Insurge Pictures: Does Paramount Really Believe in MicroBudget Filmmaking?
With much fanfare, Paramount is announcing a new division, Insurge Pictures, that will fund 10 movies a year at a budget of just $100,000 each.
Amy Powell, Paramount's Senior Vice President for Interactive Marketing has been tapped to run Insurge. Press reports say Powell got her new job based on her successful "faux-bottom-up" marketing campaign for Paranormal Activity (2009). Powell's resume is sparse when it comes to greenlighting films, although (as a marketing tool) she did champion a Hearts of Darkness-style mockumentary about the making of the Apocalypse Now spoof, Tropic Thunder (2008).
It has not been two years since Paramount gutted Paramount Vantage, the studio's award-winning but unprofitable indie film production division, so cynics (myself included) will question how committed Paramount really is to non-studio films. And, as someone who really believes in microbudget filmmaking, I am very skeptical that a marketing executive (especially one with no real microbudget production experience and a yearly salary that dwarfs the budgets of her films) can achieve anything from inside the Paramount gates.