“Great story. Great performance. Not to0 much money. And you have to get lucky.” That’s Jason’s Blum’s advice for filmmakers who want to have a horror hit. And Blum should know. Via Blumhouse Productions, he’s been responsible for some monster hits, including Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Sinister, The Purge, The Visit, Split, and Get Out.
We pushed Blum for more detailed tips on making it in the genre, and you can check out that advice in the above video or via the below quotes…
“My feeling is the recipe for a great scary movie is to have talented people, not necessarily people from genre. You have to choose material that feels original – like you’ve never seen before. I couldn’t even imagine a genre movie about race until [writer-director] Jordan [Peele] shows me the script of Get Out.
“Scripts and pitches – what I’m really looking for, first and foremost, is ‘Does it feel new? Does it feel different? Does it feel like nothing I’ve ever seen before?’ I would say equally important is it has to be good. It’s easy to make something new and different and terrible, but then you have to be compelled by it; compelled by the script.”
Don’t Follow Trends
“Trends in the marketplace are totally unimportant to me. I think then you make movies that are unoriginal. So I don’t look at trends in the marketplace. That’s another reason why I make low-budget movies. If I made $100m movies, you have to look at trends. Happily we make $4m movies – we don’t have to look at trends.”
“Writer-directors really help as opposed to separate writer and director. The other thing I look for in a director is experience. Even though Jordan was a first-time director, he’d spent a ton of time making content. Joel Edgerton on The Gift was a first-time director but he’d acted in 40 movies. So I look for experience. I think that’s very important.
“I guess the other thing that I look for – and you hope for in a director – is someone who can balance the line between having a super-clear point-of-view, and also someone whose not afraid to take a better idea from somewhere else and incorporate that into their point-of-view. It’s a hard line to walk, but Jordan is terrific at it.”
Expect the Unexpected
“That’s the most fun thing about the movie business – you can predict it to a point. When we screened it at Sundance, we had early tracking of Get Out, we thought it was going to do well. It opened strongly, but we still didn’t know that it was going to turn into what it turned into until the second weekend when it dropped a very, very small amount. Then we really knew. But you really can never tell, and that’s what’s so fun about the movie business.”
Get Out is available now on Blu/DVD/Digital.