Amazon’s Roy Price On “Eventizing” & How TV Is Like The Record Biz – Edinburgh

Clad in a motorcylce jacket and flat-soled sneakers, Amazon Studios chief Roy Price awed, amused and edified the Convention Center house this evening at the Edinburgh Television Festival.

The disruptive Amazon’s vision from the beginning, he said, was that “If you’re going to add value, you have to create something that is really distinctive, that is worth talking about, that is going to be sustainable…. You just want to get the most interesting people who are passionate about doing something new and try to work with them on those shows.”

He continued, “Once you feel like you know how to make a show and you really know what you want, I fear that’s the moment when you’ll start falling behind slightly beause the new shows that are realy great game-changers are rule-breakers.”

Price, who has Ron Perlman new drama Hand Of God, Man In The High Castle from Ridley Scott and Frank Spotnitz, and Emmy-nominated Transparent on his docket said, “In the new era of television there’s so many people making television, I don’t see the job as being traditionally called programming; I think you have to think of it more like eventizing.”

He elaborated that it’s “a little more like the record business. You’re just focused on creating a great album and not so focused on the other people and what they’re doing on Wednesday at nine. So if you’re eventizing, it needs to be big. It needs to be distinctive and really worth talking about. And so sometimes part of that might be engaging with issues or something unusual.”

handofgodamazonOn the upcoming Hand Of God, for example, he said, “I wouldn’t say it’s a religuos show. They don’t sit around and debate Matthew 10:14 or what have you, but it does have that sort of supernatural element and a lot of people are engaged with that and the comments on the pilot were overwhelmingly positive… Some people felt the show was anti-religious or pro-religious. It struck exactly the right balance.”

Talking about those focus groups which are made up of Amazon subscribers, Price said it was an “advantage of having a hunch validated before you go out.”

The Edinburgh fest then ran a mock test during the session, asking attendees to watch and vote on trailers from on-the-bubble-pilots Sneaky Pete and Casanova. While Sneaky Pete won, Price remained mum.

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