Amazon.com has launched Amazon Studios, a new online business that allows filmmakers and screenwriters to submit full-length movies and scripts to get their movie made and make money.
Through the monthly and annual Amazon Studios Awards, Amazon Studios will offer a total of $2.7 million to the top submissions received by Dec. 31, 2011, and will seek to develop the top Amazon Studio projects as commercial feature films under its first-look deal with Warner Bros. Pictures.
Amazon says its goal is to produce new, full-budget theatrical films based on the best projects. Under the Amazon Studios development agreement, if a filmmaker or screenwriter creates a project with an original script and it is released by Amazon Studios as a theatrical feature film, the submitter will receive a rights payment of $200,000; if the movie makes over $60 million at the U.S. box office, the original filmmaker or screenwriter will receive a $400,000 bonus. If Warner Bros is not interested in developing a particular project, Amazon Studios can produce the project with another studio.
Filmmakers are invited to add full-length test movies to Amazon Studios. Test movies may be made from an original script or from any script submitted to Amazon Studios. Test movies must be full length (more than 70 minutes), but they don’t have to be "full budget." While test movies must include imaginative stories with great acting and sound they don’t need to have theatrical-quality production values. Film fans can review Amazon Studios scripts and test movies, or even upload alternate, revised versions.
Winning screenplays and full-length test movies will be selected on the basis of commercial viability, which will include consideration of premise, story, character, dialogue, emotion and other elements of great movies.
In the 2011 Annual Awards, Amazon Studios will award $100,000 to the best script and $1 million to the best movie submitted by December 31, 2011. To be eligible for the first monthly awards, test movies and scripts must be uploaded by January 31, 2011. Winners for the first monthly awards will be announced near the end of February 2011– $100,000 for the best full-length test movie and $20,000 each for the two best scripts.