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Old 05-22-2012, 07:59 AM   #1
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CNET: Amazon explores new business models for content

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-574...col;topStories

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"Jeff, One Lonely Guy" is the first book from Amazon Publishing, the retail giant's year-old New York imprint run by publishing industry veteran Larry Kirshbaum. It has won plaudits from Bret Easton Ellis, author of "American Psycho" and "Less Than Zero," who called the book "a legitimate new form of narrative." There have been only a few reviews, including one from Bookforum.com, which lamented the lack of Ragsdale's voice in the book, but nevertheless described it as "worth the read."

The book is slim by publishing industry standards -- a mere 138 pages. And while the messages are grouped into chapters with titles such as "Love Sucks" and "No God Created This Mess," there's no narrative, no storyline that has a beginning, middle or end. What's more, the book debuted a mere five months after Ragsdale posted his flyer, Usain Bolt-like speed in an industry that typically publishes books at meandering pace.

For Jeff Belle, vice president of Amazon Publishing, that's what makes "Jeff, One Lonely Guy" so exciting. It challenges preconceived notions about how publishing is done.

"We're most interested in working with authors that want to innovate, that want to experiment," Belle said in an interview with CNET. "What's a book? What's it becoming?"

They are questions that beg a much larger one: How is Amazon reshaping the way books, movies, and television programs are created?

Amazon is jumping headlong into the business of creating content because, more than any other company, it has the potent combination of a massive base of customers and the vast technical underpinning with which to bring those customers new ways of consuming books, movies, and television programs. And as that content becomes ever more digitized, Amazon wants to call the shots as to how those books and programs are created, delivered, and sold.
I think they're over-selling the "reshaping" idea, but it is clear Amazon is exploring the whole content creation/acquistion process and not just relying on the well worn old paths.

The danger I see is that they could fall prey to Google syndrome: spending a lot of resources dabbling on fringe ventures with no great impact beyond hype generation.

TOUCHING BLUE does sound interesting. I'd go watch it if it makes it to theaters.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:40 PM   #2
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How Amazon is changing the rules for books and movies

Nice complimentary article about Amazon.Money quote:

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Amazon's Kindle family of electronic reading devices gives it the ability to offer books in a way that hasn't been available before. The company can crank out short works, such as Ragsdale's book. It can mine sales data from its international operations to find bestsellers that it then translates and sells to its English-speaking customers, as it did with "The Hangman's Daughter," a German work of historical fiction by Oliver P÷tzsch.

Amazon is trying to change the rules in Hollywood as well. The company is creating a new model for making movies and television programs, tapping its vast Web presence to crowdsource concepts. Anyone can upload a screenplay or television pilot script to the Amazon Studios Web site, where Amazon and the community it's developed weed out the weakest and refine the most commercial, before the company commits significant financial resources to production.
LINK

I doubt that Amazon will change inthe movie industry the way it changed the book industry. For one thing, its relatively easy to self-publish a book. Making a movie or TV show is more difficult by an order of magnitude.
The article does show, though, that Amazon is serious about pushing into thecontent creation business, and not just books.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:44 PM   #3
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I agree, I can't see Amazon transforming movies. But the e-reader is reviving shorter works. I don't think Amazon gets all the credit for it.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:48 PM   #4
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Yes, it's worth a thread for discussion
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=179014

Happens all the time.
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:00 PM   #5
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Sorry, didn't see your thread. Moderators, do whatever.
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:38 PM   #6
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Sorry, didn't see your thread. Moderators, do whatever.
Hey, *you* got a comment.

As long as the article gets considered...
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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I doubt that Amazon will change inthe movie industry the way it changed the book industry. For one thing, its relatively easy to self-publish a book. Making a movie or TV show is more difficult by an order of magnitude.
And one that the last century of movie making has shown does not do well as you add more people to the creative process. In fact, the fastest way to make a movie absolutely suck is to add more script writers, producers, or directors.

Plus, this is the movie industry we're talking about. Amazon will be chuckling to themselves over how cleverly they've "reinvented the industry" right up until they realize the studio has stolen their shoes.
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:25 PM   #8
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And one that the last century of movie making has shown does not do well as you add more people to the creative process. In fact, the fastest way to make a movie absolutely suck is to add more script writers, producers, or directors.
The most prominent example of "crowd-sourcing" a movie I'm aware of is IRON SKY. Due for US release in april...
Haven't hear much of it since... march...
(And the little I did hear wasn't encouraging.)
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Old 05-23-2012, 04:57 PM   #9
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There's a review at http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/...ron-sky-review

Best thing he has to say is "it's better than Snakes On A Plane or "Human Centipede." Which is pretty much a textbook example of damning with faint praise.
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Yes, it's worth a thread for discussion
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=179014

Happens all the time.
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Originally Posted by stonetools View Post
Sorry, didn't see your thread. Moderators, do whatever.
I've merged the threads so discussion may continue.

fjtorres, let me know if you would like to re-title the thread.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:37 AM   #11
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There's a review at http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/...ron-sky-review

Best thing he has to say is "it's better than Snakes On A Plane or "Human Centipede." Which is pretty much a textbook example of damning with faint praise.
i'd beg to differ. i've never seen 'snakes...' but the human centipede was an awesome movie. i wish more producers had the guts to do 'out there' concepts instead of the same tired rom-coms and superhero movies. i'd rather watch a million flawed but conceptually interesting films than 1 utterly soulless hollywood 'product' like the avengers.

i haven't seen iron sky (to my knowledge it only had 1 american showing) but if i had a complaint its that i wish it was a serious film rather than a dark comedy.

Last edited by xg4bx; 05-24-2012 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:03 AM   #12
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There is a difference between marketability-testing, which is what Amazon Studios is looking at, and committee scripting which I believe is the way IRON SKY was assembled. Both are worthy experiments but the intent is different.

Of the two, Amazon's movie approach is more conservative; the creator is still in control of the shape of the product, it is still *their* project. With the IRON SKY approach, the "creator" is assembling the product from multiple contributor sources. It's more like the old Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney movies: "let's put on a show".

Amazon is just trying to avoid making an ISHTAR, a movie so out of touch with the outside world the producers--isolated in their Hollywood culture coccoon--never realized how bad it was, or ending up with a GREEN LANTERN or JOHN CARTER; quality movies that the studio didn't understand or know how to market to the proper audience. (I've run into a whole bunch of people who, upon renting GREEN LANTERN said "That was a great movie. I wonder why nobody went to see it?")

They are a small operation looking to leverage their resources to improve their odds of success because in today's "one-strike and you're out" movie market a weekend of bad weather can kill your movie. You can't quietly release a movie and wait for word of mouth to get out to its proper audience; you have to hype it to high heaven. And if the hype is the wrong kind of hype, you'll lose the proper audience and bring in one that can't appreciate your product.

It is the same problem, just magnified by several orders of magnitude, that most books face these days: finding an audience.
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Old 05-24-2012, 12:53 PM   #13
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i'd beg to differ. i've never seen 'snakes...' but the human centipede was an awesome movie. i wish more producers had the guts to do 'out there' concepts instead of the same tired rom-coms and superhero movies. i'd rather watch a million flawed but conceptually interesting films than 1 utterly soulless hollywood 'product' like the avengers.
But you are, so far as I can tell, not . . . representative of the market, and Amazon isn't in business to pursue niche markets. They are after the mainstream.

(And both movies are not considered very good by the mainstream.)

(BTW, I like bad B movies, if they're bad enough to be good. I've even got a copy of Ator: The Fighting Eagle. But I'm certainly not part of that mainstream.)
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