2015 Lovie Internet Video Person of the Year—Swedish director David Sandberg—completely changed the way that crowd-funded films are built, and viewed, with his viral hit, Kung Fury. With nearly 25 million views and counting, the short film pays homage to 1980s martial arts and police action films with incredible special effects and wild characters including vikings, dinosaurs, mutants and a guest star appearance by David Hasselhoff.
Kung Fury is a legendary story of native Internet success and proof of the velocity of YouTube. Sandberg turned to Kickstarter to crowdsource the funding for his film, surpassed his goal, and then premiered the project on YouTube for free where it was an immediate sensation. This kind of trajectory demonstrates that creating original content and art—however wild the subject matter—is the core DNA of the web itself, and that anyone with passion, drive and a point of view, can realise their work for an engaged audience around the world.
What began as a kernel of an idea has blossomed even beyond the viral web. Alongside the YouTube film, Sandberg released a mobile tie-in game titled Kung Fury: Street Rage. And now, Kung Fury has gained so much momentum that a feature length version is set to begin production with KatzSmith Productions, making the crossover to the big screen.