Paramount Introducing Micro-Budget Branch, Insurge Pictures

Published 4 years ago by , Updated October 24th, 2012 at 7:53 am,

insurge pictures logo Paramount Introducing Micro Budget Branch, Insurge Pictures

Feeding off the unprecedented success of Paranormal Activity, Paramount Pictures is gearing up to spearhead another innovative idea. Led by the creative minds of Senior VP of Interactive Marketing, Amy Powell, the division will focus specifically on “micro-budget” movies. And when they say micro, they mean just that. The idea is to give Insurge Pictures $1 million to create 10 films.

There is no question this is an ingenious idea and a compelling challenge. What’s a million dollars to a big-budget picture studio? It’s nothing, and if this concept fails, nobody will even need to bat an eyelash. The question, then, is how can it fail?

Marketing a film has taken on an entirely new shape in only the last few years, and Paramount has been leading the charge. The viral campaign of Cloverfield was overwhelming and captivating. The massive amount of promotional material created for Watchmen gave fans new looks on a weekly basis. Now, in the shadow of one of the most profitable movies ever made, the studio has decided to give more underdogs a chance at the sword.

The new division isn’t just an in-house idea, but more of a test of the human desire for something fresh. Insurge Pictures has a website days away from opening, a Twitter page, and a handful of one-liners:

“Do you want to see more movies that don’t conform to the Hollywood model? Sweet, us too.”

“We love talking about everyone else’s movies, so we decided it would be awesome to create a new distribution label to find and share our own movies with all of you. And here we are – Insurge Pictures, an official division of Paramount Pictures.”

This whole idea is reminiscent of the reality TV binge. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a television studio makes a show for a fraction of a budget, and audiences love it. Naturally, every other studio follows in the footsteps and out came the likes of The Real World and Survivor, to name a couple. The reality television world came from nothing and maybe shouldn’t even exist, but audiences are passionate and don’t even really know why, and it’s costing studios nearly nothing to make. This move by Paramount Pictures is practically replicating that cultural shift. I expect other studios are not far behind. It’s befitting a revolution like this to name the division Insurge.

paranormal activity review 2 Paramount Introducing Micro Budget Branch, Insurge Pictures

That camera costs half the movie's budget

There’s no question audiences love Paramount’s big-budget films like Iron Man, Transformers, and even G.I. Joe. Regardless of the product, people flock to explosions and money and sexuality. When a $15,000 film like Paranormal Activity finally got its chance, the response was overwhelming. But at this point, it’s still too soon to tell if the hysteria was caused by the movie itself, or the masses hoping to see a movie they could make on their own.

The big question now is whether or not it was a one-hit wonder. The horror genre constantly suffers the same fate movie after movie. If the fans loved it once, they’ll love it five times, right? Paranormal Activity 2 is already set for a 2010 release, which makes it an instant franchise.

So, I leave you with this question: Was the original success really a product of the people wanting to see a low-budget film, or was it the result of brilliant marketing and timely word-of-mouth for a film the people just flat out enjoyed?

Source:  indieWIRE (via First Showing)

Header image also courtesy of First Showing.

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TAGS: Paranormal Activity, paranormal activity 2

13 Comments

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  1. yea it was creative and very fresh take on horror. It scaed people bc there was no special effects and it all took place where they sleep with a camera that they all own. Making a sequel is just so stupid, y they think that if it works once it will work 5 times is beyond me its only frsh once just once hollywood. Glad to c that they have a new devision for a least 10 fresh ideas and it gives hope to weekend directors like my self to maybe have a chance at success.

  2. I like the idea of making low budget films as long as there is passion for filmmaking behind it. It's amazing what people can do with love for an idea they are trying to film and a small amount of money to work with.

  3. Some of the best films have come from limited budgets, with some of the worst coming from overblown budgets.

    This may end up being nothing more than a forgettable hobby by a big-time production, but will probably end up being the next big thing in Hollywood.

    • You’re wrong. The worst films come by far from low budget productions. The reason you think the contrary is because you only see the “one in a million” low budget film that is actually good, whereas you see ALL the big budget films. Therefore you get to see a lot of the weaker big budget films because the bad low budget films you don’t even see them. If you had to put up with all the low budget crap, you’d rather go blind and deaf.

  4. the marketing, definitely.. Otherwise the mainstreamers wouldn´t have a clue that it even existed, while it may have been a fanboy cult classic

  5. …If done right this could mean a return to original ideas in Hollywood. Lets be real: people dident flock to Paranormal because it was low budget…they flocked to it because it was somewhat of an original idea.

  6. Completely agree, Iceman

  7. financing a movie for with only a few thousand dollars and they still expect me to pay $11 to see it. at least when i paid to sit through garbage like Transformers, the effects (ei pretty lights and shinny robots) dazzled my long enough to keep me in the theater for 2 hours

  8. So thats gonna be an ultimate challenging job for them, but i know these people will definitely do well and achieve the target as per the expectation. This was very interesting and specifically the idea was really stunning.

    smart lipo

  9. This is incredible news, especially for us micro-budgeted filmmakers. I hope they'll take films that aren't just horror!

    heath

  10. So thats gonna be an ultimate challenging job for them, but i know these people will definitely do well and achieve the target as per the expectation. This was very interesting and specifically the idea was really stunning.

    smart lipo

  11. This is incredible news, especially for us micro-budgeted filmmakers. I hope they'll take films that aren't just horror!

    heath

  12. I can make a film for a 100 k but I would need some major back end deal. All the money would go into the project and I would be shelling out points like there is no tomorrow to try to get decent actors, dp , etc. Then besides a film I’m proud of making I would like to pay off my credit cards when it’s done because I would be living on them for about three months while I was in pre pro , production , and post.

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