Amazon Studios, the open source-inspired studio run by Roy Price with a mission to find new films and screenwriters and offer them first-look deals with Warner Studios, has revealed the winner of its "Best Test" movie and best-script awards.
The family musical "12 Princesses," written and directed by Rob Gardner, won the Best Test film award, which carries with it a prize of $1 million. Matthew Gossett won the $100,000 best-script prize for his thriller "Origin of a Species."
We wrote about the launching of Amazon Studios back in November 2010, noting the power of Price's idea to solicit feedback from Amazon subscribers on editing films to eventually have them produced by Warner Bros., which could provide a new and intriguing model for success in risk-averse Hollywood. We also wondered whether the project would run afoul of the Writers Guild of America's rules, since many of the submissions to Amazon Studios could fall outside of the Guild's purview.
Last month came the first script winners from the project's December contest, "Villain" and "The Alchemist Agenda," out of more than 3,000 script submissions, Price told us.
Among the judges who chose the 2011 winners were writer-director Alexander Payne, producer Lawrence Bender, screenwriter-producer Akiva Goldsman and Executive Vice President of Production for Warner Bros. Courtenay Valenti. What remains to be seen is whether Amazon Studios can make the successful jump from soliciting submissions to producing an actual film. That's its biggest challenge.