Horror Short Viral Headed to the Big Screen
12.19.11 by BJSprecher
Screen Gems has picked up the rights to adapt budding filmmaker Tim Schechmeister's horror short, Viral, for the big screen.
Fresh out of UCLA film school, Schechmeister hit the festival circuit with the 11-minute short that he co-write (with his brother, Matt) and directed, picking up awards for Best Supernatural Short and Best Student Short at the Atlanta Horror Film Festival and Shockwest Film Festival, respectively. After meeting The Grudge writer Stephen Susco at a screenwriting event, Schechmeister's short quickly found its way into the hands of producers Roy Lee (The Grudge) and Lawrence Grey, who sold Screen Gems on the idea of adapting the short.
Viral is described on the Facebook page dedicated to the short as a "supernatural horror short about a case of mistaken identity, with terrifying consequences." It revolves around two young women who fool around on the Internet and "provoke someone... or something" that they shouldn't have. The deal with Screen Gems will see the Schechmeister brothers writing the screenplay for the feature movie adaptation, with Tim at the helm. Susco, Lee, and Grey will produce, along with John Middleton.
Susco said that modern anxiety about the pervasiveness and influence of social media technology make the concept at the heart of Viral a timely one.
It strikes at the modern social media anxiety that really hits a hot nerve in this country. How young people communicate is changing and technology is altering the tenor of that communication—in many cases for the worse. And this is an opportunity to do something scary and really potent at the same time.
Check out the trailer for Viral to get a better idea of what Schechmeister has planned for the feature: