Beloved Filmmaker to Make and Release 12 Movies in 2024

Beloved Filmmaker to Make and Release 12 Movies in 2024

One of the film world’s most interesting creators is pushing himself to new lengths. Joel Haver is best known for his weekly short films and comedy sketches on YouTube. However, he plans to expand his feature-length filmography by 12 movies in 2024. The creator, who previously wrote/directed/starred in movies such as Pretend That You Love Me and Island, will film and release 12 movies in 2024.

Haver credits the idea to Dan Lotz, another independent filmmaker known for features like The Long Con and Split Scream on the 5 Dollar Film School YouTube channel. Lotz previously embarked on “The 12 Features Project” in 2021/2022, where he filmed 12 movies in 12 months. However, Haver is taking things up a notch by releasing the films within that time frame, as well.

Like all of Haver’s works, he will release them free on YouTube. However, this plan means that Haver’s short film work will be put on hold.

“The more I reflect on my feature-length films, the more I realize they’re the work that invigorated me the most, challenged me the most, spoke the most honestly to what I was feeling at the time and just all around was the richest stuff I’ve made,” Haver said in a Jan. 1 YouTube video. “I’ve made the incredibly hard choice in 2024 to stop the weekly shorts. For the first time in nearly 5 years I am bringing them to an end. And this is not to say I don’t like weekly shorts anymore. I think weekly short films are amazing. I think it’s the best way to hone your craft. It’s the best way to practice. It’s the best way to get seen. Every week, if you’re exercising that creative muscle, it’s so good for you.”

However, Haver plainly stated, “They are no longer challenging me.” He will surely get a challenge now, as he noted that making just features will greatly increase the amount of footage he records and edits each month.

“There’s nothing in this world I’m more passionate about than making filmmaking accessible, showing how accessible it is doing it independently, retaining the rights to my work, not waiting for anyone’s approval. And I want to quadruple, septuple, 12-fold down on that,” Haver said. “I also am very nervous about the project because, ultimately, this is going to be a s— ton of work and doing the weekly uploads, I maybe average 20 minutes of edited film a month. Doing this project, I’m going to have to average 40, 60, 90 minutes of edited film shot and edited a month, which is going to be exhausting. But ultimately, I know it’s going to challenge me in a way that I haven’t felt challenged in a long time. It’s going to push my work new places, and it’s just going to be exciting.”

Haver, who is also known for his work on Hulu’s The Paloni Show! Halloween Special!, also acknowledged that shifting from short weekly uploads to monthly feature-length uploads is not a wise financial decision. However, he’s more focused on the creative aspect of it all. He will instead rely on Patreon backers for his film budgets.

“It’s also going to make me go broke a little ’cause I am going to make a lot less money not being as consistent on YouTube,” Have said. “I know the algorithm is gonna punish it. I know a lot of people in the audience won’t be tuning in for these, and that’s OK with me ’cause I want to go full artist mode this year.”

Haver has now released the first of these movies to the public. On Friday, Haver released the mockumentary The Hero’s Journey aka My Life aka The Caleb Johnston Story (I’m Caleb). The film offers a humorous but melancholy portrait of a man living in his car. 

“I’m incredibly proud of this movie. It explores a general smalltown malaise that pervaded much of my childhood and the stifled feelings and aimlessness that would come with that,” Haver wrote of the movie in a community post. “I imagine it’ll take most people quite some time to dive into this movie, let alone all twelve by year’s end. When/if you do find the time, thank you so much for watching.”

He also dispelled confusion around his decision to stop uploading shorts, writing, “It’s been funny to see myself being lumped in with YouTubers who are quitting when I’ve been working harder than ever. I’ve been chipping away at this everyday since New Years. It’s been lovely to spend proper time with a longer project.”


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