Amazon Studios To Create Original Movies

Amazon Studios will produce and stream original and acquired movies that it will stream to Amazon Prime subscribers as early as a month after the film's theatrical release, company officials said Monday.

Amazon, which currently streams original series such as Golden Globe-winning series Transparent, will create original movies under the leadership of Ted Hope, former co-founder of independent movie company Good Machine (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)

The company will look to create as many as 12 movies a year, with production starting later this year. The movies will appear on Amazon Prime Instant four to eight weeks after its theatrical debut and will focus on "unique stories, voices and characters from up-and-coming creators," said the company.

The move follows Netflix’s announcement last year to create a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon that it will stream to subscribers simultaneously with the movie's release in IMAX theaters.

“We look forward to expanding our production efforts into feature films,” said Roy Price, Vice President, Amazon Studios in a statement. “Not only will we bring Prime Instant Video customers exciting, unique, and exclusive films soon after a movie’s theatrical run, but we hope this program will also benefit filmmakers, who too often struggle to mount fresh and daring stories that deserve an audience.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.