Low budget Youtube video leads to $30 million production deal with Spider-Man director Sam Raimi

A scene from the short film Panic Attack
A scene from the short film Panic Attack

Apparently this news broke last month on BBC, but CNN’s coverage of the story earlier today, has brought it back into the spotlight.

According to various reports, including the BBC, CNN (video below) and The Huffington Post, a producer from Uruguay who uploaded a short film to YouTube in November of 2009, titled Ataque de Panico! (Panic Attack!), has been offered a $30 million contract to make a Hollywood film. To make things even sweeter, he’ll be working with Spider-Man director Sam Raimi, who got his own start lensing the cult favorite Evil Dead horror films.

Fede Alvarez’s short film features giant robots invading and destroying Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. Total running time of the project is 4 minutes and 48 seconds, and it was made on a budget of $300. CNN’s Josh Levs rightfully pointed out that doesn’t include the time and equipment costs for the 3D work. After reviewing Alvarez’s website, he’s certainly a professional. But to have one’s work taken to this level – and to be working with the legendary Sam Raimi on a feature film project – that’s not something that happens everyday.

Ataque de Panico! has had more than 1.5 million views on YouTube so far.

“I uploaded (Panic Attack!) on a Thursday and on Monday my inbox was totally full of emails from Hollywood studios,” he told the BBC’s Latin American service BBC Mundo. “It was amazing, we were all shocked.”

The film Alvarez has been asked to produce is a sci-fi feature to be shot in Uruguay and Argentina. He says he intends to start from scratch and develop a new story for the project.

“If some director from some country can achieve this just uploading a video to YouTube, it obviously means that anyone could do it,” he added.

So if you’re thinking it can’t happen to you, going the internet route… think again.

Check out Panic Attack below.

You can find out more about at his production company’s website at www.murdoc.tv.

Check out the CNN report below.

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