Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Adobe Story"telling

So when it comes to my writing, a lot of you out there are only familiar with my journalism work or my blogs.  I mean, I post links to everything on Twitter and Facebook, and I also post extended rants and the like over here. If you've been paying close attention, though, you'll notice that I occasionally mention that I've been spending time developing a few IPs ("intellectual properties" for those of you playing at home).  Usually, right about now, I'd be brainstorming or such, possibly posting my train of thought and such.  Instead, I want to take a minute to recommend something for any other armchair writers looking to try their hands at putting together the next great screenplay.  If you've got a story to tell, then you should definitely check out Adobe Story.

If you've never heard of Adobe Story before now, let me break it down for you.  Yes, that's same Adobe that gave us everything from Flash to Photoshop.  The company is no stranger when it comes to developing entertainment.  InDesign. After Effects. Director.  Story is Adobe's stab at a scriptwriting program.  After all, before you can develop your story, you need to write it.  Story can bring all of your script elements together in one nice, neat package.  It's capable of linking together your character bios, references, locations, notes, production elements, and just about everything else.  And as a part of Adobe's recent CS Live online services, Story also benefits from pretty strong cloud storage and collaboration features.  Oh yeah ... just one more little thing. It's free until at least April 2012 ... along with the rest of Adobe's CS Live services.  And when you're working on a shoestring budget, "free" is a pretty damned good price.

Years ago, when I first started thinking about getting into film, I picked up a copy of Final Draft ... version 4, if memory serves me correctly ... from Comic-Con.  It was a great program, don't get me wrong, and I know tons of people who still swear by Final Draft.  And hey, sooner or later I plan on picking up the latest version again to dig my teeth into and chew on for a while.  In the meantime, though, Adobe Story works beautifully for everything I need.

A couple of my own personal bullet points are the way everything is laid out in front of you.  At any given time, all my character bios, synopsis notes, plot devices, etc. are right in front of me ... without having to keep track of fifty different notebooks of random material.  Plus, thanks to Adobe's use of cloud storage, it's never too far away from me.  Even if I don't have my own laptop in front of me, or worse yet, if I suffer a catastrophic system failure, I can hop onto the nearest available internet connected computer, sign into CS Live, and pick right up where I left off.  And before you ask, no you don't HAVE to be online to use the program either.  You can download a desktop version that can be used offline OR online. And while MY IPs are currently solo projects, with Story's collaborative tools, if you've got something that takes more of a "group effort", you can direct who can contribute what to the evolution of your brainchild.

Long and short of it, folks, is that if you're looking to at least get your feet wet and learn the scriptwriting process, you'd be doing yourself a disservice by not at least trying out Adobe Story.  The program is free for at least the next year and has more than enough features to compete with other scriptwriting software on the market.  Even if you already use Final Draft, I'd still say to give Story a whirl.  It might fit more into the groove of what you're trying to accomplish, and even if it doesn't, it's not like you're losing anything by trying it out.  Right?

No comments: