January 20, 2015

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.     

Your Comment

4 Comments

Wow. That would explain the whole Fandor thing. This is pretty cool. Starting to take Amazon a little more serious about there 12 movie plan now.

January 20, 2015 at 4:51PM

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Zachary Will
Cinematographer
954

I'm hoping this brings more projects to Seattle. The Man in the High Castle pilot was shot here, and if it gets made I hope it's not exported to Vancouver. A regular series would keep quite a few people around here happily and gainfully employed.

January 21, 2015 at 11:54AM

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Chuck McDowell
1st AC
551

If this is something Hope had in mind all along then I finally get it, applaud it and cannot wait to see where it takes this industry. This isnt the bridge I would have imagined, getting a streaming service to produce feature independent content but it will spring board other services to start doing the same, its still holistic in the experience of the theater but definitely maintains a films forward motion making the theatrical so close to the home release.

January 21, 2015 at 8:33PM

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Chris Hackett
Director, Director of Photography, Writer
859

This is really good stuff... i hope the caribbean film makers will benefit from this as well.

January 22, 2015 at 12:29AM

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Wentworth Kelly
DP/Colorist/Drone Op
2601