Paramount to Produce More Micro-Budget Films

12/11/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Matt Jussim

Hoping to capitalize on the success of “Paranormal Activity," Paramount Pictures is launching an initiative that will spend $1 million annually to develop and produce microbudget films, reports Variety.

According to Variety:

“Paramount is reacting to its success with 'Paranormal Activity' by budgeting $1 million annually for the production of 10 to 20 small films, none costing more than $100,000. Paramount Film Group’s Adam Goodman cooked up the plan in the successful wake of "Paranormal," made for $15,000 and grossing more than $100 million domestically.

Goodman indicated the funds, which will come out of the studio's overall production budget, will be targeted at both unknowns and established filmmakers, with the goal of increasing the studio's ability to find new voices and ideas.

In addition, the initiative's aimed at giving Paramount a more diverse portfolio of titles at a time when Hollywood's devoting most of its resources to megabudget pics, such as Par's "Transformers" and "Star Trek" franchises. The studio hasn't set a target of how many projects would receive a theatrical release. The microbudget projects could also conceivably be remade with conventional budgets.”

This move really is not the norm for the major Hollywood studios, and that is one reason why I think it’s a great move. As we have seen from films with large budgets, such as “Revenge of the Fallen” and “G.I. Joe” (and many more), story and quality filmmaking can be lost among the heaps of dollars spent on making those films. By diverting resources to this initiative, Paramount will be promoting high-quality ideas, which hopefully will turn into high-quality films.

Some of the most critically acclaimed films of all time have been made with extremely low budgets, including Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs,” Steven Soderbergh’s “sex, lies and videotape,” and Noah Baumbach’s “Kicking and Screaming.” I could add additional films that fit this category, but the point is that by focusing on the filmmaking aspects of things, these projects will involve quality artists and high-concept ideas.

For a good example of this, keep an eye out for “Paranormal” director Oren Peli’s second effort, “Area 51,” which is set for release in 2010.

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