Roy Price Bio – Head of Amazon Studios

Roy Price Photo Bio, History, Net Worth

Roy Price developed Amazon Video and Amazon Studio, divisions of Amazon Inc. Born into the world of Hollywood, Price’s early life, education, connections, and career path would make him the man to get Amazon’s streaming services off the ground and running.

Price was born July 21, 1967 in Los Angeles, California, USA. Roy Price was born into born to Frank Price, former chairman of Columbia Pictures and Universal Pictures, and Katherine Crawford, making him a familiar with Hollywood from a very young age. His mother, Katherine Crawford, was an actress known for her roles in Riding with Death, A Walk in the Spring Rain and Gemini Man. His maternal grandfather, Roy Huggins, created and produced TV shows like The Fugitive, The Rockford Files, and Maverick. Coming from a line of producers and on-screen fame, it was not long before Price began to make a name for himself in the world of entertainment. Despite working in the industry, or maybe because of it, Frank Price limited his kids to just 2.5 hours a week of TV viewing. “I was in television, and I was a little worried that too much television watching would turn a brain into mush,” the elder Price said. Looking back, he believes that constraint helped his son learn to discriminate, to pick the shows he really loved. This would pay off for Roy Price in his later career, as discriminating taste and a keen eye for original productions would be a helpful skill set.

Price graduated from the prestigious Phillips Academy Andover, an exclusive boarding school north of Boston. From the academy, he attended Harvard University, Class of 1989, where he majored in English and American Literature, graduating cum laude. Price said, “I studied all the time—math and physics and computers. My Harvard interviewer spent most of the time asking why I wasn’t applying to MIT.” He then went on and attended USC Gould School of Law, Class of 95, where he was Editor in Chief of the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal. From his education alone, one could peg Price as an academic. While his education is not typical of Hollywood elite, he said when “he looked at the biggest difference makers, aside from filmmakers, and determined that they fell into two camps: college dropouts, such as Jeffrey Katzenberg and Barry Diller, or lawyers. At that time, I had already graduated from college, so it was too late not to graduate from college,” Price said. “So, it was clear I had to go to law school.” Read the Roy Price 10 questions interview on Wired.

With a law degree in Hand, Price went back to the movies. He never actually practiced law but had the practical knowledge in his back pocket. From 1989-1990 Price worked as a film set assistant, specifically, “third assistant camera” during the Fiji shooting of “Return to the Blue Lagoon.” From 1990-1992 Price worked as a Financial Analyst, Allen & Co., saying, “I’d gotten some exposure to film development, but I wanted more exposure to the finance part. From 1995-200 Price made a name for himself while working as the Vice President of Creative Affairs for Disney TV Animation. Price developed or supervised TV series including Recess (1997), Pepper Ann (1997), Hercules (1998), Timon & Pumbaa (1995), Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (2000), The Weekenders (2000), Annie winner House of Mouse (2001) and Emmy and BAFTA winner Teacher’s Pet (2000). Also, several animated films and direct to videos including Recess: School’s Out (2001), Tarzan & Jane.

After his time with Disney, Price worked as a consultant for McKinsey, a global management consulting firm that serves a broad mix of private, public and social sector institutions. In this position, he led teams of consultants and client team members to optimize results at world’s leading media companies. He worked extensively in-home video, international television, US film and video distribution. In this position, he would learn the importance of the internet and how that would ultimately change and influence the entertainment industry.

From 2003 to 2004 Price operated out of Price Entertainment and acted as a business consultant to media companies. Clients included a national broadcast television network, a major Los Angeles talent agency, and others. Price took a leap of faith leaving his established position and status in the world of Hollywood to move north to Seattle to take on a position at Amazon to develop its streaming service Amazon Prime. His talents were put to good use as he worked tirelessly to get this off the ground and running.

From 2004 to 2009 Price worked as a Group Product manager, director, and Amazon Video on Demand. During this time Price sealed a deal with TiVo, which was significant, because it helped Amazon get to televisions. On the way, Price picked up 14 patents. He also developed digital video store (Amazon Unbox), Amazon’s first application and the first digital video store to use transactional streaming with a video library. Price managed product management and content licensing, negotiation international deals to license TV and motion pictures, creating the world’s largest commercial digital videos selection with over 50,000 titles available. Price was also able to close deals with Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Roku and other consumer electronics companies to distribute service to TVs and devices.

