Ex-Paramount President Adam Goodman Launches "Nimble" New Film Label (Exclusive)
Dichotomy, which will employ an incremental financing structure for microbudget projects, aims to ask, "If we were starting this business today, how would we make movies?”
Adam Goodman, who departed as president of the Paramount Pictures film group in February, is launching Dichotomy, a new company that will aim to make big movies as well as far smaller films through a new model that will finance projects in increments.
Goodman, whose company has a first-look deal at Paramount, has raised funds from an undisclosed source but continues to pursue additional financing.
As studios increasingly focus on comic-book movies and pre-branded franchises, Goodman hopes to make films in other genres using digital technology to streamline the filmmaking process from development through post-production.
“When you look at how we produce most movies today, it’s largely based on an inefficient hundred-year-old process using production techniques and film technology that has calcified, and failed to utilize innovations available to the industry,” Goodman tells The Hollywood Reporter. “We’ve never hit the pause button and said, 'if we were starting this business today, how would we make movies?' ”
Under Goodman’s plan, his company will pay $2 million to finance 20 days of production, followed by a break during which the material can be tested with an audience. Assuming that the project shows enough promise to proceed, Dichotomy will provide $1 million to continue shooting for another five days, followed by another test period. In some cases, where the material warrants further investment, the company will finance additional filming, with shoots running from 25 to 45 days and budgets capped at $5 million.
Goodman says the plan is to take advantage of digital technology “to move from the page to the stage as quickly as possible, knowing we can consistently review, rewrite and enhance the creative process.”
In an email sent to industry associates in September, Goodman said his company would make “the biggest movies in the world and the smallest ... nothing in between.” It is yet to be determined which, if any, of Paramount’s franchise films might be produced by Dichotomy.
In terms of budget, Goodman’s plan is reminiscent of the strategy employed by Jason Blum and his Blumhouse. That company, which has a long-term deal at Universal, has followed a model of making films with budgets of about $5 million or less, with Universal deciding on completion — or sometimes before cameras roll — whether to spend the $20 million-plus to release a film in theaters.
One issue is how much profit can be wrung from a low-budget movie that doesn’t have the benefit of a theatrical launch. But Goodman believes other platforms can generate meaningful revenue. “Our goal is always theatrical, but our process and technique is nimble enough to take advantage of other emerging release opportunities when appropriate for a specific project,” he says.
Goodman left Paramount in an executive shakeup in February. Ironically, studio sources at the time blamed productions that were going over budget on Goodman’s watch.