Koreatown, Los Angeles is approximately ten minutes drive West of the city centre. Taxi drivers said that no studios in the area certainly is not, so it is important not to miss the dark squat building with demonstration curtained panoramically and grates on the perimeter. Corridors are manic dim lighting, and in the distance you can see the small movie theater on 99 (standard multiplex cinema in the United States 299 seats) seats. This is testing products that are always evaluated 90 people.
If 55 of them liked the film – the picture leaves in hire. Like most of the audience, but 55 is not reached – there is a reason to speak with the Director. Liked the movie, only 40 spectators, or less, the product will not go to the theater. The reaction of the audience carefully watches the youthful male (in February he turns 50, but 35 not will) in the last row. He produced a hundred films, and only two of them after the process, called in the hills screening test, went on the shelf, but he’ll never say which ones.
It is called the man to revive the horror genre in Hollywood.
Meet Jason Bloom (Jason Blum).
The most expensive projects Blumhouse:
Against the rules
First of all, you need to understand the scheme of Hollywood filmmaking. There are major studios that cover almost 80% share of the North American market. The “Big six” includes Universal, Paramount, Columbia, Walt Disney, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox (“Disney” it will finally absorb only in the next year).
In addition, there are mini-majors, the most famous Lionsgate and MGM – which is seven. Mini-majors have 10% share of the North American market, and accounted for 8% Lionsgate.
Finally, in the shadow of the glory of the big players crammed the independent film Studio and production company, which is called the not very flattering term “minors”.
When you go to the premiere of new horror film, and hear the familiar “Columbia pictures presents…”, this does not mean that the film did exactly Columbia: according to the Hollywood cinematic etiquette, first is to be the distributor. Studio-distributor contracts with minors (they are, for the most part, and produces, in fact, paintings); decides what will go into the hire; if necessary increase the budget in order to attract skilled Director and recognizable actors; it can provide its production power and in charge of marketing.
For the distributor it is very important to allocate the right amount on advertising campaign: for example, teasers, trailers, character posters, often flashing on TV and YouTube, and start rolling in 3,000 cinemas major will cost approximately $25 million it is Clear that the one who pays, orders the music, but Blumhouse went his own unique way: she did not let the major (since 2014, works with Universal, a contract for 10 years) to the stage of filmmaking. Blumhouse is engaged in the selection of actors and Directors, and itself invests money in production.
The only major advertising and rental.
Do not bother
“I like to call myself an indie producer, said Jason bloom on the “Sundance” this year. I appreciate the creative thinking and the absence of frameworks. I love experiments and I am sure that the Director needed to understand that he is the main actor on the set”.
On the testing “Off” the focus group is visibly excited about the film, but she reacted negatively to the dismal ending. Directed by Jordan Peele, shocked granted him freedom during the production of paintings, were sympathetic to the request of Jason bloom to change the ending.
Any creative person values freedom, and in Hollywood, where the movie first of all, the art of the producer, Directors are suffering from a huge number and not of the ideas expressed here, for the timing was not liked by the producer, where the actress, under which was written the role, not approved major, and here it is necessary to remove bloody, but very significant scene, because her rating would be R, PG-13, we don’t want to lose the teenage audience, right? Thus, the Hollywood Director all the time forced to maneuver between the conventions and prohibitory signs.
When working with Blumhouse such problems do not exist, because Jason Blum is convinced that the most important thing – not to interfere with the Creator.
The most profitable pictures Blumhouse:
Bet on outsiders
In 1999, bloom, who was then working as an independent producer with Miramax and Warner Bros., arrived at Sundance, where, as usual, film companies appreciate the latest trends and tormented sacramental idea: to provide funding or not. “Like many, I don’t put on the “Blair Witch”, – he lamented later. “Blair witch” became a legend, and with a budget of $60 thousand brought nearly $250 million Jason bloom remembered how his father, an art Director of the gallery “Ferus”, at one time believed in which was considered too great innovator Andy Warhol: it was the impetus to the realization of ideas, that of the outsider with the right approach you can mold a leader.
Who wanted to do “Away”? No. A controversial topic, complicated dual genre, too many complications. The scenario of “the purge” three years went through the hands of the Directors, studios, but they considered such an idea is unacceptable to contemporary America. “Obsession”, one of the few non-horror, Blumhouse released, could not find a distributor when the film went into post-production. Barely agreed to Sony – and then, because the movie is about the music. “Whiplash” received three awards “Oscar”.
