Ryan Brackin Adam Nix (director-editor-cinematographer), left, Ben Roy (co-creator) and Evan
Nix (director-editor) with Denver students from the public school where they shot the pilot for their series Those Who Can't
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Amazon's new production arm, Amazon Studios, is right now breaking new ground by premiering 14 scripted pilots and having the public help decide who will get series orders. But its avant-garde development process goes deeper than that.
Amazon's original programming execs, Sarah Babineau and Joe Lewis, bought some finished scripts that had made the rounds at other networks in previous years but gone unpurchased. Others they bought from unknowns who submitted their full scripts through Amazon's call for submissions on its website. From first-time TV writers to Academy Award-nominated veterans, Amazon gave many of its creators unprecedented freedom in casting, crew, content and production.
This freedom, and perhaps the pure publicity stunt of it all, allowed Amazon to woo established creators who might not otherwise have been interested in having their work displayed at a meat market for any guy in sweatpants in his grandma's basement to vilify or exult. "At first I thought, who wants to work on troll bait?" says famed Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau, creator of Amazon pilot Alpha House. "But Amazon is assessing reaction through a variety of different metrics, so whatever decisions they make will almost certainly be more informed and rational than the traditional Hollywood gut calls."More »