Amazon Gets Into Film Production With Amazon Studios

They sell books, toys, music, games, clothes, appliances and soon will help you sell your script to Warner Brothers. Amazon just launched a new website called Amazon Studios in which users can sign up, upload their scripts, movies, storyboards and more, then edit and evaluate each others work and ultimately have that work shown to Warner Brothers, which has an exclusive first look deal with the site. It's also giving away over a million dollars a year in monthly prizes to the best received work on the site. Read more about it after the break.

"It's much easier now to make movies but it's still as hard as ever to break into Hollywood," Roy Price, the head of Amazon Studios, told the Los Angeles Times. "We think we can play an interesting role in changing that."

While others sites where people upload their work to get evaluated might not have really hit it off, none of those sites were giving away millions of dollars, had a deal to get a foot in the door at Warner Brothers, or offered users the unique ability to edit content uploaded by other users without their consent, which is sure to set many people off. However, that process is probably more akin to what actually happens in Hollywood than anywhere else and the hope is surely that the collaboration will help to improve the material.

Also, according to the LA Times piece, "In exchange for submitting material, users will give Amazon an 18 months of exclusive rights, an "option" in industry parlance, to their work. That type of restriction without payment is likely to deter working filmmakers and screenwriters and make Amazon Studios a home for rookies only."

However, despite any caveats, for someone who is passionate about their project, open to a constructive dialogue, but lacking any connections, Amazon Studios seems like a very viable option. It can not only get them noticed in the business, it's attempting to mirror the Hollywood process and has real money and names behind it. Plus, the only way Amazon can make this venture profitable is if they actually develop, and produce, really good movies. So it's in their interest to help.

"The goal is to get commercial feature films made and distributed through the studio system," Price said. "That's the only way this project can make any money."

For more information, you can read the original LA Times piece or – of course – head on over the Amazon Studios.

For you aspiring filmmakers out there, does this sound like something you would be interested in?