They invite filmmakers (experienced or anyone looking to break into the business regardless of experience) to submit online their original scripts in a variety of genres. Currently, they're looking to develop feature films and episodic series.
For feature films, Amazon Studios will accept scripts for any genre or budget, and it's free to submit your script. They have a 45-day option and evaluation period to decide whether your script will go on to the Development Slate. If your script goes to development, they will pay you a $10,000 option extension payment.
While it's still a long-shot that your script will be made into a feature film, if it does become a movie then they will pay $200,000 to the original writer and another $400,000 if the movie makes more than $60 million at the U.S. box office.**
Just how serious is Amazon in developing theatrical feature films? Well, currently they have 23 movie projects in their Development Slate. Also, they've partnered with Warner Bros. Pictures in a first-look deal which allows them to present their top projects to the studio for consideration.
If you're interested in creating your own series, then you'll be happy to hear about their Series Development Slate. It's also free to submit scripts, but there are restrictions on the kinds of series they're looking to create. They're interested in receiving original series scripts for children's shows and comedies.
Again, there is a 45-day option period from the time you submit the script and a $10,000 option extension payment should your series go to the Development Slate. If the series goes into production, the original writer will receive $55,000 and a percentage of certain merchandising receipts. **
Amazon Studios will distribute any series that goes into production via Amazon Instant Video, their Internet video-on-demand service.
Even if you're not ready to submit a script to Amazon Studios, you can benefit from their site simply as a bit of a behind-the-scenes introduction into how movies and programs get made.
If you're a YouTube® video maker with a passion to make videos and are looking to improve your craft, be sure to check out the downloadable scripts and storyboards for those movie projects that have made it to the Movie Development Slate. You can get some great ideas here that might help out your own video projects, plus you can rate projects, watch test movies and trailers.
For programs in series development, you can download pilot scripts, mini-bibles (a short description of the series, its main characters and episode ideas) and watch pilot videos.
(** Information accurate as of publication of this article -- be sure to check out Amazon Studios for updates.)
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