Seattle – Amazon.com (NASD: AMZN) on Wednesday debuted Amazon Studios, a
new venture that aims to solicit screenplays from users and eventually help
produce feature-length films. Through monthly and annual Amazon Studios Awards,
the company plans to award $2.7 million in total prizes to participants over
the next year, with the top projects to be produced under a first-look deal
with Warner Bros. Pictures.
Filmmakers and screenwriters may submit both
scripts and test movies at least 70 minutes in length to the Amazon Studios
Users will be able to view test movies and help in the development
process, and winners will be chosen by a panel, based on commercial viability.
film that Amazon helps produce will garner the screenwriter a rights payment of
$200,000; if the film grosses more than $60 million at the U.S. box office, the
original filmmaker or screenwriter gets a $400,000 bonus.