Announced this morning, via press release, Amazon has revealed plans to go into feature film production and acquisition, which really shouldn’t be a surprise, given their recent moves into original content for TV (via its Amazon Prime streaming service).
Under a label titled Amazon Original Movies, the studio will acquire and premiere original movies on Prime Instant Video, just 4 to 8 weeks after their theatrical debuts – a challenge to the typically 39 to 52 weeks it takes for theatrical movies to premiere on subscription video services.
“Amazon Original Movies will focus on unique stories, voices, and characters from top and up-and-coming creators,” the release states.
Aiming to for a slate of as many as a dozen movies annually, Roy Price, Vice President, Amazon Studios, added: “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. 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.”
Amazon Original Movies creative development will be led by indie film luminary Ted Hope.
“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,” said Hope. “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.”
I’m looking forward to what this new initiative will add to the existing motion picture landscape – especially where up-and-coming and diverse voices are concerned.