Amazon Studios is looking for movie and series ideas to turn into great entertainment. Creators of projects added to our Development Slate get $10,000 to start. Submit your finished screenplay, mini-bible or concept video.
“Intuition is the key to everything, in painting, filmmaking, business - everything. I think you could have an intellectual ability, but if you can sharpen your intuition, which they say is emotion and intellect joining together, then a knowingness occurs.”—
What Lynch means by an intellectual ability is the skills and techniques of your trade. But what good is skill and technique if the hand that wields them is afraid? Instinct will always conquer fear. Always. When you are on a set, when you are directing your crew, when you are acting, when you are making edits, when you are exercising your craft, when you are following your bliss and you come to that repeated, inevitable junction of making a dangerous choice, then remember this mantra.
Steven Soderbergh and David Gordon Green's Comedy "Red Oaks" Coming to Amazon Studios' Third Pilot Season
Amazon Studios today announced it has added the Steven Soderbergh (Behind the Candelabra) produced and David Gordon Green (Eastbound & Down) directed comedy Red Oaks to its third pilot season, which will debut later this year on Amazon Instant Video.Red Oaks is the final show to join Amazon’s highly-anticipated third pilot season which includes The Cosmopolitans, Hand of God, Hysteria, and Really. Customers will once again be invited to watch and provide feedback on the shows they want to see turned into full series, which will then become available on Prime Instant Video. Written by Gregory Jacobs (The Knick)and Joe Gangemi (Eliza Graves), Red Oaks stars Craig Roberts (Submarine)as “David,” an assistant tennis pro at the Red Oaks Country Club in suburban New Jersey. Paul Reiser (Mad About You), Richard Kind (Luck), Jennifer Grey (It’s Like, You Know)and Oliver Cooper (Californication)also star in the pilot.
Red Oaks is set in 1985, and features college student David Myers who is both reeling from his father’s heart attack and conflicted about what major to declare in the fall. Myers gets a summer job as an assistant tennis pro at the Red Oaks Country Club in suburban New Jersey and while there, he meets a colorful cast of misfit co-workers and wealthy club members including an alluring art student named “Skye” (played by guest star Alexandra Socha) and her corporate raider father “Getty” (played by Reiser). A coming-of-age comedy set in the “go-go” 80s that is equal parts hijinks and heartfelt, Red Oaks is about enjoying a last hurrah before summer comes to an end—and the future begins. Red Oaks also stars Grey as “Judy Myers,” Kind as “Sam Myers,” Cooper as “Steve,” Gage Golightly as “Karen,” and Ennis Esmer as “Nash.” Guest stars include Josh Meyers and Freddie Roman. Soderbergh, Green, Jacobs, and Gangemi are Executive Producers.
Learn more about the two new pilots Amazon Studios greenlit, including Really and Hysteria.
Really is about four hard-charging suburban Chicago couples trying to grasp on to their dwindling youth. At the center are the happily but messily married couple “Jed,” played by Chandrasekhar, and “Lori,” played by Sarah Chalke. When Jed is faced with the choice of keeping his pal’s secret or destroying his friend group, he winds up digging himself into a very deep hole. Really explores marriage, friendship and the stifling peculiarities of suburban Chicago life. The pilot also stars Selma Blair, Travis Schuldt, Hayes MacArthur, Collette Wolfe, Luka Jones, Lindsay Sloane, and Rob Delaney.
Directed by Bathhurst, Hysteria takes viewers to Austin where members of a girls’ dance troop are stricken with a strange, psycho-physiological disease. Neurologist Dr. Logan Harlow (Mena Suvari) is called back to her hometown to investigate the cause. Fighting her own demons, Logan develops an uneasy suspicion that the girls’ hysteria might actually be tied to her own tragic past and that modern technology is the contagion. Hysteria also stars James McDaniel (Orange Is The New Black) as “Carl Sapsi,” Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises) as “Ray Ratajeck,” Adan Canto (X-Men: Days of Future Past) as “Matt Sanchez,” Laura San Giacomo (Saving Grace) as “Grace Pelayo” and T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy) as “Carter Harlen.” Also starring Ella Rae Peck and Jenessa Grant. Guest stars include Jason Douglas, Heather Kafka, Asjha Cooper, and Evie Thompson.
