Wednesday, 17 November 2010 13:45

Amazon gets into the movie business with Amazon Studios


Amazon has for years been selling movies on DVD, and more recently on Blu-ray and by digital delivery. Now the company is getting into the moviemaking business with its new Amazon Studios business.

Online retail giant Amazon has announced a new venture: Amazon Studios is looking for filmmakers and screenwriters as a source of material for commercial theatrical movies.

The company has a 'first look' deal with Warner Bros to help get the best movies into production.

Here's how it works. Scripts or full-length test movies submitted to Amazon Studios will be accessible to the public, who get the chance to make their own changes.

Entries will be judged by a panel drawn from the industry, with initial participants including screenwriter and chair, writing division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Jack Epps, Jr. (Top Gun, Dick Tracy), producer Mark Gill (former president of Miramax and Warner Independent Pictures), screenwriter Mike Werb (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Curious George, Face/Off, The Mask) and producer and chair, production division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Michael Taylor (Bottle Rocket, The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper).

The best movies will be offered to Warner Bros, and the originators of any that get released will receive $US200,000 for the rights, with a $US400,000 bonus if the US box office exceeds $US60 million. If Warner isn't interested, Amazon is able to produce the movie with another studio.

And there's more cash in the kitty - see page 2.

Furthermore, there are cash prizes to be won: $US1 million for the best movie and $US100,000 for the best screenplay submitted by December 31, 2011. Monthly prizes ($100,000 for the best movie and $US20,000 for the two best scripts) will also be avoided.

Amazon officials stressed that any prizes awarded are in addition to any rights payments.

Entries are accepted from around the world, so if you have a good idea, this could be your break.



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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.



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