Adobe Story review

Still officially in beta, Story is part of the CS Live body of online utilities that Adobe will begin charging a subscription for in about a year’s time. You can start in Story by importing scripts from other formats such as text, PDF, Microsoft Word, Final Draft, and Movie Magic. If you choose to create a new document, types include film script, pitch, research, synopsis, AV script and character bio.

Story helps ensure that your script is compliant with industry standards. It can automatically number scenes in your script as you write, colour code characters according to frequency and, when Smart Type is enabled, display options for inserting text at relevant places. So, if you’re typing a scene heading that has the same location as an earlier scene, Story displays a list of locations from your script.

You can add shot elements, numbers, and duration to create a shooting script. A tagging panel lets you tag words and phrases associated with production items, such as cast, props and equipment, or you can let Story detect and tag elements automatically. This can form part of the metadata transferred into OnLocation, where it automatically creates placeholders in the Project panel shot list. You can also export your scripts in various formats, such as PDF, CSV, Final Draft and the XML-based native Story format (.astx).

Although browser-based, Story can also be run from the desktop as an Air app. This means that you and others can work offline on scripts, with colleagues given different permissions for reading, reviewing and modifying the script.

OUR VERDICT

Given the emphasis on metadata in Creative Suite 5, Story is a logical complement to the video tools. We’d like to know soon if the cost will be prohibitive to all but studios, though, because with these features, Story could be an ideal tool for any scriptwriter, networked or not.

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