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Amazon Launches Online Movie Studio 68

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-click-cinema dept.
angry tapir writes "Amazon.com is getting into the movie business by opening Amazon Studios, with the goal of using the Internet to put fresh movies on the big screen. The new Internet movie studio will allow writers to upload screenplays to its website where the global Internet audience can read them and offer feedback, or producers/directors can use them to make test movies. The test movies, which must be at least 70 minutes in length, can also be uploaded."
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Amazon Launches Online Movie Studio

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  • Yes! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Shadow Wrought (586631) * <shadow...wrought@@@gmail...com> on Thursday November 18, 2010 @12:08AM (#34264888) Homepage Journal
    My Hardcastle & McCormick reboot will live!
  • Amazon is known for a lot more then books nowadays, and I'm really excited to see what they do with this. The more amazon dips competition into different markets (video game sales for instance) we've seen a lot of good things come out of it. Let's hope this project is just as successful. Also, wow, $100k a MONTH!
    • by AHuxley (892839) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @12:52AM (#34265104) Homepage Journal
      Do you really want a ~$40 to $x00 computer game with a remote delete option and compulsory limited activation keys?
      • by Skreems (598317)
        1. this is about movies
        2. the "limited activation keys" thing is SIMULTANEOUS, not total for all time, which for Kindle seems reasonable given that the books themselves are cheaper. At least it's a tradeoff you can decide upon for yourself, I thought it seemed reasonable. Also, it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the story above.
  • by JIKilo (1942278)
    This is dumb. Maybe people can express constructive criticism, but I don't think it will be very successful in the long run.
  • This already exists (Score:3, Informative)

    by xclr8r (658786) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @12:45AM (#34265064)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wvmarle (1070040)

      Great but they miss the marketing push and existing mind share Amazon has.

      Like not so long ago was mentioned again: there is only room for monopolies on the Internet.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Afforess (1310263)
        Monopolies? I like economic theory as much as the next guy, but I can't see any evidence that Amazon is a monopoly. Pray tell, what commodity or service is Amazon the sole provider of? Hmm?

        I'm not disputing Amazon has a significant advantage, just your crazy economic ideas.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Great but they miss the marketing push and existing mind share Amazon has.

        Like not so long ago was mentioned again: there is only room for monopolies on the Internet.

        I dont know why people keep propogating this myth. A monopoly and a company with a large market share are two completely different things. Let's say you are walking aimlessly around the sahara desert and you come across my lone market stall selling bottled water and there is nobody else (and more importantly, no water) around for miles. In that area, for that resource I would be a monopoly. If you want it, you have no other choice but to get it from me. THAT'S what a real monopoly is.

        Also - personally I can

    • There is also http://www.wreckamovie.com/ [wreckamovie.com]

  • by AHuxley (892839) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @12:47AM (#34265070) Homepage Journal
    Max Keiser http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Keiser [wikipedia.org], a film-maker, broadcaster and former broker and options trader offers a vision of what this could really be like.
    http://www.piratemyfilm.com/pages/how_it_works [piratemyfilm.com] shows how funding could work..
    "The system automatically creates enough shares to match the funds request and then makes those shares available for PMF members to reserve."
    Why just read and offer feedback when you could support a work from day one and perhaps share in some value.
    Great funding for a tech movie, drama, historical documentary, extreme sports, romance, cars ect.
    Get a forum or core supporters on any topic. No need for some grant, arts council or one person funding.
  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @01:15AM (#34265220) Journal
    So you can read screenplays of other people? Are you allowed to moderate them up or down? If so, Hollywood could just buy the highest moderated screenplay :P What could possibly go wrong?
    • by badboy_tw2002 (524611) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @02:51AM (#34265568)

      Not sure, but if you go by the moderation here it we all know that the more you repeat something the funnier it is. There will be a Beowolf cluster of sharks with lasers ruled by an almighty army of ant overlords that we all for one welcome except in soviet russia where they welcome us as we fight off the vicious grammar Nazis. Staring Natalie Portman and Jon Katz. Its gold!

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by Sockatume (732728)

        Slashdot humour is solved by a self-consistent field method. You see a lot of the same gags because we're converging to the best joke. (There is an existence proof for the joke in question, and an accepted hypothesis that it involves leaves.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tehcyder (746570)

      So you can read screenplays of other people? Are you allowed to moderate them up or down? If so, Hollywood could just buy the highest moderated screenplay :P What could possibly go wrong?

      Reading a screenplay gives you very little indication of whether it will make a good film. It's like just seeing the lyrics to a rock song without the music.

  • by brokentoilet (836240) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @01:16AM (#34265226)
    I see in the article that Warner Bros. would have right of first refusal for any script on the site, but does Amazon own the rights to the script or does the author?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      By uploading a script, you give Amazon the exclusive option to purchase the script for 18 months. If they don't exercise the option, you get the rights back after the 18 months. If they do choose to buy it, you get $200,000 and they own all the rights.

