YouTube sensation 'Eric Brody' actually a marketing stunt for 'Quarantine'
Have you met Eric Brody? He’s young, single, just moved to Los Angeles, and works logging evidence at a local police station. He also seems to have stumbled upon a mysterious video of a shooting, titled Case 1017. He posted that clip on his YouTube blog last month and generated more than 1 million views. Thing is, Eric’s not real — he’s a paid actor named Ben Messmer, promoting Screen Gems’ upcoming chiller Quarantine, starring Johnathon Schaech and Jay Hernandez. The 1 million page views are courtesy of a well-placed (and paid for) promotion on the front page of YouTube to give the movie — a remake of the popular Spanish horror film REC — and its teaser trailer (which bows April 10) some back story. Now that Eric, who’s not in the movie, has some fans, and the teaser trailer has some context, more people will tune in. At least that’s the hope. “[Viewers] think if we’re willing to spend this much time creating this alternate world, then the movie must be cool enough to invest in,” says Screen Gems marketing president Marc Weinstock. He’ll find out if this Cloverfield-like stunt worked when Quarantine hits theaters on Oct. 17.