Since its inception in the year 2000, Blumhouse Productions is commonly known for its horror movies, such as The Purge, Jordan Peele’s well-acclaimed Get Out, and Us, Paranormal Activity, The Invisible Man, Halloween, etc. According to the company, by generating excellent cost-effective movies, Blumhouse Productions established a new paradigm for studio filmmaking, transforming a system completely. Hence, it is no shock that amidst the news of Batgirl getting canceled, the CEO of Blumhouse, Jason Blum who found the production company with Amy Israel years ago, has empathized with the CEO and President of Warner Bros. Discovery and his recent “strategic” choices.
When talking about the termination of Batgirl in a recent interview, Blum emphasized how astonished he was by the decision but eventually realized what Warner Bros. is aiming for. He elaborated on the procedures that are undertaken in the film industry and why Zaslav’s strategic commitment has a reasoning behind it.
How Studio Filmmaking Works, As Explained By Blumhouse CEO
Back in April of this year, when AT&T’s WarnerMedia division and Discovery completed their merger, Warner Bros. Discovery was formed. Every high-end industry depends on incredible profitability and efficient output. Naturally, this applies to the film industry as well. According to Jason Blum in a recent Variety interview, the budget has the most impact on how studio movies are made. Depending on the budget and how expensive it is to make a particular movie, a director decides how to go on about it.
At Blumhouse Productions, as elucidated by Blum himself, directors tend to “trade big budgets for control.” The CEO said that despite making commercial movies, Blumhouse Productions has adopted the French Auteur approach, which allows filmmakers to have better control than what they otherwise get in Hollywood. Following is what the founder also said in the same context:
“We give them more control than they typically get in Hollywood, but they have to give us something as well: a commitment to make movies inexpensively. The way studio filmmaking works is correlated to budget, the more expensive the movie, the more time the director is strategizing on how they are going to get their way.”
The producer, to elaborate on his point, gave a rough example of the filmmaking process that ensues once a high budget is involved.
“On a $200 million movie, the director is spending 80% of their time on politics and 20% actually making the movie. On our [Blumhouse Productions’] $4 million movie, 100% of time is spent on making a good movie.”
Jason Blum also said how Hollywood relies primarily on ego, as most companies are usually quick to deny scripts if they’re indifferent to them. To shine a light on his production company, the producer said that Blumhouse is a contrast to such logic as they make movies that are not expensive.
CEO David Zaslav Wants A New Start
The decision to shelve Batgirl was not a surprise to just the fans, but to many industry experts and other celebrities alike. However, as said by Jason Blum, he “understood why they [Warner Bros.] chose to do it.” According to him, the reason may be newer management. It is no surprise that the media conglomerate would want a new start where they can hope to “brand DC in a certain way.”
Seems like Blum’s claim is undeniable as CEO David Zaslav had previously said something similar when addressing the decision to cancel the Batgirl release. According to him, the mere objective is to lead the growth of DC’s brand by making a “strategic shift.” This is what Zaslav had to say:
“The objective is to grow the DC brand, to grow the DC characters but also, our job is to protect the DC brand. And that’s what we’re going to do.”
What the future accounts for under Warner Bros. Discovery’s “strategic shift” will soon unfold. Meanwhile, you can catch Blumhouse Productions’ latest endeavor They/Them, streaming exclusively on Peacock.