The rise of Jason Blum is a Hollywood success story worth telling; his Blumhouse Productions has become the bar against which other independent studios are measured. As opposed to those who trudge through the Hollywood machinery abiding by previously established stepping-stones, Blum rose to the top by breaking all traditional rules.
His innovations included giving creative control to filmmakers and regarding producers as teammates as opposed to authority figures. Before a packed audience in Park City this weekend, Blum also gave aspiring filmmakers some rather shocking advice: Forget about theatrical releases.
“Don’t worry about your movie getting a theatrical release. A theatrical release is not the be all and end all. There are so many ways to release and consume films these days that do not have the inherent pressure of a theatrical release. Blumhouse is making movies for streaming services like Amazon and Netflix, which have huge audiences, can be very profitable and have none of the pressure that comes with a theatrical release.”
His advice to filmmakers was copious, but can be summed up in the 10 points below:
1) Don’t force creative decisions on a filmmaker
2) Don’t be overly passionate about one project
3) Don’t take it to heart when you get a pass
4) Don’t make your movie too expensively
5) Don’t think there’s just one definition of a producer
6) Don’t worry about your movie getting a theatrical release
7) Don’t worry about taking a backseat to director or writer
8) Don’t just judge a project by the script
9) Don’t look for the negative when reading material
10) Don’t subscribe to the notion of high art vs. low art
This year, Blumhouse has already released Insidious: The Last Key with The Purge: The Island and Halloween also slated for release in 2018. Clearly, Blum’s success shows no signs of slowing down, and those looking to get their foot in the doorway of professional filmmaking would be smart to heed his advice.
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