Lionsgate set the first three films under a new initiative to generate films with budgets under $2 million. The goal for the micro-budget venture is to generate up to 10 films per year, according to Joe Drake, Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group president.
The first three films are:
Rapturepalooza, with Craig Robinson starring as the Anti-Christ. Chris Matheson wrote the script and Paul Middleditch will direct. Mosaic and Ed Solomon are producing, with production to begin in the spring.
Gay Dude, a Superbad-style coming of age raunchy comedy. Two best friends vow to lose their virginity before graduating high school. Then one confesses he’s gay. Script’s by Parks and Recreation writer Alan Yang, and it made The Black List. Laurence Mark produces with Jai Stefan.
6 Miranda Drive, a supernatural thriller from Wolf Creek writer/director Greg Mclean. Purported to be fact-based, the tale focuses on a family that unwittingly brings a supernatural force home with them from vacation. The evil presence feeds off their fears and secrets. Mosaic is producing with Mclean.
Lionsgate joins a growing interest in micro-budget films. It started with sleeper hits like Paranormal Activity, and there are a number of “found footage”-driven films forthcoming, including the Timur Bekmambetov-produced Apollo 18 from The Weinstein Company. These are low risk propositions. They have a genre focus and not built on stars, providing low risk and breakout potential.
“Microbudget films involved minimal overhead and very little risk, but a potentially high reward,” Drake said in a statement. “This initiative allows us to add another layer to our slate of movies that work both financially and creatively.” Lionsgate’s Matt Kaplan will oversee the small productions.