- Borat Subsequent Moviefilm acquired by Amazon has plans to make movies exclusively for Amazon.
- Independent film distributors have been in hot water with the major film industry for some time.
- Amazon has also made it easier for consumers to purchase independent films directly from the Internet. Instead of spending money on multiplexes for an independent film.
Amazon has acquired one of the most popular independent film producers in the entertainment industry, producing and distributing movies. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that he saw the acquisition as an opportunity for the company to cash in on the independent film revolution.
In fact, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm acquired by Amazon has plans to make movies exclusively for Amazon.
Amazon is now the fourth largest online film retailer in the U.S. behind iTunes, Google, and Yahoo. Its goal is to be the one-stop solution for consumers who want to buy, rent, or sell any product or service.
It does not matter if you are looking for books, music, clothes, gadgets, or the latest celebrity gossip, you will be able to shop on its platform. Its growing list of movie, TV, and digital video segments also indicates that Amazon will continue to expand its territories even further.
“They broke every rule for us,” Sacha Noam Baron Cohen an English comedian, actor, writer, and producer said in a phone interview. “There was a certain delivery schedule that they felt was necessary, and they halved that time. They realized the imperative of getting this out before the election. And they changed their procedures completely to help us do this. I’m really, really grateful.”
Independent films that made it to the Amazon list include You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Grand Piano, and Crazy Heart, the latter of which was produced by Disney and star Robin Williams. There are many other examples that are readily available online, in Amazon’s on-demand movie service, and on other websites on the Internet.
These examples of independent films are in direct competition with Hollywood blockbusters, which are often produced by major studios, which are controlled by corporate moguls whose primary objective is to earn a profit from their investment in a film, even if it fails to entertain or hit the right note within the audience. With Amazon controlling its platform and promoting independent films, this battle will no longer be lost to Hollywood.
“We had seen firsthand, when Amazon gets behind a piece of content, just how big the muscle is that they are capable of flexing,” said David Ellison, chief executive of Skydance Media and the producer of Amazon’s “Jack Ryan” series.
Independent film distributors have been in hot water with the major film industry for some time. Amazon, which aggressively expands into every area of entertainment, is only now making it more difficult for film studios to exert their control over independent film. Amazon has been accused by the independent film community of being a monopolist and for squeezing out smaller distributors from the market.
“It’s going to be really interesting over the next three years,” said Roeg Sutherland, one of the heads of media finance for Creative Artists Agency. “With platforms programming one new movie a week, this is fueling a competitive marketplace for high-end, independently financed films.”
The accusation is not entirely true, as Amazon Studio does make it harder for independent filmmakers to find exposure through theatrical release and exhibition in movie houses. But Amazon has also made it easier for consumers to purchase independent films directly from the Internet.
Instead of spending money on multiplexes for an independent film, viewers can simply visit Amazon’s website to order the film, pay for it online, and have the film shipped directly to their doorstep. This method of viewing independent films has been responsible for the rise of indie cinema as a distinct art form, with movies being viewed on a more personal level rather than in a commercial setting.
Amazon has also been credited with encouraging independent films to be distributed through its platform, as many are made available directly from Amazon, and not through independent distributor channels. This has been good news for small independent movie makers who would otherwise not have been able to distribute their films on a major scale.
Amazon’s latest edition will allow independent filmmakers to make their films available to a global audience. This is good news not only for buyers but for the future of the independent film industry, as it provides a shot in the arm for new filmmakers who might otherwise have trouble securing financing.
Even if Amazon’s latest moves do little to slow the independent film industry, it may at least force studios to become more open to producing independent films. Studios are open to investing in high-cost independent films if they believe those films have the chance of being successful. They might have been missing out on a chance to produce a high-budgeted and critically acclaimed independent film on a budget they can afford. And with Amazon is offering the choice of paying for the film directly through its site or displaying the film on the Web site for customers, the pressure on studios to develop more responsive deals with independent producers will only grow.