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Micro-budget film boon

12.11.2009
Thank goodness for PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. Because of that film's enormous box office success, Paramount is going to do something that should've happened a long time ago.

According to Variety, Paramount Pictures is going to launch a new initiative that will allocate $1 million annually of its overall production budget to develop and produce micro-budgeted films. As mentioned above, all this comes in the wake of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY's $100+ million box office gross vs. its $15,000 budget.

The trade elaborates: "[The] move... is designed to place between 10 and 20 projects in development by the end of next year, with no individual budget topping $100,000. The funds... 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 [Paramount's] 'Transformers' and 'Star Trek' franchises."

Lots of questions and potential doubts float around this news, but I feel it's a great step in the right direction in an industry where the financial risk of making large films has gotten way too out of hand. It's also pointed out that this is being geared not only for budding filmmakers but established ones too. Since I firmly believe that limitations can spark greater creativity, this is a great thing when applied to even some of our favorite directors working today (many of whom have made great and memorable films on the dirty cheap). As an audience and as fans, and especially for the aspiring artists among us, this should be something very exciting.
Extra Tidbit: A few micro-budgeted films of note are George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD ($114,000), David Lynch's ERASERHEAD ($100,000), and Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez's THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT ($25,000).
Source: Variety

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