This week, I have started the second module in my MA Writing for Script and Screen, entitled Screen Industries: Professional Development.
As part of this module, I am required to undertake some market research and investigate a specific marketplace within the worlds of film, TV or video games.
I am particularly interested in the low to mid-budget horror movie industry. Horror is my favourite genre, and while it is incredibly difficult to write and produce a great horror movie, it does seem that horror is a good way of breaking in to screenwriting professionally, as often the budgets are lower, so there is less risk involved for the studios.
Blumhouse Productions is a company that appeals to me. The majority of their projects have a relatively low budget, so they are more willing and able to take risks. Only bigger names who work with them – such as M. Night Shyamalan – get larger budgets, and even then they’re fairly slim. A lot of their recent work has been hugely well received, both critically and commercially, including the likes of Get Out, Split and Hush. I would like to investigate the company further, and find out what kind of projects and writers they are willing to take a gamble on (though the website does say no unsolicited material, so clearly they won’t just look at any old script), what makes them think a project will do well, and if possible find out which projects they have produced have surprised them in terms of either being more successful than anticipated or perhaps less successful.
As well as Blumhouse, I want to look in to other low budget producers and production companies, such as Jennifer Handorf, who produced Prevenge amongst others, and see what they look for in a project to make it stand out from the crowd and put months of their lives in to backing.