Video of Eagle Snatching Kid Funds Art Scholarships

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A few months ago a viral video of a golden eagle trying to carry off a young child at a Montreal park flew around the internet. Viewers were shocked, scared and then skeptical. Snopes quickly identified the event as fake and attributed its creation to 3D-animation students Antoine Seigle, Normand Archambault, Loïc Mireault and Félix Marquis-Poulin of Montreal's Centre NAD. Now the National Animation and Design Center is using the publicity to help potential students.


The clip was produced as an assignment in the production simulation workshop class for fifth-semester students. On December 18, 2012, it was posted online, where it flew around the Internet. (Sorry, I had to.) It netted over 5 million hits on in less than 24 hours on YouTube. The current total of views is just shy of 42 million not including reposts, debunking or production videos.


“Forty-one million is certainly quite a lot of eyeballs on that video,” Andrew Swartz, a spokesperson for Google Canada told the Canadian Press, “That is pretty impressive.” He explained that many successful YouTube channels make six-figures annually. “Obviously the more views you have that have ads against them, the more revenues you’re going to make,” Swartz said. The numbers are still being crunched on the exact dollar amount of money the video made but it’s clearly not bird feed.  


Because this particular video was made by students on an educational license of the software neither the artists nor the school are legally allowed to collect profit from its production. Instead the AdSense revenue generated from the viral video will be used to establish a scholarship fund for future students.


"It will likely be divided into several scholarships aimed at recognizing excellence in our undergrad students," NAD spokesperson Claude Arsenault told in an email. She speculates that scholarship awards generated from the video will begin to be issued in the spring.


Even though he won’t see any of the profit personally, Normand Archambault, one of the video’s creators is pleased with the outcome. He told the Associated Press, “Knowing that we helped get the school on the map — it’s a good feeling.”


Achambault and his fellow classmates received an A+ as well as several job offers as a result of their successful viral video. Instead of rushing out to join the ranks of professional 3D animators they are focusing on completing their studies and end of the year projects. “Our teams are making more of an artistic project than a realistic video like the eagle,” Archambault said adding that, “It definitely won’t be a hoax.”


Photo courtesy of Tina Phillips at FreeDigitalPhotos.


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