Details On Insurge, Paramount's Paranormal Activity-Inspired Micro-Budget Film Initiative

In December 2009, we told you that Paramount Pictures was launching an intiative to develop of slate of 'micro-budget' movies, based in part on the success of Paranormal Activity. Each of these new films would have $100k to play with, and would theoretically get a theatrical release.

Now the business plan has a name, Insurge, and a few more details have been publicly revealed about Paramount's plan.

IndieWire has some info on Insurge, based in part on the mini-studio's website, which was briefly online last night. (The site is down now; simply redirects to Paramount's main site.)

As we knew previously, Insurge will have a million-dollar budget to devote to ten $100k films in the first year of business. Amy Powell, Paramount's SVP of Interactive Marketing, is reportedly heading Insurge. That's an interesting hire, as it more dramatically places these films at the intersection of the studio and marketing. Which is exactly the sense one gets from the written copy on the Insurge site, as grabbed by IndieWire:

Aren't you tired of being fed the same movies wrapped in different paper? We want to find and distribute crazy, unpredictable, and hopefully awesome movies – movies that make you want to line up to see at your local theater with all your friends (and us). Movies that a big studio would never release because they're too risky, too silly, and they don't star Sandra Bullock.

As we reported previously, the plan is to involve an online community in the development and marketing of the films. IndieWire quotes a source saying that the online community could help cast roles or vote on a film's poster. Insurge is reportedly looking to produce an array of small films with mainstream appeal that would include horror, comedy and animated pictures. The site calls it an 'experiment,' and if the setup works as intended — that is, as a proving ground for new filmmakers — I'm all for it. At least in theory. Let's see how Paramount makes this work, and for how long.