DreamWorks Pictures has acquired all domestic and remake rights to Slamdance Fest entry Paranormal Activity, Oren Peli’s micro-budget hand-held haunted house pic. The film likely will be released in the U.S. direct to DVD, but IM Global picked up all international rights; the movie will be included on its upcoming Berlin slate.
Peli shot the film over one week with a high-def camera in his own house with two unknown actors, Katie Featherstone and Micah Sloat, who manned the camera much of the time. Jason Blum will produce, and Steven Schneider will executive produce the new film. DreamWorks’ Ashley Brooks will oversee the film and its remake for president of production Adam Goodman.
I have mixed feeling about this news. I think it is fantastic that movies are able to be made on the cheap, and people of vision are able to spin their tales. A good story is still a good story and if you can tell it using one camera and an IMac – I am all for it. I just hope we don’t see a ton of first person “camcorder” films because of the success of Cloverfield. It was a cool idea, and you can use it when it suits the project – but I find them to be horribly off-putting (I get sea sick) and much prefer traditional cinematography.
I am not saying that you need to use professional equipment to make the film. In fact, if you use a camcorder to frame the shots and tell your story – that is bitchin. I just will not welcome a glut of films that are shot in the first person. If you switch back and forth – that is fine, but I prefer to get all my first person perspective form playing video games, and living life.
All that being said, a ghost story may suit this type of filmmaking very well. Most everyone will have “camcorder days” in their home, and if you caught a ghost on cam – you may continue to document the happenings of the house. I would throw the camera against the wall and move; but to each their own. Skeptical as I am, the idea sounds cool and it will be interesting to see how this fares in the direct to DVD market.
International friends – what are your thoughts?