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

Producers Eric B. Fleischman and Maurice Fadida are finding success and earning trust with a plan modeled off the folded Paramount division Insurge

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.

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Brian Welk

Brian Welk

Film Reporter • brian.welk@thewrap.com • Twitter: @brianwelk