Writers can create storyboards by first uploading their script to Amazon Studios. The web-based service scans the text for characters, scene descriptions and sluglines, then automatically selects backgrounds and character drawings from a its own library. Backgrounds may be drawings or photos. Writers can reject the items the software selected and choose others.
They can then pose the characters, change their emotions, move them around the frame, choose the camera angle, and otherwise manipulate the image. Once the storyboards are complete, they can be published via the Amazon Studios website. Other users can then view the script and storyboards, and offer feedback.
There is a catch, however. As an Amazon spokesperson explained: “Once a storyboard is published on Amazon Studios, Amazon Studios takes a 45 day option on the project to evaluate it and decide if it should be added to our development slate. If after 45 days, Amazon Studios does not option the project, the rights to the original script are retained by the original writer.” That is consistent with the overall Amazon Studios terms of service, which grant the company an exclusive 45-day option to buy any script that is uploaded to its site.
Amazon Studios recently greenlit a quintet of original series winnowed from scripts uploaded to the site.