Amazon Studios Adds Drama "Hysteria" to Its Third Pilot Season
Amazon today announced it has added the hour-long dramatic thriller Hysteria, from Amazon Studios, Universal Television and Alcon Television Group, to its third pilot season, which will debut later this year on Amazon Instant Video. Starring Mena Suvari (American Beauty) as “Dr. Logan Harlen,” James McDaniel (Orange Is The New Black) as “Carl Sapsi,” Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises) as “Ray Ratajeck,” Adan Canto (X-Men: Days of Future Past) as “Matt Sanchez,” Laura San Giacomo (Saving Grace) as “Grace Pelayo” and T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy) as “Carter Harlen,” Hysteria follows a doctor (Suvari) who returns to her hometown of Austin, Texas to investigate a growing epidemic that appears to be spreading through social media. The show is written by Shaun Cassidy who also serves as Executive Producer alongside Adam Schroeder, Sharon Hall, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Bryan Zuriff, and Director Otto Bathurst. Customers will once again be invited to watch and provide feedback on the pilots they want to see turned into full series, which will then become available on Prime Instant Video.
Directed by Bathurst, who recently won the BAFTA for his work on the critically acclaimed U.K. mini-series Peaky Blinders,Hysteria takes viewers to Austin where members of a girls’ competitive dance team are stricken with a strange, psycho-physiological illness that manifests in violent fits and spasms. Neurologist Logan Harlen (Suvari) is called back to her hometown to investigate the cause. Fighting her own demons (and the growing manipulation of a brother on death row), Logan develops an uneasy suspicion that the hysteria surrounding the girls might actually be linked to social media and her own tragic past. In addition to Suvari, McDaniel, Stewart, Canto, San Giacomo and Knight, Hysteria also stars, Ella Rae Peck and Jenessa Grant. Guest stars include Jason Douglas, Heather Kafka, Asjha Cooper, and Evie Thompson.
Get feedback on your story outline from other writers to help make your story better. Invite contributors with Amazon Studios’ digital notecard tool, Amazon Storybuilder now for free. You can search Amazon Studios for contributors or invite someone via email who isn’t on Amazon Studios.
Amazon’s Second Original Kids Series “Creative Galaxy” Now Available on Prime Instant Video
Amazon today announced that its second original kids series, Creative Galaxy, is now available for exclusive unlimited streaming on Prime Instant Video at no additional cost to Prime members. Creative Galaxy, comes from the creators of the hit show Blue’s Cluesand features “Arty,” an adorable alien artist, and “Epiphany,” his inspirational side-kick, on their adventures through the Creative Galaxy solving problems through art, music and dance. To give kids and parents the real-life tools they need to recreate Arty’s experience, a live-action piece at the end of each animated episode takes families through the craft project Arty showcased in the galaxy.
Visualize your story with Amazon Studios’ free storyboard tool, Amazon Storyteller. Select from over 250 props from various categories including Animals & Pets, Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry, Home, Sports & Outdoors, and more. Learn more about Amazon Storyteller here.
Written, created and directed by Chandrasekhar, Really is a funny, extremely honest behind-the-curtain look at the psychological and emotional complexities of marriage, and the charged dynamics of a tight-knit group of friends.
More on the plot:
Four hard-charging suburban Chicago couples try to grasp on to their dwindling youth. At the center are the happily but messily married couple “Jed,” played by Chandrasekhar, and “Lori,” played by Sarah Chalke. When Jed is faced with the choice of keeping his pal’s secret or destroying his friend group, he winds up digging himself into a very deep hole. Really explores marriage, friendship, and the stifling peculiarities of suburban Chicago life. The pilot also stars Selma Blair, Travis Schuldt, Hayes MacArthur, Collette Wolfe, Luka Jones, Lindsay Sloane, and Rob Delaney.
Create Series & Movie Outlines with Amazon Storybuilder
Amazon Storybuilder, Amazon’s free digital notecard tool, allows you to create story outlines for series or movies. Select from our templates, including basic structures or sample outlines from great stories like Alice in Wonderland and Huckleberry Finn. Learn more about Amazon Storybuilder here.
When submitting a children’s series project to Amazon Studios, a script or mini-bible is required. What is a mini-bible? It describes the series in general, and its main characters. It tells where the series is going and whether episodes are serial or standalone; and includes 5 or 6 episode ideas. We encourage mini-bibles to be between 2 to 6 pages.
