16:9 (letterbox) or square (ie Instagram size) our programming will adjust the size to fit various movie sizes. We recommend the above sizes for future screenings and/or festivals you may want to send your piece to at a later date. 

When can I put my piece on YouTube or Social Media?

Gothtober artists may not post their 2022 Gothtober piece outside of our calendar until January 2023.
Gothtober is “together-art.” When you debut on Gothtober for the Halloween season, you are doing PR for yourself and everyone else that has work in the calendar, and they are also doing that for you. It’s like “Hey, I did a thing, and also, look at all this other work by all these other artists!” 
Gothtober staff is unpaid and the $25 registration fee paid by each participant goes toward hosting, PR, and treats for participating Gothtober artists (that’s you!). 

Slideshow-Style Presentation

(Some Examples in Gothtober 2022 are DAYS 2,3,11)

  • This could be a gallery of works, a story w/pictures, a recipe w/steps, comics, a poem w/visuals, etc.
  • Show can be activated by viewer pressing buttons (interactive mode) or a timed show that has no buttons that runs by itself.
  • Limited to 20 images or less.
  • Please include a title page for the beginning of the piece, the “next” and “back” buttons will be made for you.
  • Please make all slide images of uniform size and dpi
  • Give JP time to work with you if you need configuration of your images, like 2 weeks or something.

Quicktime Movies

Visit the Gothtober Archive and you’ll see that the majority of submissions in past calendars are movies. Wanna make a movie? 
THE MOVIE TIME LIMIT IS 3 MINUTES!
THE MOVIE TIME LIMIT IS 3 MINUTES!
THE MOVIE TIME LIMIT IS 3 MINUTES!
This includes creepy music videos, eerie murder movies, tales of gruesome revenge and strife! Talk to us about compression, every movie is different. We will provide the loading bar.
Movies need to stay within the 4:3 aspect ratio, the “TV” ratio or 16:9 the letterbox ratio. Remember to use bright colorful imagery and stay away from tiny objects and signage, since when things get compressed, it becomes unreadable or looks kinda crappy.
You can give your work to JP in person on a flash drive. OR You can also (preferred) send your film via DropBox, Hightail, WeTransfer, Google Drive, Amazon Drive, Cloud Drive what else have you, and Gothtober will download and compress files. Please try to keep your file within a reasonable size (not in the GB range, please). 

Printable Things

A file for download that can be printed: Paintings, Mini-books, Halloween Masks, Cards, posters, fold-&-print projects, gameboards, trading cards, ANYTHING made on paper that you want to share with the world that can be printed and assembled/displayed by the viewer.
Actual physical artwork delivered must be no larger than 8 1/2 x 11″ (must be sent earlier for digital prep) Digital files must be same measurements (for easy printing) sent as Illustrator, Photoshop or hi-res jpg file at 180 dpi or larger.

Downloadable Music Files or other goodies:

High-quality recordings of tunes or spoken word you’ve made that you want people to have for listening! Home-made gothtober sound effects, 1 minute of evil laughter, dippy country song about pumpkins, plunking the guitar and yodeling about goblins…etc.

Where can I view Gothtober?

 Visit www.gothtober.com!

Can I view Gothtober on my smart phone?

Yes! We figured out how to show Gothtober on Smart Phones, Tablets and everything else that is mobile! You can also just watch from your desktop. Hooray! This was achieved for the very first time in 2015.
Sadly, ever since Adobe killed Flash, much of our earlier archive is unavailable for viewing at this time. We’re working on an archive, and looking forward to the return of those pieces. 

How do I apply to Gothtober?

To apply to be a Gothtober artist,  contact julianna.parr@gmail.com
If there’s room on the calendar for you, you’ll be sent a registration form. 

Do I have to be an artist or film maker to apply for Gothtober?

NO! You don’t have to be an expert or a proclaimed certified anything to apply and make something for Gothtober! All you’ve got to have is an idea, and a way to make your idea, it can be recipe cards, stories, things that people cut-out or listen to, ANYTHING you think would be spooky or weird enough to interest the masses for Halloween! Chefs, body-builders, retail clerks, office workers, managers, teachers, travelers, students, families, couples and individuals have ALL participated in Gothtober!

When should I send JP a message about wanting to do Gothtober?

