Amazon branching out from TV series to movie production

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amazon Original Movies: Ted Hope To Lead Theatrical, Streaming Productions.

Amazon Studios said it will begin to produce and acquire original movies for theatrical release and early-window distribution on Amazon Prime Instant Video starting in 2015. Amazon announced on Monday plans to produce 12 feature films beginning in 2015, an ambitious pursuit that will further challenge the accepted windowing period for theatrical releases.Amazon is to build on the success of award-winning transgender show Transparent and signing Woody Allen to make a series by moving into film production. The move marks a major expansion of its Amazon Studios division, which last week picked up two Golden Globes including best TV series (music or comedy) for Transparent.

The movies will be released first in movie theaters and then weeks later for streaming customers, following Hollywood’s traditional business of delaying releases into the home. Amazon expects to put out a dozen movies in 2015, with production starting later this year, said Ray Price, vice-president of Amazon Studios, the division which is also behind the company’s recent move into television. The move also extends the company’s push into creating original content, which started in 2010 with a number of TV series available to subscribers of its Prime delivery programme.

Hope co-founded and ran production company Good Machine, which produced notable and Academy Award-nominated films such as Eat Drink Man Woman and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. One of those shows, Transparent, scooped up two coveted Golden Globes awards this month, marking Amazon’s arrival as a serious force in entertainment. Both online firms have become stronger rivals to Hollywood studios and television networks, with their growth in subscribers and ability to fund dozens of new projects.

Good Machine Productions was behind a slate of critically-acclaimed independent films, including Todd Haynes’ Safe, Edward Burns’ The Brothers McMullen, and Nicole Holofcener’s Lovely and Amazing. Bezos, owns The Washington Post.) “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,” said Hope, the new head of production for Amazon Original Movies. “To help carry the torch into the feature film world for such an innovative company is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility.”

Amazon and Netflix have been pushing to narrow the time between when a film comes out in cinemas and when it is available for rent or purchase online, which can take up to a year.

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