Film producers don’t usually receive much attention outside of the industry, but one producer has made a huge name for himself over the past five years by following a strategy that mostly stands at odds with the current Hollywood approach of spending huge amounts of money in the hopes of making huge amounts of money. That producer is Jason Blum, who at 44 has become one of the most enviable producers to even the most established of industry players.
You may not have heard Blum’s name, but you’ve certainly heard of the films he’s produced, which mostly consist of horror outings: the Paranormal Activity franchise, Sinister, The Purge, and the two Insidious films are among his most recent successful releases since 2007. And the reason producers throughout the industry are so envious of Blum’s success is because his company, Blumhouse Productions, has spent only $27 million in the past five years to churn out eight horror films that have amassed $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office.
As The New York Times reports in a recent profile on Blum, some of his success can be attributed to his unusual business model. In order to attract top-level actors and directors, Blum oversees a model that offers union scale pay upfront for the potential of back-end pay as the result of a film’s financial success. “So basically people work for free,” Blum told the Times. “And we don’t do frills. Everyone’s trailer on the set is the same: nonexistent.”