It’s painstakingly show to gestate a single motion picture, even for companies not rooted in Hollywood. Amazon proved that Thursday, with the unveiling of a slate of 15 prospective film projects currently under development at the Sherman Oaks, Calif. movie studio it launched back in November 2010.
It’s still not clear when Amazon will finally start shooting its first movie. Since launching its “People’s Production Company,” Amazon has solicited more than 7,000 scripts and 700 mock-up movies over the internet. And last year, according to GigaOM’s Ryan Lawler, it paid $580,000 to writers and another $2.1 million to create test movies.
– 12 Princesses: Amazon Studios is offering a $33,000 fee for anyone who submits an approved re-write of this family comedy. “While the script has many excellent qualities, we’d like to develop a scarier villain with a defined plan, a more proactive hero, a compelling romance, more defined princesses, and a richer fairytale world,” read notes provided by Amazon Studios staff.
– I Think My Facebook Friend Is Dead: Amazon Studios will also pay a re-write fee of $33,000 to anyone who can shift the project “from a comedic suspense film into more of a quirky road trip comedy built around a compelling romance.”
– Children of Others: Amazon reveals that producer Edward Saxon (Adaptation, Silence of the Lambs) has been attached the project about a woman who discovers that her unborn baby might not be human. Like all projects on its development slate, Amazon is asking anyone and everyone to read the script and offer their feedback.
With an output deal with Warner Bros. in place, and now operating under hiring terms set forth by the Writers Guild of America, Amazon Studios has created a transparent, globally accessible system for soliciting scripts and feedback from around the world, with an emphasis on commercial viability over artistic merit.
In addition to revealing what projects it’s moving forward with, Amazon has also revised some of the terms if offers writers. For example, following a 45-day evaluation period after initial submission, Amazon can extend its option period on a project by paying a writer $10,000. Writers also, for the first time, can privately submit their work to Amazon Studios without it showing up for review on the site.