Raimi signs Ataque de Pánico! (Panic Attack!) director
Uruguyan director Federico Alvarez created a short film, less than five minutes in length, that showed the destruction of a city by an invading force of flying machines and gigantic robots. The scenes of destruction and the merging of CG and the landscape around them are superbly done, and the closing idea is interesting. However there's not much else.
So it's a surprise that on the strength of that short, which you can see below, Alvarez received offers from DreamWorks, Fox, Warner Bros. and the Weinstein Company, and even more surprising that out of all of them he has signed a deal with Sam Raimi's much smaller production company.
Ghost House Pictures doesn't really have the kind of scale you would expect for a film version of the following short, but then it could be akin to Cloverfield (Filmstalker review) for what it would be attempting, and not something like Independence Day – I mean that in terms of budgets, effects and scale of production, not in quality terms! - however if they early estimates are right then the budget might well be a little bigger than Cloverfield.
The word is that Panic Attack was pounced on when the video started doing the rounds on the Interflab and Federico Alvarez himself reveals on El Pais through ShockTillYouDrop that he made a deal while in L.A. with Ghost House Pictures and it was a mighty nice one, one million dollars to develop a script based on the short he made and with an intended budget from US $30-40 million. Now that's a little bigger than Cloverfield, which was estimated at around $25 million.
Alvarez reveals the reason that he chose to go with Ghost House Pictures:
”The beauty of this is total freedom and Raimi have sponsored. They protect you from the studio system for making your movie.”
Well that's a damn good reason to go with them, because the studio won't interfere, but then how much is there to interfere with? So far we have giant robots destroying a city with missiles and massive firey explosions, helped along by small flying ships. Is that really the full story?
Alvarez says not, and that there's an idea in his head for the full script. The million will pull the idea out and transfer it into a script that could end up being this huge film. Good luck.
In the meantime, here's the short that has started the ball rolling. Make something like this and you could have US $1 million in your lap and a film deal.