Amazon Studios is no longer taking free options on scripts submitted to its site — opening up the process to screenplays from Writers Guild of America as well as Animation Guild members.
In addition, the company Thursday launched Amazon Storywriter, a free, cloud-based screenwriting tool for writers to create movie and TV screenplays in a standard format. Screenwriting software has been around for years, but Amazon is hoping to funnel more aspiring scribes into its studio with the free offer.
The launch of Storywriter comes as Amazon has phased out the Storyteller free storyboarding tool, which it debuted two years ago. As of Sept. 25, Amazon Storyteller is no longer available, per a notice on the site.
“Amazon is thrilled to support the evolution of our creative community by offering advanced tools like Amazon Storywriter to assist both established and aspiring writers in telling their stories,” Amazon Studios VP Roy Price said.
To use Amazon Storywriter, users must log in with their Amazon account. The software’s features include auto-format as you type and import/export of PDF, FDX and Fountain formats. Screenwriters can write online while their scripts are saved on the Amazon site, and they can write offline with a free Chrome app for Macs and PCs.
Currently Amazon Studios, which launched in 2010, hosts 13,222 movie and 3,611 TV series projects on its site.
To date, the company has greenlit one screenplay to a full series via its over-the-transom process: children’s series “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street,” from first-time TV scribe David Anaxagoras. The first season of the show premiered a year ago, and Amazon has ordered a second season.