Following the blinding success of last fall's Paranormal Activity - which cost approximately as much to make as a Honda Civic - Paramount announced that it was intending to create a subdivision of the studio specifically designed to create micro-budgeted films. The rest of Hollywood and the moviegoing fanbase shrugged and cynically mumbled, "I'll believe it when it happens." It looks like it's actually happening, and I, for one, am really excited.Indiewire and SlashFilm both announced the formation of Insurge, a new division of Paramount that will craft films from budgets thought to be around $100,000 per picture. The curious name derives, of course, from the word "insurgency," which hints at the uprising Paramount is looking to start in Hollywood. The division will have a $1 million dollar budget to wisely utilize in the creation of approximately ten films a year. This is wondrous news. Paramount and the geniuses who cooked up this plan are to be commended for this long-overdue attempt to revitalize the film community. As anyone with any sense already knows, a successful film does not necessarily require massive budgets, hundreds of special effects, and ads playing during the Super Bowl telecast. Craft a tight script, cast intelligent actors, and let a talented director and skilled technical people unleash their creativity. Films like these could revolutionize the industry, and finally wake studios up to the obvious fact that they stand to gain so much more money and prestige making small, gutsy films, rather than overblown CGI crap that needs to dominate the market in order to barely make a profit (I'm looking at you, Avatar). Here is the first salvo from Insurge and its head, Amy Powell:
Arent you tired of being fed the same movies wrapped in different paper? We want to find and distribute crazy, unpredictable, and hopefully awesome movies - movies that make you want to line up to see at your local theater with all your friends (and us). Movies that a big studio would never release because theyre too risky, too silly, and they dont star Sandra Bullock.Yes, Amy, we are tired. Save us! With this announcement, Paramount is hopefully taking a bold, innovative first step toward ushering in a brash, invigorating era of filmmaking much like the seventies. In the near future we could be seeing a lot of tiny little films make enormous advances in the moviemaking experience, led by visionary filmmakers who otherwise would never have had a shot in Hollywood. The possibilities are glorious for lovers of film everywhere. Let's hope Paramount continues to forge ahead with this dynamic new adventure!