Amazon Studios is launching a free online tool, titled Amazon Storyteller, that will turn your submitted script into a storyboard. Included in the new program are digital characters that say your dialogue, so that others can assess it -- sort of like a storyboard and live-read function in one.
The tool, which is still in beta, starts working once a script has been scanned and uploaded to Amazon Studios. It automatically casts your characters, pulling from a library of thousands, and matches them with props and backgrounds. (The script writer can, however, recast as she or he feels necessary.) Filmmakers are given the option of panning, zooming, altering facial expressions and body positioning on the storyboard, and then publishing it to the Studios site for feedback.
If you read the fine print, however, you give Amazon Studios a 45 day free option on your screenplay when you register for this "free" service.
Amazon Studios was created in 2010, and is the original content production sector of Amazon. Writers submit a script, and within 45 days will either be offered $10,000 to extend their option, or the studio will pass. It is one of many script services currently online that offers an alternative to the traditional route of submitting a script to agents -- see our guide here.
Meanwhile, on the decidedly not-free end of things, statistics professor Vinny Bruzzese will "evaluate" a script for up to $20,000. The process includes Bruzzese and a team of analysts comparing a script's structure and genre with similar films that have already been released, along with tester screening data, to see whether you have a potential hit or bomb on your hands. And nothing is too esoteric. Supposedly bowling scenes are a common trait in underperforming flicks.