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EdFury 04-13-2018 08:14 PM

Amazon Studios
 
I just got an email from Amazon Studios. Why? No idea, I've never submitted to their open submission site. But the email stated rather pointedly that they are closing the open submission site permanently. So... the grand experiment is over. They'll be using studio submission policies exclusively from now on.

It was inevitable.

catcon 04-14-2018 06:24 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Here it is:

Quote:

Amazon Studios
As we have grown and evolved over the last several years, we are making changes to our website and closing our open call for script and concept submissions. As of April 13, 2018, we are no longer accepting submissions. Submissions received will continue to be reviewed and evaluated by Amazon Studios and will be available on our website until June 30, 2018. Thank you all for your contributions.

Amazon Studios Team



Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the open call for submissions ending?


At Amazon we are always reinventing ourselves and looking for ways to become even more efficient and while we will no longer accept new submissions, there are other options.


Submit videos and scripts to film festivals at Withoutabox.com
Sign up at IMDbPro to connect and share your work with other professionals
Publish your videos at Prime Video Direct

I have a script, mini-bible, or video that I was not able to submit, what are my next steps?

While we will no longer accept new submissions, there are other options.


Submit videos and scripts to film festivals at Withoutabox.com
Sign up at IMDbPro to connect and share your work with other professionals
Publish your videos at Prime Video Direct

What happens to the scripts, mini-bibles, or videos I have submitted?

We will evaluate and respond to all submissions. All submissions on your profile will be available for viewing, rating, or downloading until June 30, 2018.

What happens after June 30, 2018?

Submissions will no longer be available for viewing, rating, or downloading after June 30, 2018.

What will happen to Storybuilder?

Storybuilder is still available for customers.

What will happen to Storywriter?

Storywriter is still available to customers in web browser, but will no longer accept script submissions.

catcon 04-14-2018 06:25 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
The cost benefit analysis must have told them it wasn't worth it. Simple as that.

The public forum went as most do, and the public-type of submissions were always a pie in the sky idea anyway.

I would have liked to see the private submission system continue. The third last point in the email seems to offer some hope:

Quote:

Submissions will no longer be available for viewing, rating, or downloading after June 30, 2018.
Those things were available only for the public submissions. However, based on the rest of the notice, they seem to mean that to die off by June 30, too.

Oh well. They're disabling the system for us, but that doesn't mean they won't have all our data stored on-line.

Maybe they simply have enough submissions; they have about 150,000, after all.

It was fun enough while it was up, and it did benefit a few.

I think we have nothing to complain about. Hardly anybody else did anything like it, and it was free, after all.

Fire up those cold email pitches, then, everybody! ;)

catcon 04-14-2018 07:14 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
This is not a disaster. Change is often good.

For instance, it's going to reduce my time-wasting by 5 minutes a day, as I won't be refreshing that darned Amazon Studios profile page to see what stage my submissions are in!

And as for those who mourn the loss of the "free" aspect of this system, you can always saunter over to http://www.scriptrevolution.com, also free, and take charge of your business and marketing processes. After all, AS was a tad passive in that context: You'd submit your work and then wait, and wait, and wait... :(

That being said, some parts of our AS submissions may be worth retaining, and you now have a couple of months to salvage stuff from your profile.

I'd recommend you snag the synopses you've written in your submissions. Those 8000-character text boxes may be the only place you've put in the effort to create a synopsis for your scripts, so you'll want to retain a copy.

Personally, I'm also grabbing those 'Version' or creative notes text boxes because they are a good history of my revisions in my re-submissions, and I worked hard to cram some good marketing verbiage into those 400-character boxes.

For those who used it, you may also want to snag any graphic 'cover images' that you spent time on, and which you don't have local copies of.

hockeyjason 04-14-2018 02:59 PM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
They optioned one of my screenplays through the open policy in 2012. Then again in 2014. Halfway through the second option they seemed to have lost interest in my project. Also, they stopped optioning anything new through the site.

JD

JeffLowell 04-16-2018 09:01 PM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Finally, the professional writers' astroturfing campaign to destroy Amazon Studios has succeeded! VICTORY!

EdFury 04-16-2018 10:50 PM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JeffLowell (Post 955676)
Finally, the professional writers' astroturfing campaign to destroy Amazon Studios has succeeded! VICTORY!

I knew it!!!!

docgonzo 04-17-2018 05:28 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JeffLowell (Post 955676)
Finally, the professional writers' astroturfing campaign to destroy Amazon Studios has succeeded! VICTORY!

Great work!

catcon 04-17-2018 06:39 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
We shouldn't make light of any reduction in opportunities for new or established writers.

