Shooting scripts, made simple

Those of us in the US are starting to think about Thanksgiving, which makes me think about holiday movies, which makes me think abut shooting scripts. Sad but true.

Story Plus is unique in the market in that it combines screenwriting tools with advanced production scheduling. One aspect of this workflow that most people I talk to don’t seem to know about is the fact that you can use Story to very easily create detailed shooting scripts. You can add camera shots to a script using both Story Free and Story Plus, but the feature’s real power is unlocked in Story Plus, where you can create schedules and reports that capture and communicate the shot lists to everyone on the set.

Here’s the workflow in a nutshell: in the script, you can right-click anywhere and add a camera shot. Over and over and over. And for each camera shot, you can add quite a bit of detail, including which camera, the camera’s position, and any notes about camera movements or framing. Here’s what this looks like—I’m using one of our TV templates here, which are designed to accommodate camera shots in the layout—if you use the Film template, your script will get reformatted to make room for these new elements—fair warning!


Once you’re done adding shots, you can see a scene-by-scene list in the Scene Properties panel. Find them visually distracting? Choose View > Camera Shots to turn them off (or on). Don’t want them numbered? Choose View > Numbering > Shots, and make sure the option is unchecked. You can also turn Camera Tops & Tails on and off using the View menu, so on any given page you can see what the previous and upcoming shots are—very handy for shooting scripts.

 There’s much more to say on this topic, but let me point you to a new video on the topic until we return….

As a reminder, Story Plus is available as part of every full Adobe Creative Cloud membership (which you can subscribe to for a limited time for just $29.99USD/month and get access to ALL of Adobe’s creative tools), or you can subscribe to Adobe Story Plus (for $180USD/year or $24.99USD/month). If you’re using Story Free (which has all of the core tools you need to write scripts and screenplays), you can create three schedules—which should be enough to whet your appetite. You can always sign into Adobe Story (or create a new free account if you don’t already have one) by navigating to story.adobe.com.

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Generating production reports from your scripts & schedules

One of the things that sets Adobe Story Plus apart from other pre-production tools is the way it integrates writing, scheduling, and reporting. If you’re primarily a writer, this may not be a huge deal to you. But if you’re one of the crew of people responsible for turning a script into an actual production—a director, AD, script supervisor, producer or one of a dozen other titles, depending on where you work—chances are you’re starting to sit up and take notice right about now.

In our last blog post, we introduced some of the features around scheduling in Story. But we din’t really delve into one of the key advantages, which is that if your script changes (and really, when doesn’t it change at the last minute?), you can simply refresh your schedule. That’s cool.

What’s even cooler is the fact that between the script (or block of scripts) and the schedule (which of course can be for a single script or a block of related episodes being shot together), you can automatically generate a whole bunch of reports. Really useful reports, like shooting order scripts, camera cards, call sheets, and so on. With Story, the process is easy. And keeping the reports up to date is equally simple: if the script changes, just refresh the report.

Here’s a short video that introduces some of the basics. There’s a lot to cover, though, so we’ll likely dive deeper into some of the reports in more detail in later posts.

As a reminder, Story Plus is available as part of every full Adobe Creative Cloud membership (which you can subscribe to for a limited time for just $29.99USD/month and get access to ALL of Adobe’s creative tools), or you can subscribe to Adobe Story Plus (for $180USD/year or $24.99USD/month). If you’re using Story Free (which has all of the core tools you need to write scripts and screenplays), you can create three schedules—which should be enough to whet your appetite. You can always sign into Adobe Story (or create a new free account if you don’t already have one) by navigating to story.adobe.com.

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Expanded: scheduling with Adobe Story Plus

Quick update on Nov 12: added a second video that shows how to compare schedules in order to catch any conflicts in Adobe Story Plus.

Even Hollywood blockbusters have to work with finite resources—whether it’s the star of the show, a location, or crew availability—and chances are that whatever production you’re working on has to work within many, many more constraints.

