Tag Archives: crowdsourcing

Amazon Studios Embraces Sharecropping

sad mime drawingIf you’re not someone who is concerned about writing and/or making movies, you may have missed Amazon’s big announcement this fall that they have formed Amazon Studios. They are getting into the game of creating original programming rather than just distributing other people’s stuff.

I think the initial reaction by many people was HOLY SHIT, COOL! And then people started reading the fine print and the “Development Agreement” and getting disturbed by some of the rules associated with this. Here’s how it works:

Amazon Studios will award $140,000 a month to the “best movies and scripts and a total of $1.1 million to winners of Annual Awards.” So each month they have a contest going for movies and scripts and if yours is chosen that month, you may win cash and then they may further develop it.

They don’t want people to submit a completed film – they want a “test movie. “What is a test movie? “Test movies are inexpensive, full-length movies that tell the whole story of the script in a compelling way. They should have good acting and sound, but polished visuals are not required. Even primitive visuals will help people imagine what a script would be like as a finished film.”

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Please Stop Talking.

Some phrases and words that bother me a great deal…

Event listing descriptions that begin “Get thee to XXX tonight…” Yeah, I don’t know why this is common enough that I’ve noticed it. Drives me mad. Like, ha ha, I’m funny and Olde English and I’m doing a take-off on the line, “Get thee to a nunnery!” Which might have been effective once but not 234 times. Get thee to the Jagged Edge Bar tonight for the wet t-shirt contest. Get thee to the feminist spoken word slam. I just received an event announcement via email with one of the listings beginning, “Get thee to Uptown this frigid January eve for a hot, hot set by melodic indie supergroup, Communist Daughter.” Get thee to Uptown? Snort. And get thee to Uptown on this frigid night? No fucking way, anyway. I’m not even going to touch “melodic indie supergroup.” OK, yeah I am. Indie or supergroup… which is it? Supergroup makes me think of Boston or Air Supply. Or… Aerosmith. Communist Daughter… not so much.

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