Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum on OCULUS and the New Era of Distribution
By Clarke Wolfe on April 13, 2014
Blumhouse Productions seems to be doing it right: They are the go-to production house when it comes to low cost/high reward feature films. Jason Blum is known throughout Hollywood for doing this, and doing it very well, and as far as I’m concerned, when it comes to horror, if Blumhouse is getting behind it, I’m automatically intrigued. Nerdist had the opportunity to interview mega producer Blum and talk to him about what he looks for in a new project, what he thinks about digital releases, and what keeps him excited about making movies.
Oculus is the latest release from Blumhouse Productions. Acquired after a screening at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013, Blum explains why Flanagan’s film fit the Blumhouse bill: “I saw this movie, the distribution at Toronto was kind of up in the air, how it was going to get out there… I’ve been saying it all morning, which is if I see a horror movie… if it feels new and different, I think that should be rewarded. That doesn’t always work, including the movies we do. A lot of movies that we do where we don’t get a wide release, they come out limited – I’m proud of them, but they’re not right for wide release, but that’s the beauty of making a low-budget of movies. You can try new, weird stuff.”
With VOD becoming hugely popular, what does the mega producer think about the way movies, especially low budget films, are released? Said Blum, “I hate to control the consumer and the way consumers can see content. The ideal way for me: The Purge 2 would come out in 3,000 theaters and your iPad and your fucking watch and your phone, and you could see it wherever you want to see it. I think as soon as you release the barriers of telling the consumer where and when they can see things, the more successful all of us will be, including distribution. Including theaters – I think kids are not going to stop going to see horror movies in the movie theater because they can see it at home.”
For a guy who has so many irons in the fire and who is always looking for the next big thing, what keeps him excited about the entertainment industry? “I love our business model. I love supporting people who are taking risks and doing different things, whether that’s the director, whether that’s Mike [Flanagan] in Oculus, which I think is a new kind of horror movie, or James DeMonaco, who wrote the first and now wrote and directed the second Purge. These directors kill themselves making these movies! The least I can do is do three days of press and talk to people about it… I feel like it’s my part.”
Oculus, directed by Mike Flanagan and starring Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff and Rory Cochrane, is now playing.