But in the end, if the quality of the product were good enough, then no doubt the system would have been preserved.

And this isn't to besmirch the stories by writers who were optioned by AS; good on them, and I hope they enjoyed their option fees. :)

As for me, I appreciated the chance to submit stuff, especially since it was to a company that actually had the money to make the darned movies. Alas, I still have two scripts sitting in 'Evaluating' that, from the sound of things, are definitely going to receive a yea or nay by June. :rolleyes:

DangoForth 04-17-2018 12:35 PM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JeffLowell (Post 955676)
Finally, the professional writers' astroturfing campaign to destroy Amazon Studios has succeeded! VICTORY!

Geez, and I was assuming they went into quick shutdown so they would avoid VAN'S BEST FRIEND...

EdFury 04-17-2018 04:41 PM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DangoForth (Post 955691)
Geez, and I was assuming they went into quick shutdown so they would avoid VAN'S BEST FRIEND...

You win the internet today. 👏

ClintW3 04-24-2018 09:49 PM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Just curious...

Has anyone with a script in the "Deciding" stage received a yes/no since Amazon Studios announced it's closing the website?

Thanks.

spyder23 04-25-2018 07:29 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ClintW3 (Post 955792)
Just curious...

Has anyone with a script in the "Deciding" stage received a yes/no since Amazon Studios announced it's closing the website?

Thanks.

I have not heard yet. Still have a feature and pilot in Deciding, closing in on 11 months now for both.

catcon 04-25-2018 09:01 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
It is my optimistic interpretation that they are going to take a really close look at what's left in their open submission stable before the system is shut down.

I had two in evaluating - the first is at 31 days now - and they're still there. It got 2 more downloads this week, for a total of 4 now, and the other got 1 to total 3. AS has the money to make either of these low- to Indie-level projects, and it makes sense to take a last glance.

So, good luck to all who still have stuff in the queue! :rolleyes:

ClintW3 05-09-2018 03:29 PM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ClintW3 (Post 955792)
Just curious...

Has anyone with a script in the "Deciding" stage received a yes/no since Amazon Studios announced it's closing the website?

Thanks.

Bumping this.

spyder23 05-22-2018 04:04 PM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ClintW3 (Post 956007)
Bumping this.

They still have my feature and pilot. It will be one full year on June 1.

ClintW3 05-22-2018 05:30 PM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
I'm expecting everyone to get a PASS email on June 30 when they close down the website.

ClintW3 06-05-2018 04:39 PM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
*bump*
Last time, I promise.
I'm just curious if Amazon is really working through the big pile of scripts they have or waiting for the end of the month to send everyone rejections.

JeffLowell 06-10-2018 09:41 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
I doubt they’re putting many resources into reading scripts at this point.

ComicBent 06-10-2018 02:48 PM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
I am not involved with Amazon. But I am wondering whether people will even get a rejection notice, since the whole thing is shutting down. :confused:

catcon 06-23-2018 06:50 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Meanwhile, pretend-Amazon Studios are still trying the crowd-writing thing:

http://www.cbc.ca/news...

Check out the headline: You'd swear this article is written by somebody who doesn't have a clue at all about the work behind writing a story.

Anyway, the originators are quoted in the article with all sorts of reader comment numbers etc. being the metrics for calculating repeatable success. Didn't the 2016 Yankee election tell us that all of these things can be rigged, or weighted, or at least affected, through FB, etc.?

So what if these guys have had a few success stories. Don't they say they have 70+ million users? Even AS had better results than that.

The big difference in these, from AS, is that at least Amazon had the money to develop the stories it found in its on-line system. Here, you still have to do the whole build-a-fan-base, rep, producer, studio thing.

Self-publishing, and sites to load up your fan-fiction, have been around forever; ie. some of the earliest developments in the 90s on the web. But this seems to be nudging writers' hopes more toward movie fortune, from the outset. It's not just "Look Ma, I'm published!" any more.

As far as I'm concerned, this seems just another "pitch-fest" system that's attempting to cash in on the minuscule success-rate (ie. never-ending hope of the powerless).

Oh, and don't forget that the company owners hope it leads to that big IPO!

StoryWriter 06-23-2018 03:42 PM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by catcon (Post 956826)
Meanwhile, pretend-Amazon Studios are still trying the crowd-writing thing:

http://www.cbc.ca/news...

Quote:

Wattpad is a story-writing platform with 65 million users worldwide, where anyone can self-publish books via the website or the app. Users can also read and comment on stories written by others.
Why have "users" comment -- why not have other apps comment on what the apps wrote?

I think the problem with what Amazon did (and what other people have done in the past) when they decide on democracy for screenplays is that democracy doesn't work, for screenplays.

