Del Toro offered "creative consultations" to YouTube creators who pitched horror concepts. And he will select the scariest to receive a development deal with Legendary, the studio behind "The Dark Knight" and "The Hangover." "I think it's important to find the new voices that you can help usher in to the world. Particularly in their genre, like horror," says Del Toro in an interview at YouTube's Los Angeles space.
"Horror—I think is only as good as the voices existing at that moment, and I've done many, many first time directors' first movies," he said.
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The filmmaker says while he doesn't use Facebook, he often references YouTube to find classic scenes to reference, and he believes in the power of the platform to foster new talent. "[YouTube's] truly very democratic, instantly accessible," Del Toro says. "And that's a very integral part of the way I think story telling will change in the next five to ten years."
The contest gives Legendary and Del Toro a chance to foster a dedicated fan base—reaching millennials, the hardest demographic to target with TV ads. It's also designed to be a win for YouTube: the semi-professional content can lure new viewers. And the perk of working with a top filmmaker on professional sets—and the chance to secure a production deal—can help placate creators frustrated with YouTube's 50/50 advertising split. YouTube sees the value of keeping its creators happy—that's why it offers free access to its "YouTube Spaces" in three cities, with a location in New York opening this month.