Amazon Studios is developing feature films and episodic series in a new way, one that's open to great ideas from creators—and audiences—around the world. There are two distinctive characteristics of our process:
Our goal at Amazon Studios is to make theatrical motion pictures and episodic series from great stories. The Development Slate is a roster of promising projects we're actively developing to make into a movie or series. (See our current Development Slate for movies and series). The Amazon Studios story department will determine the projects to add to the Development Slate.
We have extended or exercised our option on these projects, and our story department may work with the original writer to develop the script. For some projects we may also offer opportunities for paid assignments for writing, directing, animation or artwork that will help us build on the story, create test movies and pilots, or carry out audience tests. Based on the results, we will determine which stories to move forward.
We're looking for great stories well told. Stories of any genre could be successful movies—artistically, commercially or both. They should have roles that could attract talented actors, and enough story appeal and visual possibilities to entice an experienced director.
We want compelling new voices, characters that you can't find anywhere else and shows that have the potential to become hits. Specifically, we're seeking primetime comedy series for adults, as well as series for children between the ages of 2-14. We are not looking for sketch, reality or talk shows.
Generally speaking, we like character-driven ideas in well-defined worlds. We want comedies that are smart, original, loud in concept and most of all, funny; think Archer or Curb Your Enthusiasm. For live-action, we prefer shows with some level of serialization. All scripts should be within the normal television standards for content and language.
Children's series can be live action, animated, stop motion or mixed media. We are interested in preschool series for children ages 2-5 like Blue's Clues, Curious George and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Preschool series must have an educational theme or clear potential for one. We are also interested in ideas for children and tweens between the ages of 6-14 such as Phineas and Ferb or iCarly.
You can start a movie project at Amazon Studios by uploading an original script that is wholly new to Amazon Studios and free of any elements from scripts and movies already at Amazon Studios. We call these original properties.
You can submit your script publicly on the site in order to start a project, or choose to upload it for private review. Both private and public scripts are reviewed by our development staff.
You can start a new series project at Amazon Studios by uploading a pilot script and/or a mini-bible that is wholly new to Amazon Studios and free of any elements from series ideas already at Amazon Studios.
For primetime comedy, you must submit a 22-minute pilot script that shows the series at its best. Your pilot script does not necessarily have to be an origin story that describes how the situation of the show began. A mini-bible describing your vision of the series is not required, but you're welcome to submit one if you have it.
For children's series, you must submit a mini-bible of between two and six pages explaining your vision for the series. A great mini-bible describes the main characters and the show in general; illuminates the world in which the series takes place; tells where the show is going and whether episodes are serial or standalone; and includes five or six episode ideas. If you have a script (11 minutes or 22 minutes) or video (such as a storyboard, animation test, or a pilot) you are encouraged to upload that as well, but it is not required.
Project creators must have full rights to the series idea and identify all individuals involved (e.g., writer and character designer) at the time of upload.
You can submit your series publicly on the site in order to start a project, or choose to upload it for private review. Either way, it will be evaluated by our development staff.
Yes, you may submit your script or series idea for private review by Amazon Studios. After clicking "Upload your work" you will be offered the choice of submitting for private review or public review.
If you submit your script or series idea for private review, only Amazon Studios staff and its subcontractors can review your script. Your script or series idea won't be publicly displayed at Amazon Studios, but its title and premise may be included in a game on or off Amazon Studios that is intended to solicit audience feedback, like the "Premise War" game. Your privately submitted script or series idea will only become public at Amazon Studios if we pay you to extend or exercise our option, or if you choose to make it public.
Yes, you are able to remove your project using a tool we provide after your complete submission has been on the site for more than 45 days, provided that Amazon Studios has not exercised our option to buy your script or paid you to extend our option within that time period. Note that the 45-day option and evaluation period (during which you cannot remove your script) restarts when you or, in the case of publicly submitted scripts, when anyone, submits a revision, even if the initial 45 day option period has already ended.