NOW! Artists will be notified of admission on the 1st of September. Sorry for the very short notice, ack ack!

Why do I have to pay a $25 entrance fee?

Gothtober is basically a film festival, featuring not only films, but downloadable files, recipes and other cool stuff. Your festival fee goes directly toward running Gothtober:

Hosting Gothtober costs about $250 per year. The Gothtober commemorative pin costs about $450 to manufacture, we pay to mail them to Gothtober participants packed with other premiums. Our staff consists of two technicians: Head Candycorn JP and High Priestess of Web Cristin Pescosolido. We work very hard to get this digital art installation to the people. We are not paid. 

Gothtober is powered by SparkleBlob, the arts non profit that cleverly tricks people into making and doing art. Because of covid-19, all programs BUT Gothtober have been defunct. We’re hoping that CraftNight and the Holiday Puppet show will be possible this year. If you wish to make a contribution toward our programs:
Visit SparkleBlob’s Donation Page and send us some love! 

So I don’t have to pay to apply, only if I am accepted?

That’s is correct! Writing an email to JP Head Candy Corn costs nothing, only when it’s been established that you are going to be featured as a Gothtober Participant will you receive a notice asking you to pay your entrance fee.

What is the theme for Gothtober this year?

2021 Theme: Gothtober Hotel

Dead and Breakfast? Arrive as Guests, leave as Ghosts!
From the Bates Motel to The Shining, to The Starlight Hotel, there is no shortage of creepy places in horror lore.  Does the place feel a little bit off? Is there something not quite right? Naw… can’t be, it’s just your mind playing tricks on you. 
Just ignore the scythe behind the bellhop station, and don’t mind the wall that appears to be weeping blood near your hotel room’s bathtub.  

Our 20th Anniversary!!!

Also: Gothtober is TWENTY YEARS OLD this year!!!  What started as an early experimental endeavor in Flash has now become a contemporary and (partially) living archive of over 300 short films, slideshows, sound pieces, and many other types of experimental art, all of it with a distinctive Halloween flavor! 

Haunted Hotel specific concepts:  Room 217, Strange Disappearances, Unwanted visitors, paranormal activity, poltergeists, room keys, tiny shampoos, nervous employees who act like they’re hiding something, killer room deals, slashed prices, Doom Service, ghoulish hotel attendants, locked doors, tiny goblin doors, trap doors, mystery, intrigue, 

Films/Helpful Reference: Psycho, The Shining, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Tower of Terror, Identity, 1408, Vacancy, The Innkeepers, American Horror Story: Hotel (technically not a film but a 12-part series you can watch on Hulu), Hell House, Bad Times at the El Royale, Hotel Artemis, The Night, Ghostkeeper, Mountaintop Motel Massacre, The Witches, Reaper, The City of the Dead, Daughters of Darkness, Terror at Red Wolf Inn, Inn of the Damned

Mix ANY OF THE ABOVE (or whatever else you can think of) with HALLOWEEN!!! 

And As Always: Theme too much for ya this year? “Halloween” is always the default theme for every calendar. You know, stuff like: The fall season, pumpkin spice, scarecrows, murderous psychos wandering through town, terrifying phone calls coming from inside the house, full moons, crypts, creeps, that chill in the air… 

Can I put old-ass stuff that I’ve made before on Gothtober?

PLEASE NO! As things that have debuted on Gothtober have made it into film festivals around the world, we ask that you only make fresh stuff for us never before seen by human or inhuman eyes for visual consumption. I mean, whatever, if you made it in 1985, and no one has ever seen it, that’s fine, but I think you know what I mean: nothing that’s been submitted to festivals or YouTube or out in the world.

WHY? Because our PR is basically YOU and 30 other people. All of you promoting each other HELPS bring people to the calendar. This calendar is about SHARING, you aren’t just one little nugget by yourself without anyone else, you’re inside something bigger than your one piece, it’s about all of them together, you’re part of a set, a box of spooky halloween chocolates. 

What benefits are there to being a Gothtober Artist?

