Dreamworks Picks Up Paranormal Activity

More first person handicam films are on the way. It looks like DreamWorks has acquired the super thrifty, haunted house film Paranormal Activity. We get the skinny from our friends at comingsoon:

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?

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5 thoughts on “Dreamworks Picks Up Paranormal Activity

  1. @alfie

    That trailer is pretty cool…I like how it’s not just women who are cringing and screaming. It kind of makes me a little jittery to watch the film. LoL

  2. I enjoy the first person storytelling and while I’m not affected by the shakey cam I don’t really want to watch a slue of movies in that style. I wouldn’t mind a mixture of both styles. Hell it would be better if we can have the person controling the camera hold it a little steadier. When I’m drunk I can hold the camera steadier than some of those shots in Cloverfield.

    Paranormal Activity has my interest then again I’m in for anything ghost related. (Thanks for the info on the trailer Alfie.)

    I am looking forward to The Poughkeepsie Tapes though I have a feeling I won’t sleep well the day I watch that movie.

    I’m more interested in seeing [REC*] more than I am the US remake. I somehow feel a little offended there is already an english remake of this movie even before the original has a chance to have some good circulation. I suppose that is the way it goes sometimes.

  3. the trailer for this film is on you tube and it looks fantastic. this is probably my most anticipated film of the year.

    I really love these first person/lost footage/mockumentary type films………

    everyone credits blair witch but cannibal holocaust was the first to use it….as far as I am aware anway..who has seen canibal holocaust? now that is some fucked up shit…

    but i really love this kind fo story telling…..man bites dog, blair witch, cloverfield…I love it. makes a nice change from the standard way to tell a story.

    kurt is right…..(rec) is a great film. I imagine rather than bury the original some compnay has the home video rights and is juts going to wait until the remake is released in cinemas so they can cash in. i would rather see it theatrically but on dvd it will get a bigger audience then it would in cinemas. but you should all check it out.

    poughkeepsie sounds interesting. apparently it is incredibly disturbing and i really look forward to seeing it.

  4. [*Rec], The Poughkeepsie Tapes and Paranormal Activities are all getting rave reviews wherever they travel. They are the next three on the way.

    I’ve seen [*REC] and it’s awesome. I hope they don’t screw up the remake (called QUARANTINE)– because they’ve pretty much buried the fabulous Spanish version of the film due to the English Remake.

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