How Defiant Studios Banks on a Financing Model With Microbudgets and Emerging Talent

Brian Welk
·1-min read

Within the DNA for Defiant Studios, the production banner behind Terry Crews’ 2020 hit “John Henry” and last month’s “Phobias,” are two companies: You’ve definitely heard of the scrappy, microbudget mentality that has made Blumhouse Productions a juggernaut. But you may have forgotten about Insurge, a one-time division of Paramount born with the mission to incubate young, first-time filmmakers. Defiant Studios producer Eric B. Fleischman is a veteran of both companies, and he and partner Maurice Fadida have quietly found success by embracing a model that is built around small-budget genre films from emerging talent and slate financing that mitigates risk and allows for taking more chances on talent. That approach is already paying off since Defiant was the only studio with two movies that premiered at last month’s SXSW: Elle Callahan’s “Witch Hunt” and Mickey Keating’s “Offseason,” which sold to RLJE Films and Shudder just this week. Also Read: Mickey Keating Horror Film 'Offseason' Acquired by RLJE Films and Shudder In 2010, Fleischman was a student just out of USC who had landed an internship at Paramount and begged to be placed into the studio’s newly launched division Insurge. The studio was hot off the success of “Paranormal Activity”...

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