Amazon’s First Original Kids Series "Tumble Leaf" Now Available on Prime Instant Video
A vibrant blue fox, whimsical friends, exhilarating adventures and discovery await all those who explore the stop-motion world of Tumble Leaf. Amazon’s first original kids series is available today, exclusively on Amazon Prime Instant Video. Created for preschool-aged children, each episode of Tumble Leaf follows Fig, a delightfully curious blue fox, and his best friend Stick, a quirky caterpillar, as they embark on a fun and nature-filled adventure, learning science through their natural play.
“Amazon Studios provided us with the opportunity to use our creativity to develop a series for kids that helps nurture their own creative thinking skills and teaches them to embrace science through play. We couldn’t be more thrilled to give children and their families something that is as educational as it is fun,” said Kelli Bixler, Tumble Leaf Executive Producer of Bix Pix Entertainment.
Starting today, Prime members have unlimited streaming access to the first six episodes of Tumble Leaf, at no additional cost to their membership. Each episode consists of two 11-minute stories and the remaining seven episodes will become available later this summer. Prime Instant Video will debut two more children’s series: Creative Galaxy on June 27, and Annedroids on July 25.
Amazon’s First Three Original Children’s Series Coming This Summer
Amazon Studios today announced the premieres of its first-ever original kids series coming exclusively on Prime Instant Video. The first six episodes of each show will debut this summer, beginning with animated series Tumble Leaf on May 23, followed by Creative Galaxy on June 27, and live-action series Annedroids on July 25. Additional episodes of the shows will follow later this year.
Tumble Leaf debuts May 23 and comes from Emmy Award-winning director Drew Hodges and award-winning studio Bix Pix Entertainment. The preschool aged show follows Fig the Fox and his best friend Stick as they discover adventure, friendship and love around every bend. Themes found in the show promote exploration and scientific thinking through play. The talent behind the characters includes Christopher Downs as “Fig” and “Stick,” Zak McDowell as “Hedge,” Addie Zintel as “Pine,” Brooke Wolloff as “Maple,” and Alex Trugman as “Ginkgo.”
What You Need to Know Before Submitting Your Comedy Series Project
Get your primetime comedy series made. Amazon Studios is developing new original series for Amazon Prime Instant Video. If we choose to develop your series, you will get $10,000, plus another $55,000 if your show gets produced (along with potential writing fees, royalties and bonuses).
Before you submit, take a closer look at what we’re looking for.
Overview: We are seeking smart, cinematic, serialized series for adults. They can be dark comedies, genre comedies, dramedies or smart sophisticated comedies as long as the concepts and characters are original. Think high budget, premium shows that that you might see on pay cable.
Format: Series with half-hour episodes. Live-action single cam is preferred, but we are open to animation or multi-cam (although we’d want a fresh take on the format).
We like ideas in specific worlds. We’re open to anything, but all of our shows need to be grounded in specific, well-defined worlds. These should be worlds that audiences haven’t seen before, that they’ll want to see on TV and, most importantly, tell their friends to watch. So a bunch of underemployed twenty-somethings in an overly nice apartment is most likely not specific enough and therefore not right for us. For examples of worlds, note that Alpha House is set in the world of politics, Mozart in the Jungle in classical music and Transparent is set in the worlds of family and sexuality.
The most important thing is that the audience should feel like they’re watching something they can’t see anywhere else and that the writing is funny, smart and compelling.
Enhance your video project. Amazon Studios provides thousands of movie score and soundtrack music for registered filmmakers to use in video content at no charge. Visit the music library to download tracks from various movie genres, emotions, and music genres.
Guest Blog: Making Your Script Come Alive With Amazon Storyteller Part 2
The Unknown Screenwriter is a screenwriter, producer, and script doctor. He works with director Sir Roland Joffé and a New York Times best-selling author that must remain anonymous as well. He enjoys riding his motorcycle extremely fast and the occasional triple of Wild Turkey. We asked him to share his experience with Amazon Storyteller, Amazon’s free storyboard tool. This is Part 2 of his guest blog series. Read Part 1 here.
Good news! Since I’ve been digging more into Storyteller, I received an email from Amazon Studios telling me Storyteller now allows you to go back and edit a previously published storyboard.
