Guest blogger Jamie Nash and his writing partner Pete Barnstrom were great friends of Blake. He would be so thrilled at the success they’ve had, especially their latest. Their path to Amazon offers a new way to bring your screenplay to life:
People of the Cat-i-verse! Greetings! I’m thrilled to share with you a project that has Blake’s fingerprints all over it — For Sale By Superhero — a test movie created by Amazon Studios (yeah, those zany book people!) from a script written by Pete Barnstrom and Jamie Nash (uh…me).
For Sale By Superhero is a family comedy about an unemployed father who discovers that his new house is really the former secret headquarters of a deceased superhero and decides to assume the hero’s identity in order to win back the respect of his family.
It’s very “Blake-ian.” Pete and I were Save the Cat! fans before the Cat was cool. Back in the day, Blake used both of us as guinea pigs for his Cat-ideas as he was secretly toiling away in the laboratory on his influential first book. For Sale wouldn’t have been made without Blake’s mentorship and methodologies. As collabers, Pete and I speak “Cat’”(meow?). Not a day goes by without uttering about popes in pools (especially this week!), Double Mumbo Jumbo, and debating “leaving out the news.”
When I met Blake back in the early aughts, I was a writer who had found most of his luck in the horror genre; Blake was the guy that made me curious about trying my hand at the family/4-quad world. And I’m glad he did. I have several projects in development in that world, including two at Amazon Studios.
Amazon Studios has an open submission policy where anyone can privately post feature scripts (television too) on their website to be read and evaluated by their professional readers. If they like what they read, they’ll option it for $10,000 and put it on their dev-slate. Pete and I had For Sale optioned last year (and I have another script The Detourist over there too) and were hired to do a couple of rewrites (and you’ll be happy to know their development folks also spoke “Cat!”) for Amazon Studios before they greenlit our “test movie.”
Amazon likes to prototype their properties using storyboards, concept art, and test movies. Test movies, like For Sale By Superhero, are a rough draft way to put a story on its feet. They’re kind of “living storyboards” or animatics. The Amazonians create them to further develop scripts and to gauge how the stories are working for audiences.
The end goal is to create an actual feature film. Amazon currently has a first look deal with Warners. They’re doing TV over there as well, with similar terms. They have several pilots in production right now. So, if you’re interested about learning more about this whole New Media wave go over to Amazon Studios.
As Blake would say, “Enjoy the show!”