When Roy Price lived in Los Angeles, developing animated TV shows such as Kim Possible for Disney, he followed what he calls the “guru system,” meaning “one exalted tastemaker curating programming.” That’s the Hollywood way. At Amazon Studios, the mega-retailer’s upstart entertainment production arm that aims to create original movies (likely for Amazon’s video-on-demand business), Price has embraced an even older system–the Homeric oral tradition. “Stories were sung aloud and if people hated them, they made changes over time,” he says. Price encourages aspiring screenwriters to submit work and allow anyone to modify or vote on it. If Amazon chooses to produce the work (it has a development deal with Warner Bros.), the writer gets a payoff. “I imagine that Homer took into account customer feedback,” Price says. “It’s the original method of developing content.”
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