You might feel like the found-footage movie market is already over-saturated, but the genre’s enduring popularity (re: box office $uccess) means it won’t be retired anytime in the near future. Earlier this year, Screen Rant‘s Rob Frappier spoke with screenwriter John Swetnam – who penned the developing found-footage films Evidence and Category 6 – about how affordability and cultural relevance are helping to keep more of these projects rolling down the production pipeline.
Case in point: Michael Bay is getting in on the craze by producing a found-footage film titled Almanac. The project is being written by newcomers Jason Pagan and Andrew Stark, with Dean Israelite, cousin of Jonathan Liebesman (who’s helming Bay’s Ninja Turtles reboot – coincidence?), attached to make his feature-length directorial debut on the film.
THR reports that Bay and Platinum Dunes co-heads Andrew Form and Brad Fuller are backing Almanac, which is ‘intended’ to be a found-footage feature – one that Paramount is developing “aggressively and swiftly” for a theatrical release. No other details have been officially announced as of yet, though insiders (hat tip to /Film) are comparing Almanac to Chronicle “except with time travel instead of superheroes” (or super-powered teens, as screenwriter Max Landis might prefer to put it).
Found-footage as a storytelling device (or gimmick, take your pick) allows films to jump back in time with relative ease, as evidenced by such films as Apollo 18 and Paranormal Activity 3. That is to say, seamlessly combining that format with the ever-popular time-travel plot device (see: Looper) seems like a feasible task; it’s almost surprising that no one’s beaten the Almanac crew to the punch on that.
Israelite, as mentioned before, may have industry connections that helped him land the Almanac job, but he’s also picked up prizes from the Ashland Independent and Ojai Film Festivals, as well as the ATAS Foundation College Television Awards for his short film Acholiland. Alamanc, if done well, could propel Israelite and his writers to bigger and better things, as Chronicle has done for Landis and director Josh Trank (who’s now working on the Fantastic Four reboot).
Bay, meanwhile, is putting the finishing touches on his bodybuilder crime flick Pain and Gain for release next year, before he sets to work directing Transformers 4. He’s also backing the Treasure Island prequel series Black Sails for Starz, as well as a handful of other gestating projects.
More on Almanac as the story develops.