If you submitted your project for public review at Amazon Studios, when you remove your project, the project page will be taken down, and the project will no longer be displayed to visitors of Amazon Studios. Though we discourage "mash-ups" of pieces from multiple projects (see our FAQ about "mash-ups"), because Amazon Studios is a community development platform, we cannot guarantee that elements of your project will not have been incorporated into other projects on Amazon Studios that remain on the site after yours is removed. (In another FAQ, we describe what you can do if you believe that your work has been copied). Also, after you remove your project, Amazon Studios may still make and distribute video clips of your project up to 10 minutes in length. We expect that Amazon Studios will help your project grow and improve, and we want to be able to show other visitors what Amazon Studios has helped you accomplish. See the FAQ "How do rights work under the Amazon Studios Development Agreement" for additional information.
If you submitted your project for private review at Amazon Studios, when you remove your project, you will no longer be able to access it on the Amazon Studios site.
See the Help topic Removing a project for more details about removing your project.
Notable Movie Projects and Notable Series Projects have been identified by our story department as having potential, but don't match the current needs of our Development Slate. We believe Notable Projects have the ingredients to be successful and we encourage their writers to consider reactions from audiences, get feedback from other writers, or collaborate with a partner to make their work even stronger.
When you upload certain content (like a script or series idea), you may be asked to identify any co-creators of the content. If you are asked to identify co-creators, all co-creators must have an Amazon Studios account, must agree to submit the content to Amazon Studios and must agree to the terms of the Development Agreement.
In order to contribute video content (like a movie trailer or video promo) you created with partners, you must get everyone else who worked on the video content to assign to you any rights they may have to the video content before you upload it. We don't have a mechanism for co-ownership of video content. See the Help page Submitting video content for more details and forms you can use.
If you want to be considered for a paid opportunity, we'll need to know about your ideas for the assignment and the skills you have to pull off your plans. Details for each paid opportunity, including specifics about what to include in your proposal and deadlines, will be spelled out on the appropriate project page.
Learn more about open assignments on the Amazon Studios Opportunities page.
The Amazon Studios site is not a signatory to any agreement with a collective bargaining organization, including the Writers Guild of America Minimum Basic Agreement. If you are a WGA member, we encourage you to have your agent contact our Los Angeles-based production company, Amazon Studios, Inc., in order to apply for paid writing assignments.
Yes. Feedback is crucial to the Amazon Studios process. We hope you will rate trailers, watch test movies, watch pilots, write reviews and make comments in the project forums. Your insights can be very valuable and influence the movies and series we create.
Amazon Studios makes money by getting movies made, so while we can't guarantee it, our goal is to produce movies for theatrical release. To that end, we have established a first-look deal with Warner Bros., the biggest movie studio in Hollywood. Through the Development Slate, we invest in testing and improving stories that we hope will make successful Hollywood movies.
Your role will be determined over the course of development and at the time of production. Amazon Studios has an open door, so this is difficult to specify in advance as creators may have different skills and experience levels.
The open directing assignments are for test movies and pilots that are used to garner feedback in the development process. It is unlikely that any of the work would appear in the subsequent theatrical feature film or produced pilot. We do hope that these open directing assignments will help us discover new talent, and give them a place to demonstrate their skills.
The Amazon Studios Development Agreement is a contract that governs your and Amazon Studios' rights to the works you upload. If you want to upload a script to Amazon Studios, you'll want to make sure you read and understand it first. If you are comfortable with it, agree to it. If you're not comfortable with it or if you're not sure you understand it, we would not want you to agree to it. This FAQ (and a synopsis of the Development Agreement) is intended to be a helpful summary of major points in the Agreement but is not intended to replace reading the Agreement; remember that, if the FAQ or the synopsis are unclear or seem to vary from the Agreement, the Agreement is the actual contract.
The rights rules vary depending on whether you upload an original property, like a wholly original script, or upload a revision, like a redraft of a script, movie trailer or video promo based on an Amazon Studios script. For original properties, the rights rules also vary depending on whether you submit your original property for public review or private review.
Original Properties Submitted for Private Review
If you upload an original script for private review, Amazon Studios gets three important things with respect to your work:
And you keep four things with respect to your work:
Original Properties Submitted for Public Review
If you upload an original script for public review (thereby starting a new project), Amazon Studios gets five important things with respect to your work:
And you keep six things with respect to your work:
So after you submit a project for public or private review at Amazon Studios, you can continue to do the things described above as rights that you keep, but you cannot otherwise display, sell or license your script elsewhere, or withdraw it for any reason during our option term. However, when the option term ends, if we haven't exercised our option and purchased your work, you will get back the rights to your original material.
