Well this is certainly exciting: Amazon Studios, which recently scored big time with their Golden Globe-winning original series "Transparent," has announced that they will be releasing theatrical films, up to 12 a year, with Amazon Prime subscribers getting an initial viewing window as soon as a month after the movie premieres. Whether or not this proves to be a game-changer remains to be seen, but it's very exciting news all the same.
"We look forward to expanding our production efforts into feature films. Our goal is to create close to twelve movies a year with production starting later this year," said Roy Price, Vice President, Amazon Studios, in an officially released statement. "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."
What's even more exciting is who Amazon has placed in charge of Amazon Original Movies' creative development: Ted Hope, a luminary on the American independent film scene having co-founded Good Machine and produced everything from "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" to "American Splendor." In the same press release, Hope said: "Audiences already recognize that Amazon has raised the bar with productions in the episodic realm, tackling bold material in unique ways and collaborating with top talent, both established and emerging. To help carry the torch into the feature film world for such an innovative company is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility. Amazon Original Movies will be synonymous with films that amaze, excite, and move our fans, wherever customers watch. I am incredibly thrilled to be part of this."
Production on the first feature film is scheduled to begin later this year. It will be super interesting to see what kind of talent the Amazon paradigm attracts – will it be older filmmakers who find it increasingly difficult to secure funding for films that they once found relatively easy to make, relative unknowns that Amazon wants to groom personally, or independent filmmakers drawn in by the allure of artistic freedom and wide distribution model? Only time will tell!