Uruguayan director, Fede Alvarez, made Panic Attack for less than $500 and received a six-figure contract from Sam Raimi to make a full-length movie.
The atmospheric film, called Ataque de Panico! in its native Spanish, opens with a small Uruguayan child playing with toy robots. There follows an assault on the senses and on the city of Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. The film piques more interest in less than four minutes than most big-budget films do in two hours.
The film was first posted in November and sparked a flurry of activity in LA as Hollywood tried to lock down the previously unknown Alvarez. He flew to California and met with agents, managers and studios before he finally signed to work with one of his directing heroes, Sam Raimi, director of Evil Dead and Spiderman.
"I uploaded (Panic Attack!) on a Thursday and on Monday my inbox was totally full of e-mails from Hollywood studios," Alvarez said. "It was amazing, we were all shocked."
"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.
Sam Raimi's Ghost House Pictures signed Alvarez to make a new film, with a new story and not based on Panico at all. Alvarez plans to shoot in Uruguay and Argentina. The fact that he is not expanding the story of the film that made him famous somehow makes Panico that much more intriguing. Who are the giant robots? Why are they attacking? Why were Alvarez's talents never noticed until now?
Always leave them wanting more.