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“Paranormal Activity” - The Little Indie That Did

And It Was Cut On Vegas. On a Dell. Go Figure.

By Bruce A Johnson | November 04, 2009


This week's paper edition of Entertainment Weekly has a cover story on the production of Paranormal Activity (the article doesn't seem to be available online yet.) This is the $11,000 indie horror film that has, at last count, grossed over $84,000,000 - Eighty-four MILLION dollars. Talk about catching lightning in a bottle. Was it shot on a Red One? No, the slightly less expensive Sony FX1. Was it edited on a Mac on Avid or Final Cut? Nope, it was cut with Sony Vegas on a Dell. The article contains a pretty interesting breakout of all the other expenses:

Miscellaneous camera, tape, mics, batteries - $1000
Actors - $1500
Travel, accommodations - $1000
Catering (groceries and Pizza Hut) - $500
Red Bull - $100
Baby powder - $3

I'd have to say that Paranormal Activities is the poster child for payback on an investment!

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Rob: | November, 05, 2009

But did you like it as a movie? Is it well made? Is the acting good? Is the story good?

I haven’t seen it. Horror is not my cup of tea so I don’t intend to see it either.

So what’s the lesson here?

We all know that horror is the most likely way to make money on a low budget movie. Problem is, I don’t want to make horror.

So, again, what’s the lesson here?

?: | November, 07, 2009

Having seen this epic waste of time, I can believe the quoted budget. More interesting by far, how much was the filmmaker paid, and how much was spent on Marketing? The ad campaign was slick and devious.

I have students argue with me that it is a real documentary! Barnum was right.

I saw this at a late pm matinee of mostly adults, maybe 100ppl. When the lights came up, we looked at each other in complete shocked silence. That’s it? Where the hell was the story? ANY story? Where were the shocking and scary moments?

If you are over the age of 18, give this a pass, and notice in the trailer that all the screaming audience members are adolescents.

Bjarkovic: | November, 08, 2009

There will always be movies that “win the lottery”. Even if it’s not to everybody’s taste, I like the idea. I’ll keep an out for the DVD.


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