Olivia Hetreed, Chair of the Writers' Guild's Film Committee, responds to the launch of Amazon Studios.
This seems tempting - free entry with the potential to have your script seen by many and maybe picked up by Warner Bros; the harnessing of a wide open talent pool of perhaps previously unheard voices - but the terms and conditions are not good.
The Guild does not approve of free options and 18 months exclusive while anyone can read, rewrite, rip off and variously mess about with your script in any way is particularly unattractive.
The idea that the collective creativity of the web will come up with a good screenplay looks both a) completely untenable and b) frankly insulting to professional screenwriters. Monkeys and typewriters comes to mind.
If a) then the whole project will wither and die under the weight of appalling writing and outraged squawking. If a good script does make it through this process and get made (or a bad script, which is just as likely) then the insult b) will become more serious.
A judgement process based on internet 'popularity' without any filtering seems both open to abuse and most unlikely to produce good or interesting results.
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