Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Amazon Studios deal

The other day while I was eating waffles with friends the topic naturally turned to the Amazon deal. By now, you're no doubt heard about it: You upload your screenplay to the site, people tinker with it all they want, you can't send it to anyone else for 18 months, and in the end you might maybe get paid if you can get past all the legalese and someone decides to make whatever the crowd produces.

Know who has time to edit someone else's screenplay for free online? People who don't have good projects of their own they'd rather be revising. This isn't like Triggerstreet or Zoetrope where people are giving notes - this is a situation where people who have no idea what they're doing can fuck with your script in a relatively public forum. I was going to login and see what kind of scripts have already been uploaded, but there's no way in hell I'm signing onto that contract even as a casual reader. There are entirely too many loopholes.

It's a new method of doing business, so who knows, maybe it will payoff in the long run. I am not going to be the guinea pig.

Personally, I think it's a despicable attempt - one that has already seen a lot of success, sadly - at seducing desperate writers with promises of a back way into the business. But don't take my word for it.

Craig Mazin thinks it's a bad idea.

John August thinks it's a bad idea. What's funny is how Amazon actually links to his blog.

Drew McWeeny thinks it's a bad idea.

Michelle Lipton thinks it's a bad idea.

Hal Croasmun thinks it's a flawed idea.

Then there's this parody video, which is just awesome.



  1. I can't wait. I'm gonna tinker with other people's scripts. And make them CRAZY GOOD.

    Or just crazy. Yeah. Probably crazy.

    Lmao. My security "word verification" is HOOKIFY.

    That's what I'm gonna do to the sripts. Hookify them!

  2. There's certainly legitimate talent involved, it's best feature. But seems a bit odd it got through legal, and I get a vague note of reality show (would love to see a next-to-final-project-runway-type-episode, where get we to visit the workspaces of the final six or so, and witness the high tech enabled remote ribaldry of these nascent writing teams). Or maybe the whiff is from a distinct layer of American Idol in the underpinning (with the big studio posing the question, can the masses generate a shiny bauble (that is pleasing to the masses)?).

  3. I just posted about it today (um, Sunday) as well...

    Coincidence? Or Amazon conspiracy?

  4. Anonymous12:33 AM

    Drew McWeeny is an incredibly obnoxious, self-obsessed tool but he's very, very right about this. The problem is that he takes such offense to the tinest offences and blows his outrage out of proportion that I bet no one takes him seriously here. Shame.

    Who's going to spend their time messing with other people's scripts? That's what I want to know

  5. Anonymous2:22 PM

    Ho ho ho, happy pre Christmas, okay I started early with )eggknots) at Starbucks.

    But I am way happy to switch.

    Read this post at Done Deal Por forum where the owner by the name Will posted a comment about the Amazon Studios deal and it got derailed by its members (mostly a couple of guys with numerous fake accounts posting with different names.)

    Shit, what the **** is ****** happening at Done Deal Por.

    I think your club is better Emily.
    Keep rocking in the freeworld.

    And no writer or filmmaker should apply to this Amazon crap. This contest was designed by the marketing guys at, so writers would post and buy more products from Amazon.

    What a joke, both Done Deal Por and Amazon and its fake member list. Wha ever happens to the old users at Done Deal Por, they leave(lol) or Will and is fogfart mods just creates new ones.

    But Bamboo is King!
    Actually Emily is Queen of Blogs.
    Keep up the good work.


  6. Anonymous3:08 AM

    If you plan on entering the Amazon Studios contest, be sure to read our blog first! We have up to date coverage and have brand new information about the contest and all of the issues and problems.


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