Jeff Bezos and Participative Film Making

Amazon has a division, Amazon Studios that develops comics, movies, and television shows from online submissions and crowdsource feedback.

In a December 1, 2013 60 Minutes interview, Jeff Bezos was asked by the 60 Minutes' reporter if Amazon had approved a submitted script for production of a film. Bezos confirmed that Amazon was picking up the mantle from Project Greenlight which for seven years held an annual contest for script writers with the top script made into a $1 million film. 

Amazon Studios started with a contest where the top script was sent to Paramount Studios for top consideration. But, Amazon Studios must have discovered that the studios are better at sitting on scripts than producing them. Amazon Studios now makes their own entertainment from the top submission - over 10,000 to date.

Amazon Studios engaged Roy Price, an entertainment industry veteran, and financed him with $100 million to acquire 'original content' for internet viewing. It is apparent that Amazon seeks to compete directly with Netflix, Hulu, Google, and other to supply internet based entertainment to a market that grew 70% last year.

At the risk of appearing immodest, $25 million invested with FlixPik will generate considerably more and higher quality 'original content' for internet viewers.

Script selection is the first step in our process and a crucial step. Project Greenlight posted their top scripts online and some were excellent which  encouraged us to develop our full participative concept.

We have seen many indicators that the public is ready for participative audio/ visual entertainment. Audience feedback and participation has been established in music entertainment for years. Artists post their music online and customers cruise the internet for the music they like. 

MMC, a UK record label, posts artists and groups on its website and invite the public to sample the music and invest in the artists they like or think can be successful. When 100,000 pounds has been invested, MMC cuts an album for the artist and puts them on tour. Proceeds are split among the artists, investors, and MMC. It is a formula we may use for independent films we present to our members. Let them sample the films and invest in the ones they like for major distribution or to make another film.

Among the indicators we have seen are:

Before Current TV was sold to Al Jazeera, their viewers wrote 30% of Current TV's shows and commercials.

Viewers write 70% of Korea's OhMy News.

American Idol's viewership is finally slumping, but, last year, 58 million viewers watched and voted on their favorites as did viewers of X Factor a. The Voice. Same with Dancing with the Stars. 

Director/ producer Ridley Scott launched a global film making competition dubbed "Tell It Your Way" following his Cannes Lions award-winning short film project "Parallel Lines". He gave entrants freedom of expression and allowed them to choose any theme they wanted. There was one strict rule - the dialog had to be precisely six line. The winning submission was Porcelain Unicorn. (We think you may like it. We did.)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, an upcoming actor/ director wants to make a movie with you but only if your are an established film industry professional.