Though screenplays can and should be an art form onto themselves, they're first and foremost a blueprint for a project's filming. A script has to paint a specific and comprehensive picture of how scenes will look...what the geography of the environment will be, how and where characters interact within that environment, etcetera.
Writers who can truly think visually and take control over how their words will be translated are in a much stronger and more practical position than those that can't. Certainly there are writers who have that innate ability, but for those that don't, is there a way to learn that's available and cost effective?
Amazon Studios might have just launched one. Earlier this week they released a beta program online that allows writers to upload their script and use an interface to create storyboards. Seeing your script come to life visually...experiencing that interpretive process firsthand...is invaluable, and hopefully Amazon has created a program that opens up that possibility to all writers. I was initially skeptical when Amazon Studios unrolled a couple of years ago because it seemed to be a development free-for-all with little to no regulation and multiple ownership issues, but they're proving my wrong. Their television development slate is coming together and the transparency of their process is refreshing and potentially revolutionary. So keep your eye on them.
Has anyone tried their new storyboard process yet? Thoughts?