LOS ANGELES – Amateur filmmaker David Lehre first screened his short film "MySpace: The Movie" about a month ago at his 21st birthday party.
Since then, the spoof of the popular networking site has been viewed more than 6 million times through various online sites and has prompted a development deal offer from MTVU, contact from Hollywood managers and a complimentary e-mail from MySpace co-founder Tom Anderson.
"I've never had stuff go as fast as it is now," Lehre, who still lives at home with his parents in Washington, Mich., told the Los Angeles Times.
Lehre started making films with the same cast and crew in 10th grade, after he and his friends where denied parts in the high school theater production of "Little Women."
"I thought, 'Let's make a movie.' They're like, 'Do you know how to make a movie?' I was like, 'I don't know. I'll figure it out,'" Lehre said. "I was sick of other people deciding if I could entertain or not. I thought, if they won't give me a chance, then I'll make my own movie."
Lehre's 11-minute short parodies the habits of the popular social networking site. It is told in five scenes, beginning with an underwear-clad teen who vainly takes pictures of himself in the bathroom until his mothers barges in. Another scene features a showdown between a boy and his girlfriend who demands his password to view incriminating photos on his page. The final scene shows a partygoer — an actor portraying MySpace's Anderson — vomiting while his friends capture it on camera.
The film was written by Lehre and his best friend, Jeremy Kerr, and the skits were improvised by them and their friends. It took Lehre two months to film, edit and score the movie.
Lehre said he and his friends have 50 films to their credit and receive the support of local businesses, including a theater that screens their latest projects.
"MySpace: The Movie" was posted Jan. 28 to Lehre's personal Web site, DavidLehre.com, and three days later it was placed on YouTube.com by a user named "eggtea," who downloaded it from Lehre's site and uploaded it to the popular video sharing site.
About 20,000 videos are uploaded to YouTube each day and more than 15 million are watched. With 3.4 million viewings, "MySpace: The Movie" ranks as the site's most viewed video.
The film also has been on rotation on Current TV, a new network aimed at the 18-to-34-year-old audience that reaches 20 million U.S. homes.
Lehre was recently offered a development deal by MTVU, which is MTV's on-air, online and on-campus network.
"The whole point here is to incubate and develop (Lehre's) talent even further as we showcase it," said MTVU's head of programming, Ross Martin.