The new-and-improved Amazon Studios liked Chip Street’s screenplay Faeries enough that they wanted to feature it on their “consider list.”
But that good news came with a catch:
To make it happen, all we need to do is click a button, and MAKE OUR SCRIPT A PUBLIC SUBMISSION – starting that 45 day option clock ticking.
Now, we could choose to make the script public and displayed on the consider list, and set the collaboration feature to ‘closed’. So nobody can write new version for Amazon to own rights to. But remember, the ‘closed’ setting only applies to written versions. Filmmakers COULD still make video content based on our script. And Amazon would own the rights to those videos. FOREVER. And they can distribute those videos as they please – on YouTube, or on their subscription based VOD platform, and collect ad revenue from associated ad content. Forever. For free. Did we say free? Free. Did we say forever? Forever.
What this amounts to is that while they didn’t want to pay for an option, they did want us to give them a free option for 45 days. And all that that implies. Exactly what we were trying to avoid by going with a private submission in the first place.
As Craig and I have discussed on the podcast, the new rules at Amazon Studios certainly seem like a step in the right direction. But if I were in Chip’s shoes, I’d have the same hesitation.
If you’re interested in the vagaries of the new Amazon Studios, his post is a must-read, with lots of good links and insights.