Amazon.Com’s Attempts to Exploit New Filmmakers Keep Freaking Us Out

Hey Filmmakers! Amazon Studios Wants to See Your Shorts

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The pic above is from an email we got, announcing, well, announcing what it says above, that Amazon Studios wants to see our shorts. (Oh God, the easy jokes that brings to mind. Must resist…mustn’t fall into their trap…

The complete text is just as inviting:

Submitting Your Video (or Script)
Got a great idea for a feature film? Amazon Studios will consider your original video or script, which you can submit publicly or privately. You can use our tracker to follow your progress through the 45-day option and evaluation period. Creators of projects added to the Development Slate receive a $10,000 payment.Learn more about what Amazon Studios is looking for.

So, intrigued, we clicked on “Learn more” and ended up at a site that had this to say:

Amazon Studios’ open door for creators has now opened even wider. Filmmakers are invited to submit short “concept videos” that present a compelling idea for a theatrical feature film.

These short films – 2-15 minutes in length – will be evaluated by the Amazon Studios development staff and considered for option. The process works like script submission: You can submit publicly or privately. There is a 45-day option and evaluation period. Creators of projects added to the Development Slate receive a $10,000 payment.

So what is Amazon Studios looking for? These should be videos that express an idea that’s begging to be seen on the big-screen, in full-length, full-budget form. These could be bold, imaginative worlds, original premises, or unique perspectives.

A great concept video doesn’t need to lay out the entire feature film in all three acts, but serve as a solid foundation to build on.

See the full Amazon Studios Movie Development Slate.

P.S. Seeking distribution for your short film? Amazon Studios is not a distribution channel – better options to consider include Createspace and Withoutabox.

Now, we’re sorry, kids, Amazon, but reading between the lines of this, and knowing just a teeny bit about how showbiz works, we’re puzzled as hell. What’s Amazon really offering here? We mean, what exactly is the opportunity? What does Amazon want from filmmakers? What will it give in return?

In other words, how much free work is being asked for? And how much is Amazon going to use that free work to its own advantage?

We’d be totally disillusioned, crying our eyes out at the doubletalk at all these links if not for this one saving grace:

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Yeppers, that’s what we call one mighty great logo. And a great name: “Hollywonk.” Geniuses at work. We can hardly wait to throw our brainchildren at their feet.

%@!$!