Amazon creates online studio for aspiring filmmakers

17 Nov 2010

Amazon has launched Amazon Studios, inviting filmmakers and screenwriters worldwide to submit full-length movies and scripts in order to make money and get discovered.

The online initiative will offer $2.7m to the best submissions, which must be submitted by 31 December 2011.

The top film projects will be commercial feature films under a first-look deal with Warner Bros Pictures, though Amazon has said it will look at other studios if Warner Bros isn’t interested.

Under the development agreement, filmmakers or screenwriters who manage to release a theatrical film through Amazon Studios will receive a rights payment of $200,000 and if it makes more than $60m in the US box office, they will receive a $400,000 bonus.

Writers can submit scripts and filmmakers can add test movies of more than 70 minutes in duration, which must be made from the filmmaker’s original script or from any script submitted to Amazon Studios.

Test movies are not required to have high quality production values, but must include “imaginative stores and great acting and sound.” Amazon Studios has sample test movies on its site.

Submissions can also be reviewed on Amazon Studios and users can upload alternative versions of what they’ve seen.

“We hope that Amazon Studios will help filmmakers experiment and collaborate and we look forward to developing hit movies,” said Roy Price, director of Digital Product Development in a statement.

Amazon has said it will choose scripts and films based on “commercial viability,” where premise, story, character, dialogue and emotion will be considered.

Amazon Studios industry panelists will include producer Mark Gill, screenwriter Mike Werb who wrote Face/Off and The Mask, and producer Michael Taylor.