1400 projects up on the site now.
I also received an email linking to a PR piece/ blog post/interview with Roy Price, Amazon Studios chief. Among other things, he discusses is Amazon Studios' decision to have a "bonus" contest at the end of December. I don't look a gift horse in the mouth, but I wouldn't be a good reporter if I didn't point out that this competition has always been advertised as one with "prizes every month" and that extending the first round to 10 weeks right off the bat (from November 15-Jan 31) struck me as a bit disingenuous to begin with, although I could imagine why they would do so. In any case, it's nice to see that some hopefuls out there might get lucky before the new year.
A couple of interesting things within the site in Week 2. Some leaders are emerging--on the front page, and in the forums. It's kind of like watching the initial stages of a reality TV show, as everyone vies for, or assesses their position and roles, and tries to figure out their strategies. For example, this forum thread about the pros and cons of giving honest reviews, vs. "sugarcoating" to gain goodwill and good reviews of your own. From the "social experiment" angle, it's pretty fascinating. Reading the thread, which includes a long, typo-ridden post by me, I feel like we are all very self-aware rats, discussing the parameters of our maze.
Some of the published criticism of the site has centered around the avowal that the Hollywood system works as it is--that if your script is good enough, it will find its way, and that if you are a good enough writer, you don't need a site like Amazon, because the traditional system will find you. These statements made me think about spec script stats but I couldn't remember where I'd seen them. However, Richard Stern, another contestant on the site, did find them, and posted a spec market analysis for 2009. (Side note on Richard... in that reality TV kinda way, he's emerging as one of the "leaders" I mentioned above. I'm mainly a forum browser, but I see him weighing in a lot--developing a presence and an identity. He's so articulate and so pro-Amazon that at times I wonder if he's a ringer--like a professional bobby-soxer. But, the more I read, the more I think he might just be really passionate and sincere. His logic and reasoning tend to be sound, and he spell checks his posts better than I do.)
Finally, I was really grateful that my script Children of Others received the one of the most articulate reviews ever from Laura.