I was very happy to have read this because I was kind of dreading the idea of starting from scratch if I were to storyboard my entire screenplay.
Eager to see how this worked, I logged into my account and sure enough…there was a nice “Resume” button for me to click on. I clicked on it and my storyboard loaded, ready for me to continue. But just like I work on my spec scripts, I’m the kind of writer that has to go back and reread everything before I can continue.
I clicked on the “Preview” link and scrolled through my opening storyboard. I immediately saw things that I now wanted to change…make the storyboard even tighter.
I’d used secondary headings in my script that were now taking up an entire panel. No need for that. I also realized that one of the characters was missing headphones. Why? Because I hadn’t seen any in Storyteller’s props that would fit the character who’s supposed to be wearing them.
No problem. I found a piece of clip art in Google images that allows unrestricted use. I downloaded the image, opened GIMP back up and made the background transparent, then saved as a .png and uploaded to my props database.
Scrolling through the storyboard opening of my script, I also realized a change I wanted to make in some dialogue that hadn’t occurred to me before and this is what I found very interesting…
Guest Blog: Making Your Script Come Alive With Amazon Storyteller Part 1
The Unknown Screenwriter is a screenwriter, producer, and script doctor. He works with director Sir Roland Joffé, as well as a New York Times best-selling author who must remain anonymous. He enjoys riding his motorcycle extremely fast and the occasional triple of Wild Turkey. We asked him to share his experience with Amazon Storyteller, Amazon’s free storyboard tool. Here is Part 1 of his 2-part guest blog series.
Several months ago, I created an account on Amazon Studios to take a look around. Having read all kinds of articles about what they’re up to in the world of entertainment made me curious…
Of course, I’d read they were now accepting screenplays from the masses. And having kept up on that and how they respond to feedback, I have to say — knowing this business the way I know it? Knowing how SLOW and stuck in the mud it can be? I had to go inside and poke around.
They’ve come a long way in a short amount of time and seem to be pretty responsive to customer feedback which is outstanding. Today however, I’m talking about Amazon Storyteller; Amazon Studios’ free storyboarding tool that’s currently in beta. What does that mean? It means Amazon Studios is looking for feedback from “Storytellers” like us on how to improve it.
Visualize your story by turning your script into a storyboard with Amazon Storyteller, a free storyboard tool from Amazon Studios. Plus check out these brand new features:
Edit Published Storyboards
Previously, once you published your storyboard you could not go back and edit. Now with this latest enhancement, you can continue making changes to your storyboard and share as many times after you publish. You will also have the opportunity to give your edited version a new title and add creative notes.
Create Your Storyboard on a Tablet
Now creating your storyboard from a tablet device is even easier. You can easily manipulate characters and props, positioning, sizing and more from your tablet. Be sure to check out the new interface.
Have an idea for a new series or movie that’s begging to be made? Start a new project on Amazon Studios. Comedy series, children’s series and movies of all genres are accepted. Learn more on how to get started here.
The Songs of "Spellbound": Q&A with Producer Kevin Bannerman
Spellbound, the animated test movie from Amazon Studios features five original songs. We asked producer Kevin Bannerman (Anastasia, Ice Age) about the role the songs played and how they shaped the film.
How do songs help shape a movie?
It helps shape the movie’s tone. They can often show screenwriters a side of the character that hasn’t been explored. With a lyricist, the characters can develop a sense of humor and personality through their songs.
What song is the most pivotal in the movie?
Each song is unique in its own way because each individual song has its own special reason for being. “New Breeze Blowing” is important because it takes the relationship between Lottie and Bastien to new heights (pun intended). But “The Road to Riches” is just as important for several reasons: it gives us an insight into Horace, it allows Lottie and Horace to have some fun at Bastien’s expense, and it shows Bastien slowly developing a relationship with Lottie and Horace.
What you don’t want are songs that feel superfluous, repeating information the audience knows or just being funny without moving the story forward.
What We Like About New Amazon Pilots "The Cosmopolitans" and "Hand of God"
Earlier in the week, Amazon Studios greenlit two new pilots – the half hour dramatic comedy The Cosmopolitans and one hour drama Hand of God. Here’s more on what we like about these shows.