From 2006-2009 Roy Price also worked as Director of Amazon Video on Demand. Price acted as a bridge between the world of Hollywood and the creation of Amazon streaming. “I had to help everybody around Hollywood understand what we were trying to do and what the opportunity was for them and also help everybody in Seattle understand what to expect from the business.” In 2010 Amazon Studios developed online content through the development process. Amazon Studios was launched in 2012, coming up with original online content through this platform.

In 2013 Amazon Story Teller was launched to helping writers easily turn their screenplays into storyboards using script parsing and a library of character images, backgrounds, and props. In the same year, Amazon Storybuilder was also launched helping to movi]e the process of outlining stories with physical notecards online to make it portable and shareable. In 2013 “Alpha House” and “Betas” Amazon’s first original series was available for viewing.

Price next transitioned to the Head of Prime Video Global Content and Amazon Studios, naturally. His responsibilities included him managing global content selection at Prime Video across 240+ countries and territories. In three years, Amazon Studios launched 25 shows earning 411 major awards nominations and 142 wins. These include AFI Program of the Year, Golden Globes Best Comedy (twice), Emmys Best Preschool Show (twice), Emmys Best Actor, Emmys Best Director, Annie’s Best Preschool Show (three times), Globes Best Actor (three times), and in the first year in film, Oscars Best Actor, Best Screenplay and Best Foreign Film. Amazon Studios also produces in Japan, India, and Germany, producing our top show in each country. In less than five years, he built a bridge between Amazon’s original plan into a destination for Hollywood talent. Amazon Prime Instant Video, the company’s Netflix-like on-demand video service included in its $99-a-year Prime membership, which also offers two-day shipping at no extra charge. The creation of original programming has turned Prime Instant Video into the second-largest subscription video-streaming service in the U.S., with 13 percent of all television households using it, behind only Netflix, according to media-measurement firm Nielsen.

When asked what he looked for in content Price said, “We’re looking for visionary filmmakers who want to do something, have a passion to do something new and interesting and fun and worth talking about,” Price said. This section of Amazon had come a long way from when Hollywood would not entertain when Amazon first began selling DVDs in1998. Hollywood studios refused to sell DVDs on the Internet. Now, Hollywood returns Amazon’s calls. Price hired directors Woody Allen, Steven Soderbergh, Spike Lee, and Manchester producer Matt Damon. It took someone with the insight into Hollywood, Film, and Technology for the stars to align on this project, and Roy Price was just the man for the job, and he has executed with success. Price has said to be irreverent, puckish and infinitely bolder than most Hollywood execs. He has also been to said to be refreshingly transparent and easy to work with.

Not one to color in the lines, Price knows that to move forward in today’s entertainment business, your ideas cannot be that of yesteryear or something that viewers feel they have seen before. People are looking for fresh, creative, and gripping content to consume. With different streaming services available, you have to have an edge to what shows you choose to make available. With so much available, people are not just looking for quantity, but quality. Therefore, you have to wonder about the personality of someone who can put this idea into motion and do so successfully. Who he is as a person, and how does he balance the Amazon culture with the Hollywood culture, and have successfully brought the two worlds together? One of his closest friends, Joseph McGinty Nichol, the Hollywood director better known as McG, refers to his buddy as “wacky Roy Price.” “He’s a punk rocker. He’s a Wes Anderson film come to life,” said McG, whose credits include the “Charlie’s Angels” movies and “We Are Marshall.” To McG, that wackiness makes Price interesting and is what’s helping make Amazon Studios successful. Price has a distinct point of view, and it’s not one that tries to cater to the milquetoast tastes of the masses. He does not conduct from a place of fear,” said McG, who is also developing a project with Amazon. Price is not afraid to make his voice heard to the public and was one of the few Amazon corporate leaders who used social media and engaged with the public. The Disney film The Barefoot Executive, about a chimp who’s a genius at picking TV hits, is one of his favorites. “That is an awesome, awesome movie.” Seems a fitting favorite for someone whose job it was to create new content for a new entertainment streaming service. “You’re not going to find the most interesting new show on TV by being easily put off by risk,” he says. “You have to be sort of bold. In today’s competitive environment, the conservative path is the riskiest path.”

Price earned a substantial amount of income and net worth during the time he worked as a CEO and Chairman of Amazon.com media development division, Amazon Studios. His estimated net worth as of 2017 is $14 million. With his skill set and expertise, Roy Price was able to make his mark of the entertainment business, both during his time at Disney and Amazon. However, his unique skill set earned him the right man to get Amazon’s Video and Amazon Studio to the success they have today.

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