Screenwriting : Amazon Studios. by Christina Jones

Christina Jones

Amazon Studios.

Just wondering if any have you have used the site and if so if you've had any luck? I decided to submit my script yesterday and it's been on the deciding stage for about 24 hours... Does anyone know how long this usually takes?

Phillip 'Le Docteur de Script' Hardy

Hello Christina: This topic was discussed at length this past week and this link to the thread might help you with some information. https://www.stage32.com/lounge/screenwriting/Amazon-Studios-11. I've had a lot of experience with Amazon and their submission process. Since they removed their 45 day bullshit and totally opened up their submission policy, they've been remarkably fast. Lately, they're not taking more than ten days and can be even faster. I wish you the best of luck with your submission.

Christina Jones

Thank you, Phillip! - I will check it out now. And thanks, CJ! :)

Andrew Bruce Lockhart

45 days give or take a week..

Mitch Smith

Best of luck! I just submitted two of mine to Amazon, so fingers crossed for both of us!

Christina Jones

Good luck, Mitch! And thanks, but unfortunately they chose not to option the script - which sucks because they seem to be the only people with an open script submission policy!

Bill Costantini

Does anyone know of any actual metrics/stats with regards to Amazon optioning/buying scripts....other than the guy who got a lot of money in the contest when Amazon first got things up-and-running? I know they buy films/shows and have deals with established industry people....but what about the non-established folks?

Mitch Smith

Christina, I'm sorry to hear that :( and Bill, I would also be interested in finding out what the actual statistical averages are of being successful using Amazon

Lina Jones

Hey good luck Christina! I did not know Amazon did that.... interesting.. #goodtoknow

Bill Costantini

Mitch - I'm not even concerned with any averages, and probably shouldn't have used those terms. I'm sure any statistical average is going to be pretty grim-looking on its face, anyway - just like the statistical average of even WGA-writers who are trying to option or sell their speculative scripts. I'm just trying to find out if any non-WGA member has ever actually optioned or sold anything to Amazon, other than the guy that won the initial contest. Maybe Laurie Ashbourne knows? I would certainly be focusing my efforts in areas where successes have been established and validated for non-WGA writers. The success stories that I am aware of first hand are in these channels: 1. People have optioned scripts/gained representation/contracted services through Stage32 endeavors. 2. People have optioned scripts/gained representation/contracted services through InkTip endeavors. 3. People have optioned scripts/gained representation/contracted services through FadeIn Pitchfests. 4. People have optioned scripts/gained representation or employment from winning Nicholl, Page, Scriptapalooza, BlueCat, Austin, Script Pipeline, Sundance, Tracking Board's Launch Pad, Project Greenlight, CineStory and Slamdance competitions. 5. People have gained employment or received fellowships/internships through Nickolodeon, Nicholl, CBS, NBC/Universal, Showtime, HBO, Disney/ABC, Project Greenlight and Sundance. If anyone has any success stories involving non-WGA writers from other outlets (other than self-pursuits via personal networking with industry folks), please share them. And all of the companies I mentioned above DO share their success stories on their websites for the world to see. Any entity that doesn't....probably doesn't have any.

Mitch Smith

Bill - great point. I actually have tried/am trying many of these services, but it's a great list to have on hand and I'm always looking for news options/avenues that I can use to get my work exposure (as I'm sure we all are :p)