"Whit Stillman’s unique voice, vision, and his own experiences as an expatriate lend an authenticity to the show. It’s fun, romantic, and not only a window into one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world, but also a peek behind the curtain at what it’s like to live there as an expatriate. The cast is also filled with colorful, diverse characters."
Hand of God
"When we first read Hand of God, the quality of the writing and edge of your seat storytelling by Ben Watkins drew us in immediately. The show’s lead, Judge Pernell Harris is a flawed man whose devotion to his dying son is so extreme that what we consider right and wrong will all to start to feel very gray. Ben’s approach to morality in Hand of God is real, raw, and edgy.”
Behind the Scenes: The Character Designs of "Spellbound"
In the world of animation design, it’s typical to go through multiple iterations of a character before landing on the right look. Every aspect of a character’s design is important - the clothes, the posture, the eyes, and even the facial expression tells you who a character is in one look.
In the early versions of new Amazon Studios test movie, Spellbound, Bastien started out as the dastardly bad guy, not to be trusted. As the story developed, so did the character - he went from being a villainous accomplice of the story’s antagonist to a rogue out for himself, to a rival for Lottie’s affections, competing against another suitor, to the guy we meet in the Spellbound test movie, who thinks he’s only in it for himself, but discovers he’s a hero inside.
What happens when a disgraced young cop is kidnapped by his civilian ride-along? Find out in this action-packed “trailerboard” for Amazon Studios movie project Gideon’s Lawby Chris Bullett. Gideon’s Law was illustrated by comics artist Ramon Bachs, and the script was adapted into trailerboard form by comics writer Ron Marz.
Amazon Studios Greenlights Two New Pilots: "The Cosmopolitans" and "Hand of God"
Amazon Studios today announced it has greenlit two new pilots—the half hour dramatic comedy The Cosmopolitans, from Whit Stillman, and one hour drama Hand of God from Executive Producers Marc Forster, Ben Watkins, Ron Perlman, Brian Wilkins and Jeff King—for its third pilot season debuting later this year on Amazon Instant Video. Customers will once again be invited to watch and provide feedback on the shows they want to see turned into full series, which will then become available on Prime Instant Video. Additional pilots joining The Cosmopolitans and Hand of God in the third pilot season will be announced in the coming weeks. More on the pilots:
The Cosmopolitans Written, directed and produced by Academy Award nominee Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, Barcelona, The Last Days of Disco), The Cosmopolitans follows a group of young American expatriates in Paris searching for love and friendship in a foreign city. The dramatic comedy pilot stars Adam Brody as “Jimmy,” Chloë Sevigny as “Vicky,” Carrie MacLemore as “Aubrey,” Dree Hemingway as “Camille,” Freddy Åsblom as “Fritz,” Shaun Evans as “Hal,” and Adriano Giannini as “Sando.” The Cosmopolitans begins shooting this week in Paris.
Hand of God Marking the television debut of renowned filmmaker Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland, World War Z) and written by Ben Watkins, Hand of God stars Golden Globe winner Ron Perlman in his first lead television role since Sons of Anarchy as “Judge Pernell Harris.” Hand of God also stars Dana Delany as the Judge’s protective wife “Crystal Harris,” Garret Dillahunt as “KD,” the born-again sociopath, whose violent tendencies are exploited by Pernell, Andre Royo as the slick, smart, gregarious, and greedy mayor “Robert ‘Bobo’ Boston,” Alona Tal as Pernell’s grieving daughter-in-law “Jocelyn Harris,” Julian Morris as the questionable preacher “Paul Dobson,” Elizabeth McLaughlin as the preacher’s sultry girlfriend “Alicia,” and Emayatzy Corinealdi as Pernell’s call girl / confidante “Tessie.” The show centers on the powerful Judge Harris, a hard-living, law-bending married man with a high-end call girl on the side, who suffers a mental breakdown, and goes on a vigilante quest to find the rapist who tore his family apart. With no real evidence to go on, Pernell begins to rely on “visions” and “messages” he believes are being sent by God through Pernell’s ventilator-bound son. Forster, Watkins, Perlman, Wilkins and King serve as Executive Producers, and Jillian Kugler as co-Executive Producer. Hand of God begins shooting this week in the Los Angeles and Long Beach areas.
Last week, Amazon Studios announced the series pickup of Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street. This live-action children’s show was created by first-time writer David Anaxagoras, who submitted his project through the Amazon Studios’ open-door submission process.