From Uruguay to Hollywood: Watch the Video· December 18, 2009
Here's a fairy tale that could only happen in the movies. Man makes YouTube video. Goes to Hollywood. Gets pots of money and a movie deal. Except this story is true.
An unknown producer from Uruguay, Fede Alvarez, shelled out about $300 to create a cool video of a robot invasion in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. The four-minute short, "Ataque de Panico!" (Panic Attack) features ginormous (but slow-moving) weapon-wielding robots that blow stuff up.
We have to admit, it has pretty amazing production values. The Playlist gushed that the director may be the next Neill Blomkamp, who made the South African-based alien flick "District 9." With the blog abuzz, the South American short went viral, and has already been viewed on YouTube 1.5 million times.
Well, apparently nothing gets by Hollywood these days. The lucky duck told the BBC, "I uploaded 'Ataque de Panico!' on a Thursday and on Monday my inbox was totally full of emails from Hollywood studios." Long story short, a bidding war ensued. The offer he pocketed: A $30 million deal with Sam "Spiderman" Raimi's Ghost House Pictures. That's a nice return on investment.
The picture will be a sci-fi thriller set in Argentina and Uruguay. In case you're hoping to see the feature-length version of "Panic Attack!" in a movie theater, it won't be from this deal. The newly minted "it" guy says he will start from scratch.
Here's the video that got him Hollywood gold.