Amazon Storyteller turns screenplays into storyboards with full auto mode

Amazon has launched Amazon Storyteller, a tool to automatically create visualizations of screenplays so that they can be more readily pitched. The somewhat self-serving beta at Amazon Studios promises to analyze the scenes, locations, and characters in a script and then fashion a storyboard itself, which can then be tweaked by the author.

Amazon Storyteller comes preloaded with "thousands" of different backgrounds, characters, and props, the retailer says, but just about everything can be modified. Custom backgrounds and images can be uploaded, for instance, if the author has a better idea of how the scene should look.

After that point, it's a case of adjusting the virtual camera – with control over pan and zoom – to set up the positioning of the scene. Facial expressions, props, character and scene setting, and captions can all be modified.

Initially, however, there are some limits on the system. They include what sort of props and characters are available for Storyteller to choose from; "we don't have robots and spaceships, but maybe we should" Amazon concedes. Currently, contemporary dramas and romantic comedies are best served, the company says, though it will be adding more in as time progresses.

Amazon's hope, presumably, is that scriptwriters will use Storyteller to flesh out their screenplays, and then stick around to submit them for consideration to Amazon Studios. The film/series studio announced its first five original series last week, consisting of three childrens' shows and two comedies, and which are expected to hit Amazon Prime Instant Video either later this year or early in 2014.