That was necessary when Blum went out on his own as an independent producer after leaving Miramax. He describes it as a low point in his career.
"I wanted to be an independent producer when I worked for Harvey. I did it for three or four years and I did not like it," Blum said. "I decided at that time I wanted to build a company and it took 10 years to do it, but this is absolutely my dream. I do not miss my days of making one or two movies a year. I thought I would love it, and I didn't like anything about it."
Blumhouse Productions' first release was the forgettable 2006 romantic comedy "Griffin & Phoenix," but then Blum came across "Paranormal Activity," a found-footage horror movie made for $15,000 by a video-game designer named Oren Peli. After it wowed audiences at a couple of film festivals in 2007, Blum got DreamWorks interested in the movie for remake rights, but he had another plan.
"I came onto the movie, I tried to sell it, everyone said it was a joke," Blum remembered. "But I knew anyone running a studio, if they saw the movie screened with an audience, would distribute the movie. My problem was I couldn't get anyone into a movie theater because I didn't have any clout, I was a nobody. The only thing I got was DreamWorks to agree to remake it and of course we were never going to remake the movie, but I couldn't say that. So what I said was I will sell you the remake rights to the movie but, and I put this in the contract: you guys set up and attending a test screening.