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Amazon Studios is looking for children's series

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Nidhi!!! Congratulations!!!  :stars3

Here's the thing. You've got like 2 or 3 episodes in one. AS is only looking for 11 to 22 minute children's series. From their guidelines:

We encourage single-cam (single-spaced) scripts to be 36 pages or fewer; multi-cam (double-spaced) scripts, 54 pages or fewer.

And they more than encourage it, I've heard scripts any longer than 36 and mini-bibles any longer than 6 pages go into the auto-reject pile. No one knows for sure, but I wouldn't risk it after all this hard work!

The good news? When they  :phone you because they love it and want to see more, you'll have another completed script ready to go!

And I may have started it, but ya'll have been  :crazy enough to follow.  :naughty

#61 - October 30, 2014, 12:45 PM
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Actually, mine is a movie screenplay. They take upto 130 pages for that. Mine is currently 91. So I am safe for now. :-)
#62 - October 30, 2014, 04:23 PM
Ten Sheep to Sleep - Now on Amazon

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Sorry, Hilary, I just realized this thread was for the series. I had checkout out Amazon guidelines and decided to try my luck at an animated movie, hence the 90 pages   :jackolantern
I've heard animated are the toughest to sell. But it was a good experience and fun writing it. Keeping my hopes up  for whenever I feel I am ready to submit to them :-)
#63 - October 30, 2014, 04:34 PM
Ten Sheep to Sleep - Now on Amazon

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 :lol5, Nidhi! You wrote a feature length animated film!!!  :wow :bow I also forgot to mention in my last reply that I would be more than happy to look at it! Feel free to email it to hpinski @ gmail dot com.  :yourock
#64 - October 30, 2014, 04:50 PM
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Thanks, Hilary! I thought I scared you off with the page count. :-)

Celtx is acting up, and doing some strange things on converting to PDF. Looks like I will have to use Adobe Story after all! I will do that and email you as soon as the conversion is complete.
Thanks again!  :yourock
#65 - October 30, 2014, 07:20 PM
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 :flowers2
I agonized over whether to make my first series proposal public or not, Nidhi. I searched the AS forums, I googled, I read everything under the AS guidelines trying to figure out if there was any advantage to making it public.

AS states that they "encourages" public projects but in the end, I honestly don't think it matters and they're going to make the decision based on the strength of the submission and what type of project they want to produce. I decided not to make my first submission public because my mini-bible was very detailed and it's a story I'm still actively looking for a home for (didn't want too much of the plot "out there"). I decided to make my second public because I do feel there are some advantages and wanted to see what it was like. The advantages:

1. Feedback and support. The social component of it was a big draw for me. I loved WriteOnCon and learned so much from the experience that I wanted to open my project up to public feedback. What I've gotten is tons and tons of support. In the end will it matter? Like I said, if AS falls in love with a project, they're going to add it to the development slate whether it's public or private but there's no way that it hurts to have Borislav up to the #2 spot for children and tweens or that Borislav was burning up the AS newsfeed all weekend! That being said, I also don't think it's going to hurt if a public project doesn't get much feedback.

2. Industry eyes outside of AS. A long shot yes, but a private submission has zero chance of being seen by an industry professional roaming the AS site, whereas a public one does. Notable projects are ones that AS has not added to their development slate but they found interesting enough to highlight. You never know who is watching/reading.

3. Community building. If you do it right, even if you only get a handful of people to leave feedback or who get excited about your proposal, it's a handful more than when you started.

I taught myself screenwriting and it wasn't easy, Nidhi! I read tons of books. Some of my favorites are:

1. Writing the Pilot, William Rabkin
2. Writing Screenplays That Sell, Michael Hauge (his Story Master website is great too, http://www.storymastery.com/)
3. Writing the TV Drama, Pamela Douglas
And this little SP titles is so great for nitty gritty style issues:
4. Your CUT TO: is Showing, by T.J. Alex

We also have a thread here with some other favorites: https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=70301.0

There's also tons of scripts on the internet. The more screenplays you read, the more natural it becomes. WARNING: You can't necessarily learn screenwriting by reading scripts by famous screenwriters. This is where Your CUT TO: is SHOWING comes in. There are things stylistically that JJ Abrams can do that scream newbie in a spec (speculative) script. I learned this the hard way and had to reformat big time!

I'm still learning. It is a challenge to go from prose/narrative to dialogue/action!

