By Sahil Patel
Machinima has launched a new short film on YouTube with the hopes of turning it into a scripted online series, pending audience approval.
“Enormous” is based on the acclaimed graphic novel of the same name, which is set in a post-apocalyptic world where humans are preyed on by giant insect-like beasts. The novel is written by Tim Daniel with illustrations by Mehdi Cheggour.
The film picks up a year after the events of “E-Day” — the name for the worldwide attack — and tells the story of Ellen Grace, a mother who lost her child to the invasion and now plays a major role in the human resistance. Leading the only remaining North American search and recovery team, Grace has to fend off the ecological beasts, as well as some of her fellow humans.
The cast is headlined by Ceren Lee, Steven Braun (“Wrong Turn 2”), and Erica Gimpel (“Veronica Mars”).
Written by Andre Ovredal (“Trollhunter”) and directed by BenDavid Grabinski (“Cost of Living”), “Enormous” was optioned by Machinima and producer Adrian Askarieh (“Hit Man”) roughly a year ago.
The goal for Machinima, per what VP of development Andy Shapiro tells The Hollywood Reporter, is to track the success of “Enormous” on Machinima Prime — including analyzing metrics such as views and conversations — to see if it’s worth a full season. This strategy, which Machinima plans to employ for other original projects, will help keep costs down while also engaging fans, according to Shapiro.
It’s not exactly a foreign idea, either, for Machinima. One of the companies’ most famous projects, “Mortal Kombat: Legacy,” was developed by Warner Bros. after an independently produced short film from director Kevin Tancharoen went viral on YouTube.
Other producers for “Enormous” include Joshua Wexler and his company Pure Imagination Studios. Machinima Prime currently reaches more than 1.4 million subscribers on YouTube.