So, Amazon has this nifty new thing out if you’re interested in screenplays at all. If you read my last post, and let’s be real, I wouldn’t be upset if you hadn’t, you’d know that I think fiddling with a screenplay is a great way to learn dialogue and to-the-point writing. No room for fluff in Courier font.
Anyway, this tool seems to be one more way to bring faster formatting to the masses. Not that it was particularly expensive before – $40 programs like Scrivener and such give you at least some weapons in the auto-formatting war even if you don’t want to spring for the pricier prince of programs, Final Draft. The latter, though, is pretty good and (like right now) is frequently on sale, so if you want it you can wait for a good price.
Still, if you want to play in Amazon’s party, you’ll have to acquiesce to some not-so-nifty requests. If you want to submit your work to Amazon’s studio directly from the app, anyway. And that’s, like, the main selling point here. While I haven’t used Storywriter personally, reviews indicate that it’s a fine tool that doesn’t improve on any of the things I mentioned above.
Except, of course, that submission opportunity. Now, who knows how long it’ll take for Amazon to be overwhelmed with submissions and turn into the same studio swamp we writers recognize everywhere in Hollywood. But, for now, it’s a free and clear window to throw up every Alf re-imagining you’ve been penning in secret and hope Amazon sees the hidden genius you tell all your friends about after another lite beer bender.
The watch point in all this is that Amazon reserves the right to essentially spin off your idea and claim it was someone else’s submission provided there aren’t verbatim copied sections from your script. In other words, it’s on you to prove your Muchkin Murder Mysteries anthology series was only your idea and not Aaron Sorkin’s. The idea here being that you should read through the terms of the agreement before you submit, and don’t get upset if something familiar wanders onto Prime video without nary an email getting sent your way.
As for me, I might try it with some fun little ideas I’ve had floating around. It’s like taking a chance with minimal real consequences. As you can import other documents into Storywriter, you don’t have to write them entirely in Amazon’s app, making a crossover from your existing program an easy move.
So, why not. My sitcom based on a soiree of 18th-century salty sea-captains stuck in modern-day Portland, Oregon won’t write itself.