"Sharknado," a shlock-tastic TV movie that premiered Thursday night on SyFy, stirred up a social media sensation that has completely blown away the Antioch native who directed it.
"I know what happened is, like, one in a billion, in terms of this weird confluence of things," Anthony Ferrante told the Charlotte Observer. "There wasn't a marketing budget on this thing. It was all just the stuff we did with the trailers and just telling people about it and stuff."
Apparently that was enough. The movie that combined sharks and tornadoes in one devastating, mind-blowing production -- with Ian Ziering and Tara Reid in the lead roles -- became an Internet sensation on Thursday night when the program seized the attention of those on Twitter, including many Hollywood celebrities.
"Clearly SyFy is employing the old, "so bad, it's good," method with tremendous effect," tweeted Michael Chiklis.
"No way is SHARKNADO as entertaining as the Tweets about it. Congrats, @SyfyTV. You've created a new way to watch movies," chimed in Patton Oswalt.
Ferrante, who grew up in Antioch, began his filmmaking career as a sixth-grader creating short films with friends using a video camera. He also wrote movie reviews for the school newspaper -- and later, the Antioch Ledger Dispatch. He graduated from Antioch High School and went on to take film classes at Los Medanos College and San Francisco State University.
Will there be a "Sharknado" sequel?
"No one's called me yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if it would be on its way soon," he said. "I mean, what do you do after 'Sharknado'? You've got to up the ante. I don't want to compare this to 'Star Wars,' but if this is 'Star Wars,' then you've got to make 'Empire Strikes Back.'"
In the meantime, here are more samples of the celebrity Twitter conversation surrounding "Sharknado":
Jackson Rathbone: "Watching #sharknado on #syfy 'Sharks in the swimming pool?! No way. ' Yes way, Mr. movie-cliche bad guy. It's a mother-bleeping Sharknado!"
Chad Lowe: "Why have we not been throwing bombs into tornadoes to stop them? Or are we doing it, and I'm just now learning about it? #Sharknado."
Judah Friedlander: "Can't wait to see how @MSNBC & @FoxNews cover this developing #Sharknado story."
Bill Lawrence: "Sharknado is everything that is right AND wrong about everything."
Damon Lindelof: "I am going to write the Sharknado sequel and I am going to do it before Shaknado is over."
Elizabeth Banks: "@DamonLindelof did Tessa already take revenge on the guy who harpooned mom or am I dating his son in #sharknado2 #backstory."
Olivia Wilde: "@ElizabethBanks Banks, this is our chance to play Siamese twins: two heads, one magnificent shark tail. Emmys all around. #SharknadoTwo."