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FROM THIS EPISODE

Producer Steven Schneider struck gold in 2009 with Paranormal Activity, but that story of sudden success turned into a dark saga of drug use and frayed relationships. He talks about the fallout and tells Kim Masters how he went from teaching film theory at Harvard to producing horror in Hollywood. Schneider’s latest project is The Houses October Built, a micro-budget Halloween-themed horror movie about a group of friends on an RV trip to explore extreme haunted houses.

Banner image courtesy of Steven Schneider.

Producers:
Kaitlin Parker

Hollywood News Banter 7 MIN

Kim Masters is joined by Michael Schneider, Executive Editor of TV Guide Magazine to discuss top entertainment news stories of the week.

- NBCUniversal settles with former ‘SNL’ interns, while other cases involving claims from unpaid interns at places like Sony and Fox still remain up in the air.
- There’s been no breakout success in this fall TV season, but in an unusual move, nothing’s been cancelled either.* 
- For new ideas, TV is turning to adaptations of old movies.

*Shortly after recording this week's conversation, there was one cancellation: ABC pulled the plug on Manhattan Love Story.

Guests:
Michael Schneider, Indiewire / Variety (@Franklinavenue)

More:
NBCUniversal Agrees to Pay Out $6.4 Million To Settle Unpaid Internship Claims
Why Nothing Is Getting Canceled (Yet)
Why TV is Looking to the Big Screen For New Ideas

Steven Schneider Post-‘Paranormal’ 21 MIN, 2 SEC

It’s almost Halloween, and genre producer Steven Schneider has a movie in theaters and VOD, The Houses October Built. It’s an ultra-low budget horror film, as was another scary movie that put Schneider on the map in Hollywood in the fall of 2009.

Paranormal Activity was about a couple who found that they had unwanted company in their new house. It’s part of Hollywood lore that director Oren Peli shot the film in seven days with unknown actors for a mere $15,000.

The movie changed the world for Steven Schneider, who teamed with producer Jason Blum to release the film through Paramount. Paranormal exploded at the box office, grossing more than $190 million around the world.

For Jason Blum, the film opened the door to continued success. He launched Blumhouse Productions and made low-cost hits including Insidious and The Purge.

Schneider did not do nearly as well. While Paranormal soared, he sank to a dark place, doing drugs and destroying important business relationships.

It was an unhappy outcome for a story that began when Paranormal Activity first landed on Schneider’s desk. He wasn’t some seasoned producer, rather, he’d been teaching film theory and picking up degrees at places like NYU and Harvard.

Schneider tells Kim Masters how he went from Harvard to Hollywood and the battles he faced once he got there, and the reflecting he’s done since. He also talks about how his latest project The Houses October Built, a micro-budget Halloween-themed horror movie about a group of friends exploring extreme haunted houses, manages to be a mash-up of a documentary and a narrative feature with a little found footage thrown in.

Guests:
Steven Schneider, film producer

More:
The Houses October Built on Twitter
The Houses October Built on Facebook

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