Amazon.com Launches Online Movie Studio/Production Outlet
This is why I love Amazon. The Seattle based website announced earlier today, with reports on The Wrap and THR, that they're getting into the movie business. Amazon has launched Amazon Studios, a user run online development and production organization built around monthly contests and community feedback. The end result, if all goes as planned, "will be feature films derived from the best user submissions that Amazon Studios produces for theatrical release." So, if you're an aspiring filmmaker at all, make it your immediate mission to visit Amazon Studios and get acquainted, as I have a feeling this will be taking off.
Amazon Studios is launching under a first look deal with Warner Bros, which means if the response to a project is enthusiastic enough, the studio might make the movie, and they can even pass on it and Amazon will try and sell it to another studio. In addition, Amazon will offer a total of $2.7 million in awards to the top submissions received by Dec. 31, 2011. Talk about an unprecedented and exhilarating contest to launch - I'd get on this right away! Beginning immediately, writers can add scripts and filmmakers can upload their test movies to the site. Test movies may be made from an original script or any script submitted to Amazon Studios. Test movies must be full length (over 70 minutes) but not "full budget" so don't worry too much.
There's still more info for those interested. Each month starting in January, based on community feedback, two scripts and one test film will be designated the best of that month and awarded prizes of $20,000 for each screenplay and $100,000 for the film. At the end of next year, one screenplay and one feature film submitted by December 31st will be chosen as the annual winners. That script will nab a $100,000 prize and the film a $1 million prize. These are some impressive cash prizes, definitely enough to set you up nicely and give you the chance to start up a career in Hollywood. The system is designed to discover new talent and run potential material through a kind of "public test screening" and "provide Amazon with a new profit center."
These is just a brilliant idea that I'm thrilled to see Amazon behind, as I know they'll do great things with it and keep its vision from warping. As I said earlier, if you're an aspiring filmmaker, writer, actor, producer, anything - you should check this site out. I'm going to look around and will be following it closely as things develop and submissions start to come in. This should be exciting! Who's interested in participating?