If you revise your own script or video content with original material, the rights to your original revisions are considered part of your original script or video content and the rights in the original revisions go with the rights in the original script or video content. Your contribution of the revision will also cause our 45-day option period on your original script or video content to restart, even if the initial 45-day option period has ended.
If you revise someone else's script or video content, or create content based on an Amazon Studios project you didn't initiate, you assign all rights to the script or video content to us forever. You won't be entitled to option payments or other fees. The reason for the difference between the rights for original scripts and video content and the rights for revisions is that there is only one original script or movie for each project at Amazon Studios, but there's no limit to the number of revisions for each Project. It would just be too complicated to make films from projects if rights were divided up between contributors of revisions.
When you remove your work from Amazon Studios, if we haven't exercised our option, we give you the right to use revisions to your work that were contributed to Amazon Studios by other users, but only to the extent those rights belong to us, and only for use in developing and distributing your original work. If you sublicense the rights to your property to anyone else, you must tell them how you got those rights (e.g., without any guarantee from Amazon Studios).
We have prepared a synopsis showing what you give and what you get depending on what you upload and whether you submit publicly or privately, which you can see on the Development Agreement page.
Start by contacting the original writer on the project, via StudioMail. It may be helpful to compare notes. You should also confirm the writer's plans for keeping their work publicly available on the site, so you are not creating a revision, trailer, or video promo for a project that may be removed unexpectedly.
Projects on the Development Slate may be closed to collaborative revision (though they may have paid assignments available instead).
One benefit of a publicly available project at Amazon Studios is the chance to discover creative voices that share or expand on your vision. If you are contacted by someone interested in revising your script or series idea or making video content for it, be sure to share your plans for the project. If you do not intend to keep your project on the site beyond the 45-day option and evaluation period if you are not added to the Development Slate, you should let them know. On the other hand, if you expect to keep your project publicly available at Amazon Studios, collaboration can be a great way to improve your work, and you can later submit a revision to be considered again for the Development Slate.
Keep in mind that any revision added to your public project will cause our 45-day option and evaluation period to restart, regardless of whether the revision is contributed by you or someone else. There is no way to prevent that, but you may use the project collaboration settings that we provide to you to restrict who can contribute revisions to your project. Please see our FAQ "Who else can revise my work?" for additional information.
No. If you created a project with an original script or series idea, you not only granted Amazon Studios the exclusive option to your script or series idea for 45 days, but also the right to extend that option for two additional 18 month periods by paying you $10,000 for each extension. You cannot decline the extensions, even by refusing payment.
Similarly, if you contributed your project for public review, you cannot prevent your option period from restarting when a revision is contributed to your project. However, you can use our project collaboration settings to control who can submit revisions to your project. Please see our FAQ "Who else can revise my work?" for additional information.
If you contribute an original script, series idea or video to Amazon Studios and you see that someone has directly copied it (by copying text verbatim or lifting footage) and contributed it as an original script, series idea or video content on Amazon Studios, or used it in another project, please let us know (by clicking "Report this" on the page for the copied content) and we'll determine appropriate action. However, Amazon Studios is an open development platform and it's inevitable that there will be similarities between scripts, series ideas and video content. You should not report mere similarities.
If you believe that a project on Amazon Studios has copied your work from outside of Amazon Studios in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please contact Amazon Studio's copyright agent as specified in the Conditions of Use.
No. As intriguing as mash-ups may be, the rights issues just become too complicated for us to accommodate at Amazon Studios at this time. Whatever you add to a project should include only elements already in that specific project, plus your own original contributions.
Success at Amazon Studios has helped talented writers and filmmakers get the attention of the Hollywood community.
No. There is no charge to participate at Amazon Studios.
Yes. Drafts don't replace each other; they just exist simultaneously on the site. This is not like a screenplay competition, where you submit your work once and then you're done. We believe that feedback and revisions can make your project better, and encourage you to revise your work as much as you want.
If your project is added to the Development Slate, Amazon Studios will manage any revisions to your work. If your project is not on the Development Slate and you have submitted it for public review, you have some control over who can edit your project. When you upload an original movie script for public review, you can choose whether to allow other Amazon Studios participants to add revised scripts to your project. When you upload an original idea for an episodic series for public review, you can choose whether to allow other Amazon Studios participants to add revised scripts, series mini-bibles, or pilot videos to your project. When you upload an original idea for an episodic series for public review, you can choose whether to allow other Amazon Studios participants to add revised scripts, series mini-bibles, or pilot videos to your project.
