More so than some of its competitors, Amazon has solicited work from unknown creators in addition to drawing in big names. The site’s original video wing, Amazon Studios, has previously offered cash and royalties in exchange for dynamite series pitches. Now, it’s continuing to cater to the little guy with Amazon Storyteller, a tool which allows aspiring screenwriters to turn their beloved scripts into fully-realized storyboards.
The tool relies on a library of characters, props, and settings, and matches an item from this library to each part of the user’s script. Storyteller then renders a storyboard that the user can edit at will. Did the tool ‘cast’ a Tom Hanks type as your main character when you saw him as more of a Ludacris? No problem. You can re-select from the library, or upload your own images.
“We’ve found that many writers want to see their story up on its feet in visual form but find it harder than it should be to create a storyboard,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “Storyteller provides a digital backlot, acting troupe, prop department and assistant editor—everything you need to bring your story to life. We want to see great stories turned into movies and television shows and we’ll continue to develop new features and tools that help people develop great stories.”
Storyteller is still in beta, but it is already working around a large, interactive community. Users can peruse a ton of scripts, each of which is in a different stage of development. Each project is a canvas for discussion, so hopefully Amazon Storyteller’s users will offer constructive feedback. Of course, since this is the Internet, I’m sure a lot of commenters will be more likely to remind us how they were there first.