Same story with a “Paranormal phenomenon”: a scenario about the house, studded with cameras, nobody was interested. Paramount gave the green light only 760 theaters, but the film became a sensation and a cultural phenomenon, collecting a total of under $200 million, and currently in the rental 13.000 (thirteen thousand!!!) time.
The jackpot, ladies and gentlemen.
What do the producers hitting the jackpot? Starting to shoot movies with a large budget.
Just not Jason Blum.
The artist must be hungry
On a deep belief of the head of the BH, the film doesn’t have to be big budget. The standard calculation of the company up to $5 million on a film to $10 million for the sequel. With the exception made at “the purge”, which has allocated $13 million and brought in 10 times more profit. There are, of course, and expensive projects that involve the Studio. For example, 48 million “Tooth fairy”, but there’s Blumhouse is in the third line, and the budget provides a “Fox”; we are talking about independent creativity.
Blumhouse makes only those films, which in any case will be able to recoup. In the sequel there is more prosaic reason, because in fact, it has already financed the first part. Jason bloom is sure that too much budget pressure as a production company and Director, and in the minds of the creators of the spinning irreversibly Intrusive thoughts: “Kupima? Or go back to zero? Maybe drop a rental?”
For small injections the risks are much less, and creative freedom as much more – because microbudget always default so that the Director can experiment with. “Paranormal activity” with its prosaic estimate of $15.000, of course, could not afford a cool otherworldly antagonist, and this did the trick: the demon is not visible.
Another important thing: filming for 21 days, and this requirement should be observed at all times.
In addition, by signing modest contracts with Blumhouse, the Director and actors know what’s going to get rolling the interest and means they are very interested in seeing the film shot. “To get a lot of money, you have to make a lot of money,” is the rule of Jason bloom.
The rating Blumhouse films (according to IMDb):
- there is nothing unusual in the fact that in the rankings are the films that you’ve never heard of: the horrors associated with BH, which traditionally have the lowest scores of all genres directions to the IMDb;
- the same estimates above is the picture voted for a greater number of people.
Don’t judge the project according to the scenario
Sang Oren (Paranormal activity) and James WAN (“Insidious”) in actual fact had a complete script for creating his paintings: they had only the idea. The van actually did something strange. According to his idea, parapsychologist, traveling in areas of the astral, was in the style of Danila Bagrov more or less completely eradicate all kinds of evil tucked in her difficult and courageous journey.
But in BH are well aware that in this quite intimate and the clichéd genre as a horror, the idea is the most important component of the hypothetically successful film. From the company are only required to help bring the author’s vision to life. Every Monday the Director of Blumhouse going in the office Jason bloom, which is recognizable in the photos on the fake severed foot in the office.
“I don’t know exactly how many of the submitted scripts they read over the weekend, – says the head of the company – but every Monday we discuss a bunch of ideas. We are probably the only Studio in the film industry who reads everything we send”. Bloom knows what he is talking about: production company, located on the crest of success, appeals to eminent writers, and is no longer working with newcomers and Amateurs.
But not in the Blumhouse – then I remember that it was a cheap movie made the Studio’s name and brought profit.
Art is never “low” or “high”
Father Jason bloom was the head of the gallery, and his mother worked as an art critic. From an early age he heard plenty of talk about artistic values, but eventually realized that any art must go to the masses, and not to remain only available for the few in expensive homes to the coastal elite. He read Edgar Allan PoE (the owner gave my mom) loved the suspense in the films of Alfred Hitchcock, and his Scarecrow “Friday the 13th”. His first produced film was the painting “Forget to remember” (1995), filmed by roommate Noah Baumbach. In 2000, Jason Blum founded Blumhouse, but didn’t know which direction to go. A catalyst was made by “Paranormal activity”, when bloom and Singing, both at the time considered themselves to be ardent fans of horror films – literally blew up the genre.
Horror movies have long been on the outskirts of the cinematic universe of Hollywood. They were considered so inferior that at the dawn of filmmaking actors do not fit in their portfolio: play the horror seemed to be as dumb as porn. Blumhouse is the largest producer of horror films of the last decade, and in the corridors of the Studio you can find banners with images of “Paranormal activity,” “Insidious” and “Sinister” – the three films turned into franchises and forever changed the vector of development of BH.
Art is never “high” and “low,” serious and frivolous. Social projects and politically engaged paintings get “Oscar” and “Golden palm”, but good quality and made with love horror movie, without, of course, high ratings on IMDb, can cause at least a deep range of feelings and emotions and to remain forever in the heart of the viewer.
Proven By Jason Bloom.
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