Is Michael Bay‘s production company Platinum Dunes trying to change its image away from high-cost, high-profile, high-volume pictures? If so, it’s a very smart strategy in these leaner-than-lean times at the studios. Paramount just picked up the banner’s techno-thriller The Rising, a pitch from TV writer Soo Hugh (AMC’s The Killing, The River, Zero Hour). “Michael Bay’s guys at Platinum Dunes brought this in. It was very inexpensive,” a Paramount exec tells me. Along with Bay, Platinum Dunes’ Andrew Form and Brad Fuller are producing. For instance, this year just as Bay and Paramount were dating Transformers 4 for June 2014, Bay was starting production on the bodybuilders crime spree Pain And Gain with Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. That $25M budget movie was part of his 2-picture deal with the studio. And all the talent deferred their compensation in return for big back ends.

Related: Michael Bay Next Making $25M Budget Movie