Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A quick look at Adobe Story

Last week I sat in on an introduction to Adobe Story webinar given by Maxim Jago.

For those unfamiliar with it, Story is a script writing application. The interesting thing about it is that it’s actually an AIR application, and it either runs on the net or locally. One advantage of this is that sharing files via the internet is very simple. Story was previously available as a free beta version, but they have now transitioned to a “freemium” model. Since Story is a service, it’s not a part of the Master collection, but it is a part of the Creative Cloud subscription. A free version is still available; Story Free requires that you remain online all the time while Story Plus allows you to work online or offline. Sharing is also limited for the Free version, but as long as one person has the full version of Story, other people with free versions can access and edit things, while the full version “Runs the Show.”

Story, of course, supports the standard movie script format (as well as some other layouts) but it’s the add-on’s that set Story apart. Story supports meta data in a big way. While writing scripts, you can be “front loading it with meaningful meta data.” You can set scene properties, and add comments as well as tags. Maxim created a Props entry and attached it to a tag labeled prop. He then attached the prop tag to every prop mentioned in the script, and use it to generate a report of all the props. An Auto Tag feature will go through a script and generate tags for the script, and you can produce a .csv containing all the tags.

Story can create reports by character, actor and location, and can also create schedules and shot lists. By attaching an actor to a character, you can generate a report that shows which actors are needed. You can link Storyboard images to scenes in Story from the properties panel, but you cannot upload storyboard images just yet.

Two other features I like; a visual indication of the characters used in a scene (using colored dots) and a side-by-side display that shows changes made by others to your script.
Q: What about fonts?
A: The font's are limited to the ones that are in the app. Courier, Adobe Text, Myriad

Q: When will Adobe Story support the #Fountain screenplay format?
A: We are not sure at the moment. Honestly, we are a bit torn about supporting it. It seems too technical to expect screenwriters to type in markup. Plus it does not work well when you want to create production revisions or track changes.

Q: Are they going to support other platforms?
A: Anubhav Rohatgi from Adobe said that their highest priority non-PC platform is…. the iPad. You can currently review your script and comments via the iPhone/iPod app


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