Amazon Is Shuttering Its Free Scriptwriting and Storyboarding Tools
It’s always a bummer when the first time you hear about something, it is the announcement that it’s going away.
In this case, that something is Amazon’s free, web-based tools for scriptwriters—Storywriter and Storybuilder—which will be shuttered as of June 30th. The announcement comes about a year after Amazon Studios stopped accepting unsolicited project pitches.
In a notice to customers, the company explained the shutdown of Storywriter and Storybuilder by saying “At Amazon, we are always reinventing ourselves and looking for ways to become even more efficient,” which is the most generic way possible of saying they probably just want to cut costs.
Amazon had originally touted the tools and its crowdsourced development system as a breakthrough way of using technology and shared platforms to democratize the process of creating TV shows and movies. “There are a lot of great ideas in Hollywood, but not everyone can be there or get their work into the right hands,” the company said in the description of Amazon Storywriter. “Scripts are critically important in development, but they are just not accessible to most audiences.”
Amazon’s open-submission program had been championed by Amazon Studios founder Roy Price, who was fired in the fall of 2017 after a series of sexual harassment allegations against him. According to reports, over the life of the program, Amazon Studios only greenlit one over-the-transom screenplay to a full series: children’s show ‘Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street’ from first-time writer and preschool teacher David Anaxagoras.