Your project collaboration options are:
If you uploaded an original movie script, these project collaboration settings only allow you to limit the addition of revised scripts to your project at Amazon Studios. They don't limit other participants' ability to add video content based on your script, and filmmakers and actors may not adhere to your script in making video content.
If you uploaded an idea for an original episodic series, these project collaboration settings only allow you to limit the addition of revised scripts, series mini-bibles or pilot videos to your project at Amazon Studios. They don't limit other participants' ability to add other video content based on your episodic series (for instance, promo videos), and filmmakers and actors may not adhere to your original idea in making that video content.
These settings also do not limit other changes to your project permitted under the Development Agreement (like revisions to your script we may make through open writing assignments) or otherwise affect the rights that you grant us in your Original Property under the Development Agreement.
You can change the project collaboration settings at any time by clicking "Edit" next to the project collaboration information on your project page.
Remember that revisions by other participants do not replace your current drafts; they are simply alternate versions added to your project.
If you submitted your script privately and then it later becomes public because we pay to extend our option on it, we buy it, or you choose to make it public, your project collaboration setting will initially be set to "By Permission."
We need the ability to explore your script's potential, and this may involve, among things, making storyboards, creating audio tracks, making test movies, making pilots or even rewriting or hiring other writers to rewrite your script. Any studio interested in making your script into a movie or series will need to do the same.
As described above, we provide project collaboration settings that let creators limit how other participants can add revisions to original script or series ideas at Amazon Studios. However, once approval to submit a revision has been given, the project creator may not veto that revision or revoke approval (although you can change your project collaboration setting to close the project to future revisions). Please see our FAQ "Who else can revise my work?" for more information about the types of revisions that can be limited using project collaboration settings.
Yes, Amazon Studios will accept work that has been in other festivals and contests as long as you still retain 100% of the rights in your work. We can't speak to anyone else's contest rules, but from our point of view you can enter your original work into other festivals or contests after you upload it at Amazon Studios so long as you do not give up any rights that conflict with the rights you grant to us under the Development Agreement. For instance, during the option period, you give us the exclusive right to distribute your original work online. If another contest requires that you grant someone else the right to distribute your original work online during the option period, you may not enter that contest.
In most cases, yes. The important thing is that you have all the rights to the series idea so that you can enter into the option agreement.
In most cases, the work for a paid assignment involves an underlying story property that you do not own and thus cannot use elsewhere. In practice this will limit what you can reuse from your proposal. However, if you introduce an element that is wholly original to you—like a new character Giza, the talking robot Egyptian cat—you may reuse that element in your own work so long as you don't use other material from the Amazon Studios project.
If you are a WGA member, we encourage you to have your agent directly contact our Los Angeles-based production company, Amazon Studios, Inc., in order to submit your original script or to apply for paid writing assignments. Amazon Studios, Inc., is a signatory to the Writers Guild of America Minimum Basic Agreement. However, the Amazon Studios website is run separately, and work submitted by writers to the website is not covered by the WGA.
Some laws do not allow minors to sign binding agreements, and to make movies we need binding agreements. Therefore, minors cannot create accounts at Amazon Studios, which means they cannot upload content, write reviews or participate in discussion forums. We know there are a lot of young, talented people out there, and we hope to figure out a way to allow you to participate at Amazon Studios in the future.
The common language for the Amazon Studios story department is English. So unless your script or series idea has English description and dialogue (or the text for English subtitles to non-English dialogue) throughout, it cannot be evaluated for the Development Slate.
Note: Above we discuss and summarize parts of the Amazon Studios Development Agreement and the Contest Rules Agreements. To get the complete details, please read the agreements. They can be found here:
Though scripts are critically important in development, they are not accessible to most audiences. To get broad-based feedback on ideas, we try to get the stories into a form that is either short, or visual, or both.
We will test premises, posters, trailers, storyboards, pilots, promos, comic books, and other formats to see what people think. We will also create test movies, which are inexpensive videos that tell the whole story of a script in a compelling way.
The key, no matter what techniques are used, is to help an audience imagine what a story would be like as a finished film or show. Is it something people want to see? What would they change if they could?