Since: May 2011
In spite of me holding up Peter J as a hero, I always feel he is almost single handedly responsible for the naive identification that many new film makers have with horror or splatter as a viable entry point for their career.
To this I'd like to give my 2c worth.
Firstly, I think that this isn't just an NZ "issue", as many new filmmakers are younger filmmakers, and are naturally going to make films that are entertaining/cool/fun to them. Same as younger filmmakers making action movies, slapstick/gross-out comedies and cop films. I guess it comes with a certain level of maturity.
Secondly, horror IS a viable entry point. Horror movies are generally cheap to make, and they always have an audience, meaning there is more likelihood for the studio and filmmakers to make a profit.
Studios are going to be more willing to give a smaller budget to an unproven filmmaker making a film with a known target audience, than to give more money (as Shifty pointed out, dramatic costs more) to an unproven filmmaker to make a dramatic film, which tend to flounder at the box office more than succeed.
Thirdly, I believe it was Wes Craven who was told by the studio that he could make any film he wanted to, after he makes Scream 3 for them. The studio used it as a bargaining chip as Wes Craven was hesitant to make Scream 3, but did it in the end so that he could them make the drama "Music of the Heart". As I said, studios see horrors as cheap to make, and easier to pull a return on.
Anyway, that's my 2c worth. Feel free to tell me I'm wrong; these were just some points and cases I thought were relevant to this discussion.
2015 The Gentlemen's Agreement - "Paper Girl" (Romantic Comedy)
2014 The Gentlemen's Agreement - "Love In Reverse" (Musical)
2013 The Gentlemen's Agreement - "Photobooth" (Immobolised)
2012 The Gentlemen's Agreement - "The 'Wham!' Initiative" (Found Footage) [CHCH Finalist+Best Editing, Original Song, Costume Design]
2011 The Gentlemen's Agreement - "Cornchip" (Quest Movie) [CHCH Finalist+Best Editing]