WE HAVE AWARDS!!!!! 
Last year we decided it’s time for Gothtober to have Awards. This is what happens when you are in lockdown and have fantastic ideas. Behold, you could receive: 

Citrouille d’Or – Golden Pumpkin – Best Gothtober Piece
Le Globe Oculaire Flottant – Best VFX or technical piece
Prix Countess Vampiress Innovante – Innovative and audacious works
Prix Lugosi – Best Acting
Queer Goth Palm – Best LGBTQ+ related work
Helen Hill Romance Activist Award – Sweetest or most Romantic piece
CraftNight Award – Best craft project + download
Panushka d’Or – Best Animation or Puppetry
Gothtober Lifetime Achievement Award – for longstanding Gothtober participants through the years

So if you make a Gothtober piece and it’s up on the calendar, you have the chance of winning one of our prestigious GOLDEN PUMPKIN AWARDS!!! These awards come with fame and prizes! What are the prizes? We’re still figuring that out! This will be our 3rd time doing this, and we’re coming up with ways to make it more and more fabulous, believe you me! But also, everyone gets what’s below: 

SWAG: Every Gothober Participant gets premium, one-of-a-kind commemorative art thangs from Gothtober’s creator, Julianna (JP) Parr. This means pins-n-stickers and whatever else I can think of to throw into an envelope and send to you as our thanks for making “together art” with us! 

GUMPTION: If you are always kicking ideas around, and you want to make something, but need some motivation to make that something: Gothtober could be a good fit. We exist to celebrate all things that go bump in the night, as well as the cinnamon and apple scents of Fall, and the anticipation of grabbing gobs and gobs of Halloween candy.

COLLAB: We exist as a platform for artists/participants who love this time of year to make something for the world. You make it, we share it and we tell everyone to pay attention to you. Also: contributors telling people to look at their piece draws the public toward the site as a whole, creating a togetherness in celebrating each other’s Gothtober pieces. 

GREATER GOOD: I get to work with you. I want to inspire and help do whatever it takes to get something BY YOU into THIS WORLD for EVERYONE TO SEE. My mission in life is creating collective effervescence. I was born to make art and I want you to join me. We’re doing it because we can, we’re doing it because we want to, and we’re doing it because we must. 

Some art from Gothtober contributors have gone on to premier at film festivals! Barry Morse’s piece “Ookie Cookie” from 2008 went on to show at OutFest and Homo A-GoGo, as well as Jimena Sarno and Ms Bea’s film El Miedo (Fear) that showed in the 47th Annual Ann Arbor Film Festival 2009. Totally Tulip by Fast and Funsters played in Paris 2015!!! Selections from Helen Hill and Paul Gailiunas were screened in Canada in 2019.

Who makes Gothtober?

Gothtober consists of TWO ghouls who love Halloween! The Gothtober Countdown Calendar is produced, curated, directed and illustrated by the Head Candycorn, Julianna Parr (that’s me) she works with Our High Priestess of web, Cristin Pescosolido. Cristin makes sure the calendar doesn’t break, and helps out with compression, programming tweaks, and launching some of the days at midnight. 

Past Gothtober Calendar architects and programmers have been: Jack O’ Lantern Jesse Albini, Creepy Cathy Davies, Barnacle Bill Luttrell, Lycanthropic Laura Mann, and Murderous Mike Soderstrom. And, of course, the calendar would simply not exist without the weird and wonderful work of our Gothtober Contributors, past and present. We proudly have over 300 wonderful works of art in our archives, and we’re seeking out a grant to make a fancy searchable database that will live online forevahhhhhh.

We also wouldn’t be half as fabulous without our Gothtober musicians and sound designers, who have made music and effects for the calendar over the years: Jason Myers and the Electones, Josh Fielstra, Tim Halbur, and Andrew Choate. 

How did Gothtober start?

Hi I’m Head Candy Corn, JP.

Once upon a time, I was experimenting with time-release options in the program, Flash, and came up with a Xmas advent calendar back in 2002. I designed all the art and work behind the doors myself. I found out quickly that doing it all solo, while fun, was overwhelming and crazy. The following year, I invited 25 friends (as there are 25 days toXmas) to contribute to the piece. But you know, not everyone celebrates Xmas, and mostly people want to get super sweet and sentimental for the holidays, which is great… but not all that weird. And I like to give people space to be as weird as they want. Then I thought… how can I get more doors and make it less about Xmas and make it way weirder? I know! I’ll make a countdown to Halloween! The first Gothtober was born in 2003, I’m proud to offer our 20th round of insane offerings.

-Julianna (JP) Parr Head Candycorn Executive Director, SparkleBlob