      • by autophile (640621)
        Fascinating. My screenplay is released under a Creative Commons license. There's no reason why a movie studio couldn't release a movie based on the screenplay (with my permission)... except that they want exclusive rights? That makes no sense.
  • We already know movie studios steal for a living. They steal from the consumer, the taxpayer, the director, the actors and anyone else involved. The term - Hollywood Accounting. Would Amazon be any different? Should we be making it easier for them to steal ideas now?

  • i can see Todd Solondz slated to direct an internet effort: The Adventures Of Pedobear In A Series Of Tubes

    seriously, this has far more potential to go bad than do good.

    that said, Snakes On A Plane was pretty cool for what it was.

  • by talcite (1258586) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @02:58AM (#34265588)

    I'm noticing that recently there has been a growing trend towards independent publication of books, music, movies, and other creative works.

    I really hope this continues to take off (with enthusiastic support from our wallets and voices) because it weakens the influence of the *IAAs and various copyright consortia that have an annoying habit of lobbying governments for legislation in no one's favour (not even the artists) but their own.

    • by WWWWolf (2428)

      I'm kinda torn about this. Publication channels have editorial control, which means a lot of people along the way will have to work toward making the final product into something that people might actually want to buy and enjoy and tell others about. This trend toward independence tends to think that raw output from one person is something that can be sold. It's rarely the case. People expect quality control. People expect to buy the books from regular stores, so you need to work out the distribution channe

      • In this particular case, we're talking about screenplays, not books. They are usually unknown to most people, unlike actors and directors. David Koepp worked on Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible and Spider-man, movies known by everyone and their dog. Does anyone besides people in the industry and heavy fans of the movies know him?

  • One Word.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by owlnation (858981) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @08:14AM (#34266638)
    "Exploitation"

    Having read through the terms and conditions here, it looks like basically Amazon will pay you a token amount if the movie is made, whilst keeping all the millions for themselves.

    Just another parasitic middleman in the movie industry. The very last thing the movie industry needs is more middlemen. If you work in the movie industry you will already be very familiar with this type of scam run by all sorts of people and all sorts of websites. As well as many other similar scams run for actors, directors and other movie professionals, or hopefuls.

    Having Amazon now join in, adds an air of legitimacy to what is nothing more than a way of scamming writers. It may result in a break for a few amateur screenwriters. However with a bit of research, perseverance, and hard work, those same screenwriters could get a MUCH better deal for a viable screenplay.
    • by tehcyder (746570)

      "Exploitation" Having read through the terms and conditions here, it looks like basically Amazon will pay you a token amount if the movie is made, whilst keeping all the millions for themselves. Just another parasitic middleman in the movie industry. The very last thing the movie industry needs is more middlemen. If you work in the movie industry you will already be very familiar with this type of scam run by all sorts of people and all sorts of websites. As well as many other similar scams run for actors, directors and other movie professionals, or hopefuls. Having Amazon now join in, adds an air of legitimacy to what is nothing more than a way of scamming writers. It may result in a break for a few amateur screenwriters. However with a bit of research, perseverance, and hard work, those same screenwriters could get a MUCH better deal for a viable screenplay.

      Nobody's forcing you to put your screenplay on Amazon. If you want to go it alone, Amazon aren't doing anything to prevent you. What's the problem?

      You're getting exposure on an extremely popular website, why should Amazon give you free publicity?

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Having read through the terms and conditions here, it looks like basically Amazon will pay you a token amount if the movie is made, whilst keeping all the millions for themselves.

      Just another parasitic middleman in the movie industry. The very last thing the movie industry needs is more middlemen. If you work in the movie industry you will already be very familiar with this type of scam run by all sorts of people and all sorts of websites. As well as many other similar scams run for actors, directors and ot

  • I sign the rights to my script away to Warner Bros. for the *chance* of winning a lousy $20,000? I don't think so. The only writers this will attract are really shitty ones, really dumb ones, and really desperate ones.

  • This actually sounds a lot like an idea I've had for a different way the film industry could work: moving to a model where screenwriters publish their screenplays, much as playwrights publish their plays, and then anyone who wants to is free to making movies from them (paying appropriate royalties, of course), just as anyone who wants to is free to put on a production of a play. This seems to me like a better match for the internet age, where the equipment needed to make professional quality movies is inex
  • I don't think Amazon thought through this very well. They could have created a real opportunity to fund films, instead it's just a social and pr stunt. This is not something that is good for filmmakers or will be helpful for film. Here's my full take on it: http://nffty.org/explore/your-say/amazon-the-movie-studio-yeah-right [nffty.org]

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.

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