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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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