At 30 years of age, David Victori has just hit the jackpot. On the Venice Lido last Sunday afternoon actor Michael Fassbender read his name out as the winner of the YouTube short film competition, which the video website put in motion several months ago. Now with his 390,000-euro prize in his pocket, director Ridley Scott backing him up and Fassbender ready to work for him, this young man from Manresa in Catalonia has a unique opportunity to do something big.
“I remember the day I thought, ‘I want to devote my life to telling stories’,” he says. “I remember it very well. I signed up to a theater group because I sensed there was something there for me. It was at the Els Carlins theater in Manresa, with Alicia Puerta. I was with them for a few years and in one production in which I played a soldier I had to go out on the stage alone, with a gun in my hand. Behind me an opera was playing at full volume. It seemed to be in slow motion — they shot me and I died. After that, I remember I opened the theater curtain from behind the stage to see my family, who had come to see me. They were all crying, and these were not fleeting tears — it was genuine crying. At that moment, I thought I didn’t really know what was happening but I liked the feeling a lot, that power, that magic trick that can move you in real life.”
Victori had to survive three selection processes to win the YouTube award. The candidates were whittled down to a shortlist of 10, and each one had to present a new project that would only be produced if they won. “I was already happy to be among the 50 semifinalists, so when I reached the final it was a surprise. But once I got there I was so happy with the project that I stayed very calm. Whether I had won the competition or not, the truth is my project was perfect.”
Understandably, Victori doesn’t want to reveal any more, though he says it is “a science-fiction project that I rescued from a notebook and I thought could work in the form of a short.”
The original short that allowed Victori to reap such a rich reward is called La culpa (The blame), and is an excellent tale of vengeance and remorse. “It was all fairly simple in reality. I had made a short a long time before I knew about the existence of the competition [the film premiered at the 2010 Sitges Festival]. When I saw the possibility of entering on the [YouTube] website I talked with my producers and we did it. I never could have dreamed this would happen; it’s too much.”
Now Los Angeles-based Vitori, who has worked as an assistant director for Bigas Luna and was recently signed up by one of the most powerful agencies in Hollywood, has a ticket for London. There he will meet with Scott Free, the production company owned by the Scott brothers (Ridley and the late Tony), to carry out his plans. The project needs to be ready to go it alone on February 28 of next year. “I don’t know if they will want to work in London or Los Angeles; wherever they tell me,” he says with a grin.
At the moment, Fassbender has already agreed to lend him his face: “He said he would definitely call me in the future to ask for work. I told him I would give him an audition and if he measured up, he would get it.”