Amazon is Heading into Original Movie Production & Ted Hope is Leading the Way
Hot on the heals of their historic Golden Globe awards, Amazon has announced they'll be producing and acquiring movies for release theatrically.
This is big news as it means they won't just be producing content for their own platform (12 films per year), but will be streaming films offered on their subscription service with a quicker turnaround.
Here's a little snippet from their press release:
Amazon Studios, known for television series such as multi-Golden Globe winner Transparent, Annie-nominated Tumble Leaf, and Mozart in the Jungle, today announced that it will begin to produce and acquire original movies for theatrical release and early window distribution on Amazon Prime Instant Video. Whereas it typically takes 39 to 52 weeks for theatrical movies to premiere on subscription video services, Amazon Original Movies will premiere on Prime Instant Video in the U.S. just 4 to 8 weeks after their theatrical debut. Amazon Original Movies will focus on unique stories, voices, and characters from top and up-and-coming creators.
And if Amazon's current original TV programming doesn't clearly mark the direction they're headed with this new venture, who they named Head of Production of their brand new Movie Division will: Fandor CEO/indie film crusader Ted Hope, who has been working for years to cultivate a habitable environment within the film industry for fresh, unique, independent films. Even Vice President of Amazon Studios Roy Price expresses that the company intends to find filmmakers who like taking risks to produce something original:
Not only will we bring Prime Instant Video customers exciting, unique, and exclusive films soon after a movie’s theatrical run, but we hope this program will also benefit filmmakers, who too often struggle to mount fresh and daring stories that deserve an audience.
In the end, it looks as though digital distribution is where the big changes are being made in the film and TV industry, and Amazon getting Hope to helm their ship is just another sign that, though the waters have been tempestuous, independent film is not only still afloat, but it seems like it's headed in a new and exciting direction.