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Monday, October 25, 2010
CRITIC ON PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2
SAYS DE PALMA AS DIRECTOR MAKES SENSE NOW THAT HE'S SEEN THE MOVIE
Slant critic Simon Abrams on Paranormal Activity 2, which was directed by Tod Williams:

As ridiculous as the rumor may have seemed at the time, all the talk about how Brian De Palma was being sought out to direct Paranormal Activity 2 makes sense now. It is, after all, an overtly meta-textual narrative about the representation of violence on film. If nothing else, Paranormal Activity 2 directly grapples with the potential conceptual uses for the franchise's defining narrative strategy of combining security camera footage and video shot on handheld digital cameras by the film's protagonists in ways that Paranormal Activity didn't even attempt. We're frequently reminded that we're watching edited footage (i.e. a narrative that only looks like raw documentary footage), as with the massive Kubrickian intertitles that tell us the date at the start of every night of recorded footage.

Anyone watching Paranormal Activity 2 closely enough will see that the transitions between different cameras in the film isn't motivated by any internal logic but rather a narrative one. For instance, loud late night banging coming from outside a front door isn't explicitly shown, though there's a security camera present to document the event. That scene is cut in such a way that we can only see through that camera after the fact, confirming that we only get to see what the implied documentary filmmakers, as omniscient storytellers, want us to see in order to make their narrative spookier. In that sense, unlike its predecessor, Paranormal Activity 2 doesn't even look like a video report on unexplained events anymore: It's footage of a fake haunting transformed into a film-within-a-film.


Posted by Geoff at 8:15 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, October 25, 2010 10:52 PM CDT
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Sunday, May 23, 2010
PARANORMAL GOSSIP ACTIVITY
IS THIS HOW DIRECTOR WAS CHOSEN...?
A "Blind Gossip" item from a couple of weeks ago was promptly "solved" when an overwhelming consensus of readers concluded that the item referred to Gretchen Mol and her husband Tod "Kip" Williams, the latter being the man who, out of the blue last March, was chosen to direct the sequel to Paranormal Activity, after many (including the IMDB) were convinced the job would go to Brian De Palma. Here is the "Blind Gossip" item:

This married writer/producer/director wanted to direct this much anticipated movie. A movie for which there was a lot of competition. Well, one day the producer of the movie came over to the director’s house to interview him for the job. While he was there the director’s B- list movie and television actress wife showed up. She sat in on the interview and made it perfectly clear to the producer that she was perfectly willing to f**k him right there if it got her husband the job. The next day the producer came over and our actress and he had sex. The director got the job. What he might not have expected though is that his wife who has done this kind of thing before has continued to sleep with the producer.

The Blind Gossip page then quotes a post from Entertainment Weekly, and suggests the producer in question is Oren Peli. However, if one connects the dots of those allegedly involved the way "Plum" did in the post's comments section, it seems more likely the producer in question is Jason Blum, who is producing Paranormal Activity 2 with Peli and Steven Schneider.


Posted by Geoff at 9:36 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, September 3, 2012 2:23 AM CDT
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Friday, March 26, 2010
DE PALMA NOT DIRECTING PARANORMAL SEQUEL
Oren Peli posted the following message on the Paranormal Activity website earlier today:

Posted by Geoff at 12:38 PM CDT
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010
PARANORMAL DIRECTOR TO BE NAMED "SOON"
PRODUCTION TO BEGIN IN MAY; IMDB LISTS DE PALMA AS DIRECTOR
Ryan Rotten at Shock Till You Drop reported early yesterday that Akiva Goldsman was "close" to being announced by Paramount Pictures as director of the upcoming sequel to Paranormal Activity. Rumors began spreading all over, with some sites actually stating that Goldsman had the job, until Deadline Hollywood's Mike Fleming debunked the rumor, stating that while Goldsman has boarded the project, his role will be as an executive producer, not director. What Fleming's article had in common with Rotten's is that both of them suggest that a director will be in place "soon." Fleming adds that production on the sequel is set to begin in May. Meanwhile, the Internet Movie DataBase is already listing Paranormal Activity 2 as one of four projects that Brian De Palma has in development.