Hope this helps...keep those questions coming! I want BBoarders to take over AS!  :yeah

Hillary,

I was wondering if your project is still posted on the Amazon site anywhere. I know this topic is old. If you have a link to it, I would love to read your script even if it is posted elsewhere now. I'm currently working on an animated project. Thanks for any help.

Dee
#66 - February 12, 2015, 05:58 PM

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Dee, I'm still actively pitching another script so I left Borislav up and out there, if you know what I mean. It can't hurt, right?  :grin3

http://studios.amazon.com/projects/48147

 :goodluck and keep us posted!  :yeah Between the *cough* three, or four, or five of us, we must keep the Script Writers boards alive!   :legolas
#67 - February 12, 2015, 06:07 PM
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Thanks, I just downloaded your mini-bible and pilot script. I hope to get a chance to read them soon. I'm glad someone pointed out this board conversation.

From the Amazon Studios home page, I still don't know how to access the public scripts that aren't in development. If I don't have a direct link like the one you just gave me, do I have to register to see those or am I missing a category somehow? I think I clicked on just about everything.

Do you have an agent for your scripts?

Yes, I hope this section stays alive. Thanks, I just downloaded your mini-bible and pilot script. I hope to get a chance to read them soon. I'm glad someone pointed out this board conversation.

From the Amazon Studios home page, I still don't know how to access the public scripts that aren't in development. If I don't have a direct link like the one you just gave me, do I have to register to see those or am I missing a category somehow? I think I clicked on just about everything.

Do you have an agent for your scripts?

Yes, I hope this section stays alive.  :gold star 
Good luck with your new idea.   :good luck
 :thanx

#68 - February 12, 2015, 08:17 PM
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 08:19 PM by dee-leone »

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Dee, they redesigned their website awhile ago and don't make them easy to find. On the homepage, scroll all the way down. All the way. At the very bottom is a see all series link, http://studios.amazon.com/series

On that page, in the upper left hand corner, you'll see the categories.

Getting an agent to rep your screenplays is a lot different, and a lot harder, than getting an agent to rep your books. In fact, it is nearly impossible to land a TV lit agent and very few are even open to unsolicited pitches. The best route is to pitch managers (it's a very different system out in LA), which are different from agents. That being said, even finding managers open to pitches is hard, but not impossible. Also look for production companies open to pitches. I've gotten a fair few reads from both managers and production companies but no deal yet. I should also tell you, not being in LA is a HUGE disadvantage. Jen Klein commented on this earlier in this thread, https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=67234.msg910746#msg910746

The upside? New media outlets (digital) = need for more content. YouTube just announced it's getting back into the originals game. In fact, their head of Family/EDU, Malik Ducard, will be the keynote at the 2015 Kidscreen summit and the Austin Film Festival screenplay contest has created a whole new category for scripted digital series.

Yup, it's hard for an outsider to break in. Hollywood is very closed circuit, if you will, but I still contend that there's huge opportunities for content creators in this market. Hope springs eternal, right?  :stars3

#69 - February 13, 2015, 07:53 AM
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Hilary,

I feel like I just gained access to the fountain of screenplay knowledge. Thanks so much for all the information. Even if I never get my script produced, at least it's been a blast writing it. I just finished another draft.

Thank you!  :thank you

P.S. - I don't know why the smiley's work for me sometimes and not others. Yesterday, in the same response, some showed up and some didn't. ???
#70 - February 13, 2015, 08:35 AM

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 :lol4, Dee! I'm still learning, but am truly happy to share whatever fount I have! It is fun, isn't it?  :love5

Oh, and the smilies, are you typing in the code or clicking on them? I noticed your :thankyou below has a space in between thank and you and the code it colonthankyou all together. :shrug
#71 - February 13, 2015, 01:10 PM
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I've tried both ways, usually just clicking on them. They used to show up as working in the preview. Now they don't for some reason. Maybe I need to update something on my computer.

I'll try clicking three and see if they show once I post even though the preview isn't showing them as working:  :thankyou :thanx :yeah
#72 - February 13, 2015, 01:54 PM

Glad this thread is still active. Question. I have two ideas I'm submitting. One is for the preschool genre and doesn't have a script. It's stated on their site that a script is encouraged though not needed for this genre, but would it be better to submit one anyway?
#73 - February 17, 2015, 08:09 AM

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I think all we can do it speculate here, oryfan, as none of us really know about the decision making process at AS. My gut tells me that if they're not requiring a script, a strong concept will be enough. If you think about it, Hollywood deal-making is just about the opposite of publishing. In Hollywood, so much is based on the strength of the pitch/concept, whereas in publishing, the pitch means nothing if you can't execute it into a completed work, because there are no staffed writers' rooms at a publishing house!

