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Amazon Studios Dives into the Toon Biz
Online retail powerhouse Amazon has entered the animated series business. The content development division, Amazon Studios, announced today that it is now accepting proposals for original animated shows for distribution via its digital video streaming service, Amazon Instant Video. If Amazon chooses to distribute a full-budget series, the project creator will collect a $55,000 (U.S.) payment up front and up to 5% of Amazon’s net receipts from toy and t-shirt licensing, other royalties and bonuses
Writers, animators and filmmakers from around the world can submit series proposals to www.studios.amazon.com/getting-started/series. Ex-National Geographic Kids exec Tara Sorensen has been tapped to head up series development with ex-Fox and Comedy Central development exec Joe Lewis. The plan is for the studio to option one project each month to add to its development slate for audience testing.
Submissions should include a five-page description of the concept, an 11-minute pilot script for children’s shows(a 22-minute pilot script for comedies). If accepted, within 45 days of submission, Amazon will either extend an option on the project for $10,000 or invite the creator to add the project to the Amazon Studios website. In addition, animators can also upload art, test pilots or animation tests as part of their submissions.
“We’ve been working with movie projects from about a year and we received over 700 test movies and 7000 scripts,” Roy Price, Amazon Studios director told Animation Magazine. “Many of the content creators were interested in developing animated series and shows targeting young viewers. We think this new venture will offer new opportunities for writers, animators and directors. We turn our movie projects into animatics and board them during our development process, so this was a natural direction for us.”