Posted by Geoff at 3:17 AM CDT
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Friday, March 12, 2010
PARAMOUNT TO UNVEIL NEW DIVISION SOON
INSPIRED BY SUCCESS OF PARANORMAL ACTIVITY
According to Eugene Hernandez at indieWIRE, Paramount Pictures is expected to unveil a new micro-budget, grassroots-inclined division today called Insurge. Hernandez hears that Insurge, which is "emerging in the wake of the tremendous success of Paranormal Activity," will be lead by Amy Powell, who was instrumental in shepherding the success of that film. Insurge plans 10 films in its first year at $100,000 each. Somehow, Hernandez got a look at the website for the new division-- at the time of this post you're reading, insurgepictures.com directs back to the Paramount home page. However, according to Hernandez, the website asks, "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.” The site states its intention to develop an online community that will have some input into the films and their promotion.

Posted by Geoff at 3:45 AM CST
Updated: Friday, March 12, 2010 11:39 PM CST
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010
SLOAT KNOWS A LOT
BUT "I CAN'T TELL YOU" ABOUT PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 (EXCEPT THAT "IT'S REALLY COOL")
At last week's Independent Spirit Awards, Micah Sloat, who starred in Oren Peli's Paranormal Activity, was asked by MTV News if he knew which director might be stepping up to take over the planned sequel. "I know a lot I can't tell you," Sloat told MTV News. "It's really interesting — the whole director drama with the Saw director. That's been public. All I can tell you is that I'm very excited for the project. It's really cool. It's gonna be really interesting, and it's not going to suck, which most horror sequels you would imagine would. We have money now, but we're staying true to the heart of the movie, to the spirit of it and to the vision."

Posted by Geoff at 1:33 PM CST
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Monday, March 1, 2010
INSERT [DE PALMA] MOVIE HERE
Reading over the many web postings the past few days about the possibility of Brian De Palma directing the sequel to Paranormal Activity, it is a little surprising how shocked many people are by the prospect. I think a lot of people overlook the idea that a sequel to this sort of movie can essentially be an entirely new movie-- clearly, regardless of the screenplay (which may or may not have been completed yet), if De Palma were to sign on for the project, he would be making a Brian De Palma film. And clearly, if Paramount is considering hiring De Palma to direct the film, the whole reason they would do so is because they would expect a Brian De Palma film. Okay, so if the project were to be a go, De Palma would have the freedom to make a film dealing with the paranormal, which itself offers up myriad possibilities of visual storytelling, which happens to be his thing. The film brand ("Paranormal Activity") being what it is, and with a release date already being hyped, it would be a showcase already primed by the machine-- a showcase for whichever director takes on the project. As a De Palma fan, I would love to see him work in this genre with this kind of freedom, and a built-in audience that would hopefully be surprised. The film may happen with De Palma, or it may not, but it sounds like a very good idea.

Posted by Geoff at 2:55 AM CST
Updated: Monday, March 1, 2010 2:59 AM CST
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010
LA TIMES: DE PALMA MAY GO PARANORMAL
PARAMOUNT CONSIDERS GENRE DIRECTORS FOR SEQUEL
Just days after getting an update on Brian De Palma's latest projects comes an unexpected report from Steven Zeitchik at the L.A. Times' 24 Frames blog. According to Zeitchik, Paramount is "seriously considering a trio of more experienced directors" to take on the sequel to Oren Peli's Paranormal Activity, the phenomenon shot for $10,000 that is still frightening audiences around the world. Steven Spielberg helped convince Dreamworks (which at the time was being aquired by Paramount) to distribute the film, eventually suggesting a different ending for the film in the process. The film was memorably promoted with ads showing audiences reacting to what was happening on the screen. Months ago, Paramount announced a release date for Paranormal 2-- October 22 2010. However, the director hired for the sequel, Kevin Greutert, who had directed Saw VI, was optioned back by Lionsgate for Saw VII 3D, which will also be released October 22nd. So Paramount has been searching for a director. Besides De Palma, the other two directors with genre experience being considered, according to Zeitchik, are Brad Anderson (Transiberian) and Greg McLean (Wolf Creek). Zeitchik states that the film currently has no director or actors attached, and that the screenplay is still being worked on.

My feeling is that De Palma's name attached to the sequel would make it stand out above the Saw sequel that comes out the same day. This is a project that De Palma could have a lot of fun with, bringing in a potential whopper of a film on time and under budget. It also has the potential to further some of the modern storytelling techniques he played around with in Redacted. Beyond all of that, it is no wonder Paramount would consider De Palma for a project such as this-- De Palma has had his two biggest hits (in terms of grosses) with Paramount: Mission: Impossible and The Untouchables. The question might be, will De Palma consider Paranormal Activity 2...?

Posted by Geoff at 11:42 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, February 25, 2010 12:09 AM CST
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