Why Huge Budgets Can Ruin Movies

FILMMAKING IS EXPENSIVE, but bigger budgets aren’t always better. Jason Blum is one of the most prolific producers in Hollywood, having achieved great success with low-budget horror flicks like Paranormal Activity, Insidious, and The Purge. As a former executive at Miramax, he’s all too familiar with the downsides of big budgets.

“It’s hard to make a movie that’s very expensive and not be thinking of the results all the time,” Blum says in Episode 159 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “I think generally the creative process is hurt if you’re thinking about the end as opposed to focusing on day-to-day decisions.”

As an executive, Blum made an early blunder when he passed on The Blair Witch Project, which went on to become one of the most profitable low-budget films of all time. He learned his lesson, later championing Paranormal Activity, which was headed straight to DVD, and turning it into a box office success. It’s a formula he’s followed with dozens of films, which eschew CGI spectacle in favor of basic storytelling.

“Unless you’re making Marvel movies, I think CGI usually suffers, especially in mid-budget-range horror movies where you see CGI,” says Blum.

Read the rest of this article and be sure to check out the podcast with Jason Blum, found on Wired.