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IFH 314: How a 17-year-old Director Gets Signed by Amazon Studios with Jonathan Perry

Jonathan Perry, SUBNIVEAN, Amazon Studios

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How a 17-year-old Director Gets Signed by Amazon Studios with Jonathan Perry

Today on the show we have 17-year-old scriptwriter and filmmaker Jonathan Perry who directed a large budget short film titled SUBNIVEAN which will debut on Amazon Prime June 12, 2019, making Perry the youngest director on any streaming service. I know, it’s crazy.

After filming SUBNIVEAN in December of 2018, Perry and his team of producers wrote a nine-page appeal which was submitted to Amazon. Amazon accepted Perry’s appeal and formed a partnership with Perry. Perry’s partnership with Amazon includes the release of SUBNIVEAN on the Amazon Prime streaming platform, as well as coverage of select advertising costs. Additionally, Perry partnered with EDM band ODESZA for promotional sound mixing.

Once offered a large sum of money for his script titled SUBNIVEAN, Perry decided SUBNIVEAN may be his golden ticket into directing his first large budget feature film. Perry, still hard at work on SUBNIVEAN, doesn’t plan on taking any breaks after the Amazon release. Recently, Perry has signed with a Hollywood director and union members for his upcoming 2020 film with a starting budget of 1.5 million.

Director Jonathan Perry is from Sandusky, Ohio and began his early career in the film industry four years ago when he began writing scripts online for other filmmakers by selling the copyright to his work. Now, this is the part that blew me away, after writing nearly 40 scripts over the course of two years, Perry made a total of nearly $10,000. We go deep in how he did this and you will be surprised at his journey.

The film SUBNIVEAN introduces the viewer to two young brothers and their troubled relationship. Perry states in a film synopsis,

“After a vicious chase home from gathering firewood, an innocent boy unknowingly leads his brother to fall through an isolated pond. The boy has to accept and use his twisted hallucinations of hatred as his only hope to break the ice and save his brother in time or die trying.”

Many of the IFHTribe has been very interested in how and where Johnathan sold his short film scripts. Here’s what he had to say:

The website blog that I sold most of my work on was called The Script Blacklist Blog, it is since taken down. That could be the case by the IRS or just the blog environment that did feel illegal in my views. I was not aware that it was taken down until just now when I checked, but well expected.

There are a few more blogs that serve similar public scripts that can be found at https://blog.feedspot.com/screenwriting_blogs/ find one that has a public forum, create a paragraph pitch with a link to your script (My Celtx script is what I linked them to) and take feedback and offers.

Don’t expect to sell to just people on the blogs, build a connection with active members and maybe they will know someone interested, so it can take a couple of weeks to state your intentions and work on a busy blog. Do not stress if you don’t find a marketplace right away, but have scripts ready. Just get it written, before you get it right, so write, write, write!

Enjoy my inspirational conversation with Jonathan Perry.

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LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

SPONSORS

  1. BlackBox – Make Passive Income From Your Footage
  2. $1 Close Captions for Indie Filmmakers – Rev ($10 Off Your First Order)
  3. David Lynch Filmmaking Masterclass
  4. Martin Scorsese Film Directing Masterclass
  5. Ron Howard Film Directing Masterclass
  6. Spike Lee Film Directing Masterclass
  7. Werner Herzog Filmmaking MasterClass
  8. Aaron Sorkin Screenwriting MasterClass
  9. Mira Nair Independent Filmmaking Masterclass
  10. David Mamet Dramatic Writing MasterClass
  11. Shonda Rhimes Masterclass: Learn Television Writing from the Creator of Scandal
  12. Steve Martin Teaches Comedy Writing & Acting MasterClass
  13. Annie Leibovitz Masterclass: Learn Photography from the Legend
  14. Jimmy Chin Masterclass: Learn Adventure Photography
  15. Judd Apatow Comedy Writing/Directing Masterclass

KILLER RESOURCES!!!

  1. Six Secrets to getting into Film Festivals for FREE!
  2. FreeFilmBook.com (Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book)

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