Since AS does not even guarantee your future involvement with the project even if they do greenlight it, what they're probably looking for first and foremost is a  :wow idea. Of course, it can't hurt to show them you can write a script too!

 :goodluck oryfan!
#74 - February 17, 2015, 08:37 AM
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I'm late to all this, but how exciting!

See what I miss when I spend a year doing endless rewrites and wallow in my inability to write something new?   :bewildered
#75 - February 17, 2015, 08:41 AM

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Oryfan,

As H. says, you can only guess, but I know some so-called script agents have blogged that many people in Hollywood don't even bother to read screenplays. They make decisions based on concepts.

Whatever you decide, :clover with your idea!

P.S. - If that smiley doesn't work, it's probably because I haven't figured out what I need to update on my computer. They used to work just fine.
#76 - February 17, 2015, 09:33 AM

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*waves to Elaine* Endless rewrites = better writer. Better writer = something new. It will come, Elaine...I know it will!  :writing3 :hug I've been so busy I haven't gotten over to your plot thread yet. I'm sorry!  :hiding

dee, the smiley worked!  :yeah
#77 - February 17, 2015, 09:42 AM
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Thank you for your responses! That's pretty much my line of thinking, that a strong pitch is most important here.
#78 - February 17, 2015, 10:24 AM

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H.,

I read Borislav and enjoyed it. Congratulations on getting it out there.  :yourock

I just finished what I hope is my final draft of a full-length animation feature. That's probably the hardest thing to find representation for because the majors develop everything in house, but I wrote it in my house so I figure that should count, right?  :lol4

It was a blast to write. Now I have to get it registered. My lit agent has someone she works with for screenplays, but the person may not take animation, so i need to discuss that with her. Fingers crossed.

Good luck with your newest work!  :goodluck
#79 - March 16, 2015, 10:54 AM

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:congratulations, dee!!!  :yeah Keep us posted and  :crossedfingers on the agent connection.  :goodluck

So glad you enjoyed Borislav and thanks for the read. Much appreciated!  :stars3

#80 - March 16, 2015, 11:12 AM
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Cool concepts! Good luck everyone!!
#81 - June 28, 2015, 04:32 PM

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Whew!! Such a wealth of information!! Which is a good thing. I am new to all of this and have some ideas and co-author with someone who has some ideas as well. Does anyone recommend registering a show, movie, play or series screenplay manuscript for copyright?
#82 - July 08, 2015, 11:18 AM

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I'm no expert, but the way I understand it, as soon as you commit an idea, script, or whatever to paper, it is considered yours and is protected by copyright laws. Sending a ms off with the comment that it has been copyrighted brands you as a newbie :sailor.

That being said, if I'm wrong, please someone correct me. Also, troll around online and see what you can find out.  :eyeballs
#83 - July 08, 2015, 11:26 AM

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I'm no expert, but the way I understand it, as soon as you commit an idea, script, or whatever to paper, it is considered yours and is protected by copyright laws. Sending a ms off with the comment that it has been copyrighted brands you as a newbie :sailor.

That being said, if I'm wrong, please someone correct me. Also, troll around online and see what you can find out.  :eyeballs

This is the copyright law in the USA. I don't know about copyrights in other countries but in the United States publishers will normally get the copyrights for you.
#84 - July 09, 2015, 05:35 AM
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Pons and Verla are right. I am not a lawyer, but in the US, your copyright exists from the moment of creation. The publisher will normally register the copyright in your name (and pay the fee for that) when the book is published. Registration confers certain greater benefits if you have an infringement case that goes to court, but does not create your copyright. That exists from the start.
#85 - July 09, 2015, 06:13 AM
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Geraldine, once you have a script completed and ready to submit, it is advisable to register it with the Writer's Guild of America. It's a simple online form and there's a small fee, but it will protect you. http://www.wgawregistry.org/

You can register a concept, but honestly I don't think it would be worth it -- and considering how quickly a concept can change once in development, you're better off waiting until you have a script you feel is good enough to send out.

You don't have to register the script to submit it to Amazon Studios but some management/production companies won't read until you've given them a WGA registry # and signed a release.

:goodluck

#86 - July 09, 2015, 07:27 AM
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Hilary, you are a wealth of information. Thanks for sharing.
#87 - July 09, 2015, 08:48 AM

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