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Amazon Studios Director Roy Price Talks Second-Year Changes

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by Anne Thompson
April 6, 2012 4:29 PM
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Three of the test films are in the development slate of 15 projects, one of which won the Amazon Studios best test film contest prize of $1 million, family Grimm's Fairy Tale musical "12 Princesses," from USC music grad Rob Gardner, who made it on his own. "It's going into rewrite," Price says. "We have an open writing assignment on that now. People can apply for that through the website. Agents can call People's Production."

Roy Price

"I Think My Facebook is Dead" is a contemporary comedy about the impact of social media on real world dating. And script-winner "Alchemist Agenda" is an action adventure. "We're getting better at soliciting and understanding the moviegoer point-of-view and fan feedback," says Price.

Will Amazon have a movie in front of cameras before the end of the year? The clock is ticking on a serious financial outlay and overhead to date--in contests alone, $1.9 million. Maybe yes, maybe no, says Price: "Once we get the script right it takes time to find a director and put the project together." They'll get there.

Here are the new rules:


Original scripts:

o   As before, writers can submit a script for review publicly on Amazon Studios, but now they also have the option to submit privately to the Amazon Studios team.

o   Following a 45-day option and evaluation period either:

§  Amazon Studios will add the project to their Development Slate by purchasing the script or paying $10,000 to extend the option; or

§  The writer gets back their rights to sell the script.  The writer can also choose at this time to remove the project from the site or leave it on the site to receive feedback from the creative community.

Open Writing and Directing Assignments

o   Amazon Studios will regularly offer open writing assignments for projects on the Development Slate. Currently paid writing opportunities are available for 12 Princesses and I Think My Facebook Friend is Dead.

o   Starting today, test movies will be funded by Amazon Studios.  Amazon Studios will occasionally offer paid directing opportunities for projects on the Development Slate.

WGA Agreement

o   People’s Production Company, an Amazon Studios production company, is now a signatory to the Writers Guild of America Minimum Basic Agreement.

Here's the letter Amazon posted on their homepage to their community:
 

Filmmakers, Screenwriters, & Movie Fans –

Thank you to everyone who supported Amazon Studios in our first year. Over 7,000 scripts and 700 test movies were shared with movie fans around the world. Today, we launch our second year of development with some exciting changes.

We are changing the script submission process in three ways. Starting today, writers can submit scripts publicly on the site, as before, or privately to our development staff. When you upload your script, we have a 45-day option and evaluation period. If, during that time, we don’t buy your script or pay you $10,000 to extend our option, you get back your rights to sell the script

In 2012, we will regularly offer Open Writing and Directing Assignments for projects on our Development Slate. Paid writing assignments are currently open for 12 Princesses and I Think My Facebook Friend Is Dead. Visit the Opportunities page for more information. Filmmakers, stay tuned.

Fifteen projects discovered on the Amazon Studios site in 2011 comprise our Development Slate. Throughout the year, we intend to continue adding projects to the Development Slate and attaching top talent to help advance these promising stories.

If you are a  WGA writer, you can learn more about opportunities offered through Amazon Studios production arm, People’s Production Company here.

We look forward to working with you to turn original stories into great movies!

The Amazon Studios Team

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