The one good thing about films like Paranormal Activity and Cloverfield is that they've given filmmakers a little more creative freedom, believe it or not, and not just in the way they make their movies, but also in the way they're marketed. Studios won't be afraid to take a risk on a low-budgeted idea if they can give it some hook and perhaps sell it as the next great discovery or the launching pad for the next popular movie trend. After Todd Phillips found a way strike oil with The Hangover, it seems like he's using the potential lucrative comedy franchise to greenlight what appears to be a risky, low-budgeted (try $12 million) high concept comedy full of complete unknowns. And when I say "unknowns", I mean "you've never ever seen these people except maybe if you stood behind them at a White Castle."
Dubbed Project X (according to Deadline), Phillips will oversee the comedy for Warner Bros. while music video/commercials director Nima Nourizadeh steps behind the camera for his first feature. Yes, they want to cast all unknowns (teens), but they're also casting these kids with select water-marked script pages; no one has read the full script. It's high concept, but it must be so on a relatively small scale, since the budget is something like $12 million -- unheard of numbers for a major studio like Warner Bros.
Production will begin on June 24th, and Phillips will work on this prior to The Hangover 2. Leave it to a raunchy comedy to use the marketing tactics of Cloverfield, Paranormal Activity and District 9 combined to sell itself to audiences. If Warner Bros. was smart they'd pull back real far and evaluate the way they want to go at this thing. Can Phillips re-invent the genre? Can a comedy exploit a fanboy-ish viral campaign? Can the cool, original techniques brought to the sci-fi genre be applied to comedy as well?
What do you think? Check out two very cool commercials that Nima Nourizadeh directed for Adidas Originals below.