Just about everybody in the world THINKS they can write a screenplay. For everyone like you who has put in the work and is at least on the edge of breaking through -- there's probably at least 2000 illiterates who KNOW they can do better than the last movie they just watched.

So the scripts you send in are buried in a massive sh*t pile that someone has got to sift through. And that means paying people to do the sifting, so they quickly lose interest.

Sure a few of your scripts may have floated near the top and somebody recognized there was something there, but by then (my guess) Amazon had had enough of script democracy, wasn't really looking anymore and had adopted a more conventional way to supply their screenplays.

Just my opinion. I hope I'm wrong and they decide to buy at least one of your scripts. Good luck.

catcon 06-23-2018 03:56 PM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by StoryWriter (Post 956832)
...Just my opinion. I hope I'm wrong and they decide to buy at least one of your scripts. Good luck.

Oh no, they're all through with mine, thanks. Passes on all. But, I still commend them for being so patient, given all the stuff I sent them. I've moved on though.

spyder23 06-30-2018 02:09 PM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by catcon (Post 956833)
Oh no, they're all through with mine, thanks. Passes on all. But, I still commend them for being so patient, given all the stuff I sent them. I've moved on though.

They still haven't kicked either of mine out. Wasn't today the final day? It's been 13 months they've had both.

ClintW3 07-02-2018 08:51 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
This is out of curiosity, not angst: Did anyone with a project in "Deciding" phase get final results before Amazon Studios closed the website Saturday?


The site died with a TV pilot of mine in the "Deciding" phase and I'm assuming my prospects died with it.


Again, just curious.

Paracellsus 07-02-2018 09:29 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Just tried to access my project and it says "page unavailable"
So...A pass then...after only 250 days!

catcon 07-02-2018 10:02 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Yesterday, I'd checked my profile page:

https://studios.amazon.com/users/(your 5-digit #)

And it was all still there - faves, details, reviews - except for the multitude of projects. So, yep, they're all gone. I highly doubt, however, that they've all been stowed away in secret for future plagiarism. In fact, I'd like to think they do have them somewhere, along with my contact info, and they'll contact me directly if they ever wanted to see my latest. They did retain some of mine for 100+ days, with up to 5 downloads.

Anyway, I'm really, really glad I went through all of my projects in April, after the announcement, and copied out whatever details of my projects that I wanted to save; especially all those "synopses"; in most cases they were a bit shorter than the detailed things I'd already prepared for each of my specs.

Yesterday, I did write them to offer a 'thanks' for the opportunity - no need to burn bridges here - and also reminded them that I post all my screenplays as eBooks on their very own Kindle arm of Amazon.com - including two new ones since April. I also asked them for some direction as to how, exactly, we could pitch them, since I don't believe they'd ever told us explicitly that it would be via Agent, etc.

Here's their response - canned, of course, without any specifics to my questions:

Quote:

Message From Customer Service
Hello,
Thank you for contacting Amazon Studios, I hope this email finds you well.
Thank you so much for the kind words. We are glad that you enjoyed the program. While we will no longer accept new submissions, there are other options.
- Submit videos and scripts to film festivals at Withoutabox.com
- Sign up at IMDbPro o connect and share your work with other professionals
- Publish your videos at Prime Video Direct
I hope you have a wonderful day.
To which I say...

Thanks for the Memories

spyder23 07-20-2018 08:23 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Update: I have still never received a rejection email from AS on two projects that were in Deciding for 13 months before they shutdown submissions.

So I reached out to them via chat.

I was told my projects are still being reviewed.

Bottom line... even though all projects were removed from your profile page and they are no longer taking submissions as of June 30th 2018-- if you submitted anything prior to June 30th and you never got a rejection notice-- even to this day-- then they are still looking at them.

I had a buddy just email me that he just got a rejection this morning on a project they had for about 8 months. I'm going on 15 months now on both of mine so who knows.

ClintW3 07-20-2018 08:47 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by spyder23 (Post 957182)
Update: I have still never received a rejection email from AS on two projects that were in Deciding for 13 months before they shutdown submissions.

So I reached out to them via chat.

I was told my projects are still being reviewed.

Bottom line... even though all projects were removed from your profile page and they are no longer taking submissions as of June 30th 2018-- if you submitted anything prior to June 30th and you never got a rejection notice-- even to this day-- then they are still looking at them.

I had a buddy just email me that he just got a rejection this morning on a project they had for about 8 months. I'm going on 15 months now on both of mine so who knows.


Thanks for this update. I've had a TV pilot in DECIDING phase since February and figured it was just a silent pass.


