In mid-November, debuted Amazon Studios with the intent of soliciting screenplays from its users which (hopefully) will be produced into feature-length films with Warner Bros. Pictures. This means that novice and beginning screenwriters and filmmakers hoping to land that big contract may have a chance at making their dreams come true. It also means that winners can one day watch their hit movies on a TV screen that pops up from a TV lift cabinet from ImportAdvantage!

Already Amazon Studios has received more than a thousand scripts, and in honor of this milestone Amazon Studios announced a bonus contest, awarding $20,000 to each of the two best scripts uploaded by December 31, 2010. This bonus contest is in addition to the planned $1.1 million in awards Amazon Studios will give away in 2011, including $1 million for Best Movie and $100,000 for Best Script.

Submissions are being accepted in two formats: scripts and test movies. Full-length test movie entries must be at least 70 minutes in length, but not longer than 180 minutes, and screenplays must be between 85 and 160 pages. Should Amazon Studios help produce a film from a screenplay or test movie submission, the writer or filmmaker will receive a rights payment of $200,000, and if the produced film grosses more than $60 million at the U.S. box office, the original writer/filmmaker will receive a $400,000 bonus. And though Warner Bros. Pictures will get a first-look deal for any winning submissions, Amazon Studios may produce a film on its own or with another studio if Warner Bros. Pictures is not inclined to develop a particular project.

Merit for a particular project is gained through user feedback, public input, commercial viability, guest judges and Amazon Studios industry panelists, which include notable screenwriters and producers from Hollywood. Submissions can be altered and resubmitted based on early feedback, and any user can either download submitted screenplays or view test movies and rank them on Amazon’s standard 5-star scale. From drama to kid’s movies, Amazon Studios is a new effort that aims to open Hollywood’s door to the general public.

To get started on submitting your blockbuster, visit Amazon Studios or read through their Getting Started/FAQ. And be sure to let us know if we can expect to view your work on the big screen in 2011 or beyond. Good luck to all the future filmmakers and writers out there!