Given that the business model of Amazon.com is based on shrinking the time between any given product and any given customer to within two days, their keen interest in the evolution of the distribution of media is only natural. The company has thrown considerable resources behind ebooks, digital music, and — most relevant to this discussion — streaming video.
Amazon has done a great job of delivering the studios’ product to you; now they’d like to try their hand at delivering your works of cinematic art back to the studios. The site has launched Amazon Studios, with the intent to develop user-submitted films and script for theatrical release with a first-look deal at Warner Bros. Hit the jump for a look at how this process will work.
Here’s how Risky Business breaks it down:
- Starting… now, would-be filmmakers are invited to submit their feature screenplays or completed films to the site
- Amazon Studios has an 18-month option on the material upon submission
- Beginning in January, Amazon will deem two scripts and one film the best of the month based on “community feedback”; winning screenplays are awarded $20,000 — completed films get $100,000
- At the end of the year, the best film ($1 million) and screenplay ($100,000) of 2011 will be selected
- Warner Bros. has right of first refusal for any Amazon Studios project in production
- If the film is released, the creator is awarded another $200,000
- If the film grosses more than $60 million, an automatic $400,000 bonus kicks in
So Amazon doesn’t seem interested in escaping the studio system, instead content to break down the barriers to entry. Still, seems like a relatively cost-effective and intuitive way to tap into the market of the creative masses stuck on the outside looking in.
I have no idea if this will work, but it’s worth a shot, right? Obviously, goal number one is to release a film, but I love the inclusion of a “$60+ million clause.”
But don’t take my word for it. The Amazon Studios site is live, folks.