Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"How the company behind two of the year's biggest movies is blowing up the Hollywood playbook"

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.