Fledgling Amazon Studios said Thursday it’s signed producers Denise Di Novi, Bill Gerber and Edward Saxon to develop three original projects. It’s been just over a year since the retail giant and streaming video player entered the movie development biz though original online script and movie contests.
Separately, Amazon.com unveiled upbeat sales for its new Kindle Fire, calling it the most successful product the company’s ever launched and the bestseller across all Amazon for 11 straight weeks
DiNovi (“Crazy, Stupid, Love,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas”) is attached to produce “Touching Blue,” written by Scott Mullen that won the Best Sci-Fi Script Award from Amazon Studios in June 2011.
Gerber (“Gran Torino,” “The Dukes of Hazzard”) will produce “Original Soldiers” after he chooses a writer from a contest Amazon sponsored that it said garnered 1,000 pitches from around the world.
And Saxon (“Adaptation,” “Silence of the Lambs”) will produce “Children of Others,” written by Barrington Smith-Seetachit, which won the Best Script Award from Amazon in August 2011.
“Our goal is to make great feature films,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios, which launched in November of last year with contests complete with prize money. He said that writers and filmmakers have uploaded more than 7,000 scripts and over 700 test movies to the site over the past year.
As for the Kindle Fire, which streams video and plays music and games as well as storing books and magazines, sales have been accelerating week to week, Amazon said. It didn’t break out the Fire but said it’s sold well over one million Kindles for the third week in a row and is building millions more to meet the high demand.
The debut wasn’t without its kinks. Amazon plans to issue a software upgrade for the Fire after customers complained of slow touch screen and the units freezing.