So not that this is “hot off the press”, it happened in November 2010 already. I have read about it in Variety, NY Times, some blogs and our very own Filmcontact. It’s stays pretty cool though! Let’s get one thing straight, this is not the golden bullet. This is not the mother load for new film makers and the “digital revolution”! This is just another studio. Great sacrifice on the film makers behalf in return for a big but always potential reward.
Studios.Amazon.com will accept any script / storyboard from a film that is between 70 and 90 minutes long. Once you submit it Amazon are the rights holders for 18months which means you cant shop the script around during that time. Ouch! But wait, if they do choose your film to be the best you get a big yellow bucket filled with green notes you can have a money fight with! If your script is made you get $200 000 and if your film goes on to gross more than $60 mil at the US box office, you as the writer will get another $400 000. WHAT! I can buy a house in Camps Bay!
Let’s have a quick look at which films made $60 mil in 2010 at the US box office… This info is from Boxoffice Mojo
51 The Tourist $61,455,393
52 Get Him to the Greek $60,974,475
53 Resident Evil: Afterlife $60,128,566
54 Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too? $60,095,855
55 Tooth Fairy $60,022,256
Ok , so ja. The Tourist starred Johnny Depp but was a terrible script > looking good for you. Get him to the Greek is a spin-off and is very funny, I can say that easily. Resident Evil, meh. bad. bad. bad. Tyler Perry, well he is a genius similarly to Leon Schuster. They make prank films (Tyler dresses up like a fat woman and farts) so good luck with that genre since I’ve found that it is actually the personality that makes this genre sell. Finally Tooth Fairy, and to be honest I have no idea what its about. I know its an IMDB (also owned by Amazon by the way) search away but I don’t think I’ll bother thanks. So then, not so hard. 5 Films that just made the $60mil mark. How hard can it be? If you can write comedy as well as Get him to the Greek you shouldn’t be worrying about your career to much, you will be fine! If you are writing Resident Evil, don’t.
The point is really that more opportunities will come about in the next couple of years as the industry and busines models change. I have a “high concept” film idea that I may submit to Amazon but it will be a second or third script that I have so I can afford to “give it away”for 18 months. If you only have one script and desperate to get it sold, I would suggest alternative ways. As a last note, Warner Brothers are the studio that have the first look deal with Amazon.
An really, wouldnt it be great if Amazon buys me a house in Camps Bay!