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.


JephAlexander said...

She will definitely face a lot of skepticism and criticism, especially with her lack of experience, but I think/hope that Paramount is beginning to finally realize and accept where this industry is heading, and is willing to give her and everyone else on her team the support they need to make Insurge a success. I mean honestly, how great would it be if independent filmmakers could start marketing their movies as Paramount productions right from the start!

Rosaline said...

I agree with JephAlexander. Perhaps I'm being biased for being a young, "inexperienced" aspiring filmmaker, but as John F. Kennedy once said, "experience is like tail-lights on a boat which illuminate where we have been when we should be focusing on where we should be going."

Not many companies are willing to risk a lot if the market wasn't right. This is certainly a big experiment for Paramount. All we can do is cross our fingers it works out.

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