Good luck to the folks still waiting for a yes/no.

catcon 07-20-2018 11:03 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by spyder23 (Post 957182)
Bottom line... even though all projects were removed from your profile page and they are no longer taking submissions as of June 30th 2018-- if you submitted anything prior to June 30th and you never got a rejection notice-- even to this day-- then they are still looking at them...

New submissions were no longer accepted at April 13. The June 30 date was for "reviewed and evaluated" - and our profiles were cleared out on that date - but obviously they've found it necessary to extend it for the evaluation process.

So, if we choose to remain blindingly optimistic, we could think that their open submissions may open up again, after they've caught up. This happens on other open submission sites, such as (here are just two at the top of my head):

http://spectrevision.com/submissions
or
https://renfieldproductions.com

(I visit these monthly, just to see, since they don't advertise widely)

EdFury 07-21-2018 10:34 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Amazon's open submission policy isn't coming back. It's dead. An experiment that was a multimillion dollar failure. All it did was prove to them that the studio submission policies were the only way to go.

catcon 07-21-2018 05:07 PM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by EdFury (Post 957191)
Amazon's open submission policy isn't coming back. It's dead. An experiment that was a multimillion dollar failure. All it did was prove to them that the studio submission policies were the only way to go.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XWOlmPFg2k

spyder23 07-27-2018 08:27 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Alright, so check it.

I wanted to wait a week and hit-up another AS chat member to see if I got the same answer.

Bottom line: he told me the same thing the girl did last week. AS are definitely still reviewing old submissions as long as you never got a rejection email.

Usually the CS reps replies are canned/stock responses but one thing I found interesting was that he did elaborate a little by adding "Yup, there's been a delay in the team providing their decisions. Just be patient and they will reach out to you with an email."

Agree with EdFury, their policy is not coming back, but for anyone with projects still with them when they closed up submission shop, they're still looking at them. Both of mine are now at 16 months.

JRJB 09-15-2018 07:50 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Is anyone still waiting to hear back on their submissions to Amazon Studios?

ClintW3 09-15-2018 10:29 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JRJB (Post 957968)
Is anyone still waiting to hear back on their submissions to Amazon Studios?


Yes. I have a TV pilot that has been in the DECIDING phase since February. About once a month I email customer service and get "they're still going through the stack" response.

JRJB 09-15-2018 11:16 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Thanks for replying, ClintW3. Good luck!

Hpinski 09-15-2018 05:37 PM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
I'm still waiting to hear as well. Submitted a TV pilot in January. Best of luck to everyone in the stack!

docgonzo 09-16-2018 07:22 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Sorry if this sounds harsh, but why is anyone bothering to wait on this? It's dead, and has been a long time. Just forget it and move on.

JRJB 09-16-2018 07:33 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Just curious. First post.

catcon 09-16-2018 08:14 AM

Re: Amazon Studios
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by docgonzo (Post 957982)
Sorry if this sounds harsh, but why is anyone bothering to wait on this? It's dead, and has been a long time. Just forget it and move on.

I agree. For those who do have hope, think of it as a waiting game just like any other submission you make. Days turn into weeks turn into months.

My database has an automatic day counter to keep track, but I've learned to stop waiting after Day 1, and I move right on to new opportunities.

I've even stopped doing follow-ups; honestly, why bother?

This approach helps me to keep my eye on the ball: Writing, marketing, polishing, and repeat. Meanwhile, if I get a pleasant surprise from a past submission, great! :)

Speaking of Amazon Studios, I think a lot of us had probably become pretty dependent on it. I don't think I was alone in this dependency, and I realized the problem when I analyzed my marketing database recently. Since I track who the "last reader" is of each script, and because I had sent almost everything I'd written to A.S., their indicators polluted my data.

It's because, among similar sites, A.S. was actually "open submission", which is nowhere near the same as getting a "requested read" through the hard work of marketing/pitching/whatever.

Yet, in my database, all entries in the "Last Read" column were considered equal.

I had to fix that, so just two weeks ago I cleaned up my data to remove all A.S. references under each script record's "Last Read" column.

Well, the results were pretty depressing: :eek:

Some of my better scripts haven't actually received a genuine "read request" in years, despite the fact that I pitch everything constantly, even my golden oldies. It was a real eye opener to see which scripts had been "requested", without three quarters of them showing "Amazon Studios" (with dates from 2014-2018).

It was just another reminder of how hard it is to "get a read" these days.

Incidentally, in this column I do not count synopsis or first-10-pages requests, or any other sort of "open submission" system including contests or those few rep and producer websites out there that actually invite submissions, like A.S. did.

Yep, to get a "true picture" of where your marketing efforts stand, you have to be brutal.

I'm making changes as we speak, that's for sure. :shifty:


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