Ever since Paranormal Activity hit it big in movie theaters five years ago, fans have been making their own spoof videos, essentially trying to replicate the found footage style of the movies in homage to the original. Shot on a shoestring budget, Paranormal Activity became a huge hit and has inspired a series of sequels, one of which — Paranormal Activity 4 — is set to be released next month, just in time for Halloween.
Now Paramount Pictures, the studio behind Paranormal Activity and all its sequels, is hoping to make it easier than ever for fans to create their own home movies inspired by the horror flick. To do so, it’s partnering with mobile video editing app Ptch, allowing users to integrate filters, sounds, clips, and images from the movie series into their own mobile videos.
Ptch is one of the latest in a series of mobile apps to launch that is designed mostly to make it easier for users to shoot, edit, and share videos with their friends. Unlike other apps, which let users shoot short videos and maybe throw a filter on them, Ptch provides a lightweight interface for actually editing videos. Incubated by Dreamworks Animation, the app provides a drag-and-drop interface for stitching together pieces of video, as well as adding captions and music and different themes.
For Ptch, the Paramount/Paranormal Activity deal is the first promotion of its kind. In addition to providing assets users can leverage to make their own short horror movies, the companies will be giving away tickets and other merchandise for users who use those assets to create interesting video. It’ll award users for a number of different categories, including Most Popular, Scariest, Most Realistic, and Most Tense. And, of course, it’ll encourage its users to share out those Paranormal Activity themed videos on social networks like Twitter and Facebook and Google+.
So basically, this is what happens when you’ve got a mobile app created by one movie studio partnering with another studio: A promotion in which users get access to exclusive content! that they can use to create viral, user-generated promotional materials to be shared out all over the social networks. For Ptch, the hope is that a partnership around a well-known movie franchise will get people downloading and playing around with its app. And Paramount sees partnering with Ptch as a way to get the movie’s fans to promote it for them. Free marketing!
We’ve seen similar apps do similar deals in the past — like when Viddy partnered up with that Muppets movie. And we’ll probably see more deals like it, I’m sure.