Update: Canon tells us that “The ‘Director’ spot bears no relation to the individual profiled in this story,” and that it is “a completely fictional character.”
Canon’s big “See Impossible” marketing push has received quite a bit of mockery from the creative community, as people hoped for more from the hyped-up countdown than an ad campaign and a couple of inspirational videos.
There’s also a new development that hurts Canon’s efforts even more: it turns out that one of the two people featured by Canon didn’t actually shoot with Canon, and he’s calling the company out on it.
The video above is simply titled “Director,” and is one of two videos released in the campaign (the other is called “Writer“). While no names and specific details are mentioned in the spot, it’s pretty clear that it’s based on the journey of Uruguayan film director Fede Alvarez.
Alvarez was an unknown aspiring filmmaker back in 2009 when he released a short film titled Ataque de Pánico! (“Panic Attack!” in English) on YouTube:
The video racked up millions of views and a great deal of press attention. Alvarez was soon offered $30 million by Hollywood to direct a full-length movie. (He says, “I uploaded Panic Attack! on a Thursday and on Monday my inbox was totally full of e-mails from Hollywood studios.”)
He has since gone on to become a director of Hollywood films (he wrote and directed the 2013 Evil Dead remake), and “Panic Attack!” is now cited as a pioneering example of how the Internet can help Hollywood discover emerging talent.
Given the striking similarities between Canon’s advertisement and Alvarez’s life, it seems clear that the former is based on the latter. Even Alvarez thinks so, but he isn’t too happy with the ad. The director publicly commented on the YouTube video saying that he didn’t use Canon’s equipment to launch his career:
Oops. Looks like Canon should have chosen a different director’s life to base their ad on.
Thanks for sending in the tip, Falk!