Exciting news for TV and webseries-loving writing students today, as reported on AllThingsD.
Amazon has released the first details on their Amazon Studios website, seeking submissions in the comedy and children’s series categories. From the Amazon Instant Video mini-site:
What Kinds of Series
Does Amazon Studios Want?
We’re looking for compelling new voices and characters that you can’t find anywhere else. Specifically, we’re seeking primetime comedies and children’s series.
Comedy series should be smart, character-driven and, of course, funny. Learn more.
We’re also interested in original series for children. Preschool series must have an educational theme, or the potential for one. Learn more.
Series can be live action, animated, stop motion or mixed media. Comedies must be 22 minutes long, while children’s series can be 11 or 22 minutes.
AllThingsD discusses some more details:
The company is pulling back the covers (a bit) on its plans to produce kids’ shows and sitcoms via its “Amazon Studios” unit… Amazon Studios head Roy Price won’t discuss his budget, or the number of shows he intends to make, or a timeline for getting them on the Web. But he is willing to sketch out a couple of notions:
Like the movie effort, Amazon is soliciting scripts for new productions via the Web, and will pay out modest fees — $10,000 for an option, $55,000 if a show gets produced, plus possible royalties — for stuff it likes.
The big difference between his TV effort and his movie effort is that Amazon intends (with some exceptions) to actually make the shows, and distribute them via its own “Amazon Instant Video” offering. (For the movie effort, Amazon is feeding scripts it likes to Warner Bros., which will decide what to do with them.)
Price says the shows he does make should look and feel like “real” TV shows, with commensurate production budgets.
Unlike the content Amazon Studios – which discovers up-and-coming talent in the feature film industry – is currently seeking, this content would be produced directly by Amazon, netting the scriptwriters significant profit.
While we don’t have specific details about exactly what Amazon will be looking for – other than the suggestion that sitcoms and children’s fair will be at the top of the list – I expect they’ll be looking for creative entries which fall a bit outside the traditional televised fare.
Sounds like a perfect opportunity for young webseries-savvy screenwriters and producers to get their hands in the industry!