Monday, October 12, 2009

Adobe Story

I went to a demo of Adobe Story last week. Story is a beta/pre-release from Adobe Labs. It looks like it's an outgrowth of Buzzword, the online word processing application developed using Adobe Flex, that Adobe purchased a while back.

So what is Story? At the moment, it's described as a scriptwriting/collaboration tool. Signup to use it and you log into a web app that lets you import/create and edit scripts in classic Film Script format. It has a number of nice features; as you type, it prompts for the different script elements using a little pop-up menu. Each part of a script is listed in an outline next to the script. You can quickly navigate by clicking on an outline item. Even better, little colored dots indicate the presence of a character in the scene.

Story organizes things into Projects, which can contain Scripts, Character Bio's and Links. Perhaps more interesting, you can share a Project by entering an email address and indicating the access rights of the person. The other users can be given full editing, or just make comments.

Adobe intends to integrate Story with the Production Suite, and provide linking between Story and other apps. One thing they imagine is organizing shot lists, and there is a tagger option (not implemented, but it is a sharing option) where a user can go through and tag items in a scene (product placement is their suggested use.)

Even though you start-off online, you can download an AIR app (a version of the application that runs locally.) The AIR app will download the files and store them locally, and then allow you to work while "Offline."

All in all, it's an intriguing product, though at the moment it only supports the classic film script format. If it supported a twin column format, I could use this right now for projects. Also, having the files stored on the cloud (even though you can save them locally) is a little troubling given recent events. Still, you should check it out.

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