Couper Samuelson '02 is the President of Feature Films at Blumhouse Productions. Blumhouse, which has a first-look deal with Universal Pictures, has produced the highly-profitable Paranormal Activity, The Purge, Insidious and Ouija franchises which have grossed more than $1.4 billion worldwide.
Blumhouse's model began with the original Paranormal Activity, which was made for $15,000 and grossed close to $200 million worldwide, making it the most profitable film in Hollywood history. Blumhouse’s award-winning projects include The Normal Heart and Whiplash, the latter of which Couper incubated from a Blumhouse-produced short film to the lowest-budget feature film in Hollywood history to win three Oscars. In addition, this year he shepherded the critically acclaimed thriller The Gift and the pathbreaking supernatural thriller Unfriended, which grossed nearly $35m in the US on a budget of $1m.
Samuelson began his career at Mark Cuban's 2929, where he co-produced movies including James Gray's We Own the Night and Two Lovers, both of which were nominated for the Cannes Palme d'Or.Read more
Couper Samuelson '02 (President of Feature Production, Blumhouse Productions)
by Terence O'Toole Murnin
A TALL MAN RISES IN STATURE: The “Harvard Mafia” is alive and well in Hollywood with Couper Samuelson producing a new paradigm for art and commerce to coexist on the silver (really any) screen
William Couper Samuelson is a human dynamo, and with all respects to the late, great James Brown, the very tall (6’6”) producer may have just snatched the title as the “hardest working man in show business” and claimed it for himself. Known for such hits as the Academy Award-nominated WHIPLASH, WE OWN THE NIGHT, and THE GIFT, the lanky livewire has no less than five films already set for release in 2016, including HUSH, AMITYVILLE: THE WAKENING, DELIRIUM, 6 MIRANDA DRIVE, and THE PURGE 3.
Our interview is a fit of stops and starts. Calls and deadlines — and details — and a dinner to attend this evening. At last, he’s ready and it’s easy to see why the man has charmed his way into the upper echelons of Hollywood with a combination of brains, luck, pluck and networking savvy extraordinaire.
Arthur Roberts '62 (Actor)
By Couper Samuelson '02
A few days ago, the veteran actor Arthur Roberts '62 was in his Marina Del Rey apartment talking about the beginning of his career. “It was Harvard in the sixties and I didn’t do drugs but I did do sex and acting, well, acting felt better than sex.” So Roberts decided to do a lot of acting. “Now,” he thought to himself, “if only I could get them to pay me to do this…” (The acting, not the sex).
Roberts has been paid to act for 43 years and has left behind a wide body of work. He will look familiar to you, possibly because he’s had roles in everything from soaps to series, from Arthur Miller plays to Superbowl commercials to "Masseuse: The Sequel" (he wasn’t in the first one). He also simply looks familiar—salt-and-pepper-hair, oarblade cheekbones, like someone in the photograph that comes with a picture frame (Roberts has done print ads, too).Read more