Joined: 12 Aug 2007 Posts: 596 Location: Tallahassee, FL
I ran across a link on Amazon to Amazon Studios which caught my eye. Interesting concept: you upload scripts, which they can purchase or option or whatever, and they are open to the public for "test movies" to see about the viability of the script in the marketplace. Anyone can make a movie of any of the scripts, or you can do revisions of scripts with original author permission, etc.
If Amazon buys the script, they pay you $200k. If after 18 months they want to keep an option for it they pay you $10k. Plus there are prizes and awards for writing, rewriting, revising, making the test movies, etc. They also have first look deal with Warner Bros.
Joined: 04 Sep 2008 Posts: 447 Location: Vancouver B.C.
I heard about it at DVXuser, but it didn't seem to be too attractive to many. I guess filmmakers find it more challenging to make the film rather than go the spec script route. Script Reader services have been around for decades promising potential deals while charging you to read your script. But so far, no big headlines in that area.
Amazon wants to option scripts for free. The problem here is 18 months of exclusivity… for free. Normally options are paid. Writers do not give anyone exclusive rights to anything for free. TOS needs to change ASAP. I was really exited about amazon studio [sic] and this is a ridiculous term is in the fine print. No serious writer would should consider giving away exclusive rights for free.”
Hollywood Reporter ran a story about how spec scripts are being bypassed in the digital era:
At the same time, the screenwriting community has largely abandoned the spec approach — what was for a long time Hollywood’s prime idea factory. In the last few years, studios have made brutal trims to slates and development overhead. Filmmakers are now bypassing writer-provided original material by building a creative pipeline to funnel their own spec packages directly to producers and execs.
Rather than scrape together financing for a small indie, a visionary director can simply send a link to his short to someone in the industry, and everyone’s seen it within an hour. The heat generated from a viral explosion can put an auction-like target on a filmmaker.
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