Vimeo—the video-sharing service for people who are really into three-axis gimbal stabilizers, anamorphic flares, and Voigtlander Nokton lenses—is about as close as filmmaking’s tech side has to a social media hub, a bottomless archive of music videos, tech demos, and wedding-videographer reels, annotated with lengthy comment threads about ProRes 422 workflow. It doesn’t come as much of a surprise, then, that one of the site’s recent hits, the the three-and-a-half-minute proof-of-concept video The Leviathan, is getting made into a Hollywood movie. What’s surprising is that this sort of thing doesn’t happen more often.
Admittedly, The Leviathan—essentially one effects-heavy scene about a spacecraft chasing a flying, whale-like creature—isn’t some kind of out-of-nowhere basement production. For one thing, it was directed by Ruairi Robinson (Last Days On Mars), with creature designs by Avatar’s Jordu Schell. For another, there’s already a full script by Jim Uhls (Fight Club, and some of Jumper).
Screenwriter Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days Of Future Past and some other parts of Jumper) will produce, with Neill Blomkamp—himself no stranger to getting movies greenlit based entirely on social media response to concept art—as executive producer.
The original short is below.