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Amazon unveils Storyteller tool

Amazon has launched a free online tool that enables writers and filmmakers to quickly turn their scripts into storyboards.

Amazon Studios, the original film and series production arm of the online retailer, has launched a new innovation for writers and filmmakers—Amazon Storyteller. 

Currently in beta, Storyteller is a free online tool that turns scripts into storyboards, complete with characters and dialogue that can then be shared with others for feedback. 

“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 begins by scanning a movie script that has been uploaded to Amazon Studios.

It identifies the scenes, locations and characters from scene descriptions, and “casts” them from a library of thousands of characters, props and backgrounds. Filmmakers can recast or change locations, or they can upload their own images.

Storyteller places the cast in front of the right background so that filmmakers can focus their time on the emotion and energy of scenes by using pan and zoom, changing the facial expressions and positions of characters, adding vehicles or props or adding captions with descriptions or additional dialogue.

Once completed, the storyboard can be published on Amazon Studios where other users are able to view it and give feedback on the project. 

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Amazon Studios launched in November 2010 to develop feature films and episodic series, inviting anyone to upload a script and notifying them within 45 days if that script is optioned.  Since then, more than 14,000 movie scripts and 4,000 series pilot scripts have been submitted.

There are 25 films on the development slate in the process of audience testing.

Last week,  Amazon Studios greenlit its first original series, including comedies Alpha Houseand Betas, and kids series Annebots, Creative Galaxy andTumbleaf.  These original series will premiere on Prime Instant Video later this year and in 2014.

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