Phillip 'Le Docteur de Script' Hardy

I just did some research on Amazon Studios success stories for writers. I found these two about Dwain Worrell and Adam Pachter (see links below). Both of them were signed to deals with AS around 2012. I just reviewed the Amazon's IMDb page and neither Dwain's project "The Wall" or Adam's project "Hiber" on currently on Amazon's development or production slate https://pro-labs.imdb.com/company/co0319272?rf=cons_co_indev&ref_=cons_c.... So where are Dwain and Adam in the Amazon Studios process? Bill has offered you some statistics from other outfits that have track records getting gigs for unproduced writers. Inktip has helped me secure options with producers and has published that information. As far as Amazon? They're definitely producing feature films and television but I'd venture to guess that few of the writers are non WGAW folks. I have submitted projects to Amazon with no success but have no ax to grind . And, since it's fast and doesn't cost me a dime, I'll continue to do so. However, I wonder if I submitted the logline and synopsis to Michael Mann's "Heat" or for another famous film under another name with a few minor changes, whether or not Amazon would nibble? Unproduced writers needs to face the cold, hard reality that it's nearly impossible to get any major company to greenlight a film or television project. And before you take umbrage with this post, I did say nearly, not completely impossible. I'm sure that my deal with Amazon is forthcoming; sometime before I win Powerball or get struck by lightening. But if they do make an offer, I'll be only too happy to take their money. Here are the links to Dwain and Adam's stories about Amazon holy grail: http://deadline.com/2014/11/amazon-studios-the-wall-spec-script-dwain-wo... http://www.scriptmag.com/features/sci-fi-circuit-screenwriter-adam-pacht... PS, Adam is definitely an S32 member and Dwain is possibly one. I'd welcome their comments on this thread.

Mitch Smith

Phillip - that's interesting. I did some checking around, but couldn't find anything. I'm not really an expert, so maybe someone else could find some more information on those two projects...

Phillip 'Le Docteur de Script' Hardy

Mitch: I love to learn more too but info on Amazon Studios is scarce.

Aray Brown

Good luck Christina! I submitted my script two days ago. Put the project as private

Mitch Smith

CJ - it does seem as if they wouldn't have the time to give every submission (since they likely get tons of submissions) a full read. I guess that just gives writers another reason to really make sure that their loglines are as strong as possible because that may be all (some) people are going to see of your writing.

Dan Guardino

I know someone that was a reader for Amazon that never even wrote a screenplay.

Mitch Smith

Don't know if this means anything, but I submitted my script yesterday and already have 1 download. Again, don't know if this means anything, but (I hope!) it means someone was at least considering reading my script.

Annie Mac

Best of luck Christina! Hope you soon find out and let us know :o)

Phil Richards

The first two scripts I submitted were passed on in about two days. The last one took about a week for then to decide to pass. Got one download on the first script I submitted, but no action.

Phillip 'Le Docteur de Script' Hardy

FYI Amazon submitters: You will always get at least one download at Amazon Studios, as the studio downloads your script as part of the process. They claim to read everything but you know how that goes. But I'm inclined to agree with CJ's last post about them probably reviewing loglines and synopsis only, to achieve a quicker turnaround time. However, that's an industry standard practice. Last year, my producer colleague Steve Roeder pitched to his contact and Emmett Furla Films and the guy told Steve he'd only commit to reading my logline and synopsis. I was lucky to pass muster and the guy did subsequently read the full script. More often than not, they don't.

Courtney Sanders

The people I know whom have dealt with Amazon Studios take differs greatly from my dealings. I had a buddy swear by them, they optioned a tv script of his for 5k. However, after submitting a script of mine and seeing the projects they "did" pick up, I couldn't take them seriously.

Laurie Ashbourne

Once again... AS takes all submissions, video or script and first puts them through a filtering process as to whether it fits the technical requirements in format, language etc. THEN it is given to reading/viewing consultants who judge it on many factors and write a summary as to why they gave it the score they did. If it is recommended, it goes to the creative development dept. at AS for the next level of consideration.

Melissa Willis

Sorry if I missed the answer to this as I have only been skimming through the comments (at work!) - Do they give notes?

Melissa Willis

Okay. Thanks, CJ!

Adam Rhein

I submitted a script to Amazon Studios on 11/25/15, and it's still in the "Deciding" mode. I even checked in with them via online chat, and they confirmed that my script was still under consideration, but no decision has been made yet. I'm not sure what to think. But, that same script has also been in the hands of an independent production company since 12/17/15, and after 2 phone calls with them, I was told they are considering it for their production slate. This company was someone I had do coverage on my script via S32 Happy Writers, which went really well. So, maybe things just take ridiculously long times. I have no idea. Just need to keep writing my next one I guess. If anyone has any comments, I'm all ears. Thanks! Oh, and my project is PRIVATE on their site as well.

