E-commerce multinational Amazon has created a new online film and script development business, with a built in first look deal with Warner Bros.
Through monthly and annual Amazon Studios Awards, the initiative will offer up to $2.7m to filmmakers and screenwriters whose projects are chosen by industry panels over the next 18 months.
Under the development agreement submitters of original feature scripts that go on to be released by Amazon Studios in theatres will receive a rights payment of $200,000. If the feature makes over $60 million at the U.S. box office, the original filmmaker or screenwriter will receive a $400,000 bonus.
The first Amazon Studios Awards jurors will include screenwriter and chair, writing division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Jack Epps, Jr., producer Mark Gill, screenwriter Mike Werb and producer and chair, production division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Michael Taylor.
Winners for the first monthly awards will be announced at the end of February 2011, with $100,000 for the best full-length test feature and $20,000 each for the two best scripts. Winners of the first monthly awards will be announced end of February 2011.
“We are excited to introduce writers, filmmakers and movie lovers to Amazon Studios,” said Roy Price, director of digital product development at Amazon. “Full-length test movies will show stories up on their feet and attract helpful feedback at an early stage. We hope that Amazon Studios will help filmmakers experiment and collaborate and we look forward to developing hit movies.”