Adobe Story Plus includes powerful built-in scheduling tools that can really help you make the most of the time you have available. This video goes beyond the basics, and shows you how to customize your schedule, sort scenes within a schedule, and make sure the resources you need are available when you require them.

The ability to seamlessly integrate your scripts and the schedules required to produce them is key to what makes Story so unique. For complex productions, you also need to be able to compare schedules to catch any potential conflicts, such as a cast member needed in two locations at the same time, or two different crews that want to use the same set at the same time. This new video introduces how this works in Story Plus. But a word of caution—your script has to include timing information for each scene, otherwise the conflicts won’t show up.

Story Plus is available as part of every full Adobe Creative Cloud membership (which you can subscribe to for a limited time for just $29.99USD/month and get access to ALL of Adobe’s creative tools), or you can subscribe to Adobe Story Plus (for $180USD/year or $24.99USD/month). If you’re using Story Free (which has all of the core tools you need to write scripts and screenplays), you can create three schedules—which should be enough to whet your appetite.

And remember, you can always sign into Adobe Story (or create a new free account if you don’t already have one) by navigating to story.adobe.com.

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New Story update released today

Today, the Story team released an update that reduces the number of notifications users receive for shared projects. Notifications for document additions or deletions from a shared project are now consolidated, and only the most recent notification for edits to a document are displayed.
And, as we always do, we also addressed a number of issues reported by our users. If you encounter something untoward in Story’s behavior, please let us know by submitting feedback here.
You can always access the latest release notes in Help, or from right in Story: click on the Home icon, then the Release Notes link on the right edge of the page.

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New video: Collaboration with Adobe Story Plus

One of the things that makes filmmaking so different from other creative endeavors is that it’s inherently collaborative, particularly when you’re working on projects of any significant scope or complexity—as anyone who has ever sat through the end credits of a film can attest. (And chances are if you’re reading this blog, you do that all the time!)

Screenwriting is no different. Well, it can be—sometimes a writer gets to work on and develop an idea working alone, and for those folks, Adobe Story Free is perfect, as it includes all the core writing tools to create scripts formated to industry standards. But more often than not, even developing a script is collaborative—and that’s another area where Adobe Story Plus shines. From sharing projects to tracking changes and versions of a script, Adobe Story Plus offers an enterprise-class solution for collaborating on screenplays of all types.

This video introduces the sharing and collaboration features built into Adobe Story Plus.

Adobe Story Plus is part of a full Adobe Creative Cloud membership (you can also just subscribe to Adobe Story Plus if you prefer). And remember, you can always sign into Adobe Story (or create a new Story Free account if you don’t already have one) just by navigating to story.adobe.com.

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New video: Scheduling a shoot with Adobe Story

Adobe Story is great if you’re working on a spec script destined for the silver screen. But the pragmatic reality is that most video productions are somewhat more grounded in the need to turn a script—which serves as the blueprint for a production—into a finished piece of media, and to get that job done on time and within the project’s budget.

One of the key advantages of Adobe Story is that it integrates powerful writing tools with some really innovative solutions for scheduling a shoot, and keeping everyone involved in that production on the same page—literally, using a wide range of reports. Most of these features are available only in Adobe Story Plus, which you get access to as part of a full Adobe Creative Cloud membership (you can also just subscribe to Adobe Story Plus if you prefer). But the good news is that we’ve added the ability for Story Free users to create three schedules as a way to try out this cool feature.

We’ll go into this in more detail in some future posts, but this video offers a great intro to this area of the product.

And remember, you can always sign into Adobe Story (or create a new Story Free account if you don’t already have one) by navigating to story.adobe.com.

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New video: Creating A/V and other script types

Not every production uses a traditional Film or TV script as its starting point. Adobe Story makes it easy to create lots of different types of script documents, including A/V and multi-column scripts. This new video introduces some of these script types, and talks about the benefits of working with the offline version of Adobe Story, available to anyone who has access to Adobe Story Plus. Plus, we touch on how you can get the metadata from your Story scripts into Premiere Pro.

And remember, you can always sign into Adobe Story (or create a new free account if you don’t already have one) by navigating to story.adobe.com.

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