4. Spielberg's Encounter
Though he'd been responsible for such scare tactics as Poltergeist and Gremlins, Spielberg wasn't sure that Paranormal Activity was right for DreamWorks.
And then he saw it.
What happened after that has been described as everything from a truly disturbing little coincidence to a load of hogwash dreamt up to keep the movie's legend rolling along.
"I heard the story more than a year and half ago, so I think it's true," Peli has said. "Nobody back then even knew about the movie, so I don't see them coming up with a publicity stunt.
"Apparently, after he watched it, the door to his bedroom was locked from the inside." Yes, the man who is possibly the world's most famous director got the chills from a tiny indie movie and ended up calling a locksmith to solve the problem of the door. Or maybe just because he needed a hug.
"He said, ‘I don’t want this DVD in my house,’ and had somebody take it back to the office. I haven’t talked to him directly, but other people have told me.”
Other versions have Spielberg himself bringing the disc back in a bin liner.
But despite his close encounter (yeah, we went there) with the spookiness of Peli's film, it helped light a fire under Spielberg's enthusiasm.
Even with his input - which included some advice for Peli about editing the film and how he might tweak some of the closing moments (we've put a discussion of the multiple endings on the final page behind spoiler warnings for those who have seen the movie, or those who don't mind getting the end ruined for them) - things didn't exactly move swiftly for the director and his film.
DreamWorks just didn't know what to do with the film, as it wasn't fitting with their traditional plans. The initial idea? A bigger-budgeted remake with the original film included as a DVD extra.
But Blum and Peli convinced the executives to hold another test screening so more people could see how it played in the cinema.
"You watch it in your bedroom, it can look like your kid made it," Blum told The LA Times. "You watch it with an audience, it's an entirely different experience."
DreamWorks also figured they could use the screening to invite along some writing talent to judge how to tackle a remake.
And that showing changed the game…
Next: Lost In Limbo