Not content with being a mere multi-billion dollar online monster, Amazon.com today launched Amazon Studios, a radical new online movie studio aimed at developing independent talent and films via online contributions.
They’ve teamed up with Warners based on first-look deals, which basically means that the winning Amazon scripts (voted on by readers) are sent to Warner Bros, who then decide whether or not to make the feature. If they turn it down Amazon will then look elsewhere for a suitor. So if you’re a budding writer or filmmaker you need to check out their website for a multitude of information and rules. Plus, there’s the added incentive of payment and Amazon says they’ve got about $2.7 million to dish out for the winning contributions annually (along with monthly winnings to keep the interest up during the year).
It’s a worldwide venture in several ways, including the ability to edit someone else’s work. For instance someone from India could submit a script and have it edited and amended by a person sitting in a café in Brazil. The legality of this is spelled out further on their site, but this could be something that turns out to be either incredibly ingenious or incredibly dangerous. The man in charge of this, Roy Price, had this to say to the LA Times: “It’s much easier now to make movies but it’s still as hard as ever to break into Hollywood. We think we can play an interesting role in changing that”.
With Amazon Studios promising to hand out boatloads of cash, there’s a good chance they can.