Andrew Bruce Lockhart

If they can't make a call in 45 days they are supposed to pay you something. Worth reading up on what that is perhaps..

Andrew Bruce Lockhart

Oh bugger. Still keep on top of them.

Adam Rhein

When I contacted Amazon at the 45 day mark, they explained that they do not have a 45 day period any longer, which goes along with CJ's comment. I recall them saying that if my submission would have been before the 11/9 or something, it would have fallen under the old 45 day rule. I guess I just keep waiting, and then keep pitching to others. Thanks guys.

Phillip 'Le Docteur de Script' Hardy

I has AS take a very long time to consider a television pilot that they still passed on; so I wouldn't take it as a sign either way. Two years ago, I wrote a script on spec for an Inktip producer, who took eight months to read it. In the interim, I optioned it to another Inktip producer on a right to shop. When the other guy got back to me, I informed him I'd already made other arrangements. Not only was the first guy slow, he was arrogant on top of it.

Adam Rhein

Good to know Phillip. I had no intentions of sitting and waiting only for Amazon. But at least now it seems they could take forever. And honestly, I'm kind of hoping the other production company takes it. The vibe with them felt great, phone calls were great, and they seemed very professional and interested. Saying that, I'll keep pitching it. Can't wait on them either.

Phillip 'Le Docteur de Script' Hardy

Adam: Definitely get as much as you can in the pipeline and I wish you great success with script if you have an interested party, that's fantastic. I think Amazon having an open door policy is a great thing. But the cold, hard truth is the stuff they're probably really giving consideration to is material from very established former show runners and WGA guys with several major projects under their belt. Again, this is just my opinion. Everyone, including the really established folks are fighting to get the paid gigs. Again, anyone here at S32 with an Amazon option, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Bill Costantini

I think it's great that another entity - Amazon - gives writers the chance to have their work made into films. Even if they've changed their rules several times since its inception, that's understandable. I read the article about the writer whose work is in development, so that's a positive thing. I'd definitely consider that a Success Story. I think it takes a while for the viewpoints of unsold scripsellers/aspiring screenwriters to evolve. Many come into this space with a romanticized view, like "my script is so good that everyone is going to want to buy it." Then that might evolve into "why doesn't anyone want to buy it? Then that might evolve into "they all just want to steal my stuff." Then that might evolve into "maybe I'm not as good as I think I am?" Then that might evolve into "writing at the professional level is a lot harder than I originally thought." Then that might evolve into "I didn't really realize that there are like a million scripts out there, and I'm competing against established professionals." Something to that effect. But the reality is....probably nobody comes into this really understanding how hard it is to write a great script that someone may want to buy; how hard it can be to sell a really great script; and how long it can take to sell a really great script. I will add Amazon to my list of companies that seek scripts, and that actually have some Success Stories in that endeavor. Kudos to Amazon, and good luck, writers!

Annie Mac

I agree, Bill. You nailed the process in a nutshell. It's actually empowering to come to face reality without totally losing the "romanticized view". So back to the drawing board, writers and may fortune smile on you!

Bill Costantini

Annie - thanks. I think writers can also look at that type of transformation as a good technique for their character developments. A character who comes in one way...and comes out another way...and changed forever. Mmmmm.....great writing.

Annie Mac

I know, B, I'm trying to do just that in my rewrite as we speak -- not as easy as pie :o)

Bill Costantini

Annie - you sure about that? It took over 2,000 years for pie crust to evolve into what it is today. Take your time with your re-write....but don't take that long! Heh-heh.

Melissa Willis

You are quickly becoming my guru, Bill. :)

Bill Costantini

Melissa - Thank you. I try to be a righteous enlightened one when I'm not jiving with my cosmik debris. Victor - here you go. It's a great site. http://www.everythingpies.com/

Shawn Speake

Sometimes it doesn't take 5 seconds, Ronald. Your first page says it all, buddy :) A pro can tell if you know storycraft - or not - from your very first sentence. How you control page one shows your level of storycraft.

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