Four students in a 3D Animation and Digital Design course at Canada’s National Animation and Design Center were told that if their final video project for the semester was able to get 100,000 views on YouTube, they would all earn A+’s.
Eighteen million hits later, that A is a safe bet.
“The assignment was to create a hoax,” says Félix Marquis-Poulin, one of the four students in the course. Marquis-Poulin and his classmates had seven weeks to use animation to create a video that fooled viewers. The four students spent a collective 400 hours producing the 60-second video.
The final video, titled “Golden Eagle Snatches Kid,” was posted on Tuesday evening and quickly went viral. The amazing footage, which showed an eagle swoop down and grab a toddler playing in a park, was covered internationally on Wednesday morning. However, doubts quickly surfaced on social networks.
I lived in Montreal for 25 yrs and never seen an Eagle, let alone a baby snatching one. That’s unfair.
— Evy(@Zooomingevy) December 19, 2012
I’m now working on a screenplay about a baby who is raised by an eagle after being abducted from a park in Montreal. Nobody steal my idea.
— aaronwherry (@aaronwherry) December 19, 2012
I am not convinced that the viral video of the eagle picking up a baby in montreal is completely genuine… may be a viral ad? Idk
— Andrew Ramsaran (@djmashup2009) December 19, 2012
By the time the school issued a press release on Wednesday, the video had garnered over 1.2 million views. “We were expecting a little bit of views in Montreal, around Quebec, but not that much,” said Marquis-Poulin.