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DataStorytelling.tv - Ideas, tools, best practices about data storytelling





With Amazon Storyteller, you could create the movie of your data


Posted on Monday, June 10th 2013

Amazon announced the Beta version of Amazon Storyteller Studio, where every body will be able to upload a story, and automatically transform it into a storyboard. And Amazon quotes data presentation on its web site as one usage of this new product. But, this product is mainly a part of the massive war between "old" Hollywood guys and "new" companies like Amazon, Google, Apple…



With Amazon Storyteller, you could create the movie of your data
I agree, that's not yet an easy task. But, the idea is here and Amazon moved a great step forward with the launch of Beta version of Amazon Storyteller Studio. It will not create stories based on your data, but maybe movies based on your stories based on your data! Corporate and shareholders meeting will maybe become the place to be… in a couple of years :-)

Of course, you already want to try it… for nervous people, it's here: http://studios.amazon.com/storyteller

"We’ve found that many writers want to see their story up on its feet in visual form but find it harder than it should be to create a storyboard," Roy Price, Amazon’s director of Studios said in a statement. "Storyteller provides a digital backlot, acting troupe, prop department, and assistant editor — everything you need to bring your story to life."
Read more at http://venturebeat.com/2013/06/07/amazon-launches-storyteller-to-turn-scripts-into-storyboards-automagically/

That's all fine. But from my point of view, creation is based on differentiation. Creation is not an industrial process. Creation can be automatized, but the result will be always the same. You can teach a machine how to transform a story into images. But, you cannot teach a machine how to imagine new images. Images can come from an image bank. You can even include variables to create different versions of the same image. But, never a machine ("never" meaning actually) will be able to create an image from scratch. That's yet the difference between human brain and software.
Hollywood is already not anymore a place for creation. Movies, series, scripts, scenarios… there are all processes to create all this stuff - You have Final Draft which is the Excel of screenwriters, tutorials, master classes… And Hollywood people don't even want too much creation, as creativity means to take risks, and they hate to take risks!
Amazon Storyteller can be a great solution for automating storytellers creation process. And it can be a great assembling tool if you bring your own creativity, your own images and use the tool to package everything. But without creativity, Amazon Storyteller will only be a machine to create commonplace storyboards.

Of course, I imagine how we could use Amazon Storyteller to create stories around data. Even if it's not the main target for Amazon, corporate presentations could be improved this way.
We already learned how to create pitches, narrative plans, etc. The next step is to transform our plans into scripts and try Amazon Storyteller.
Other option is that Amazon Storyteller gives some ideas to software vendors which could add storyboards to their data shows.

Philippe NIEUWBOURG
I am an independent industry analyst, and author, with 20 years experience specializing in business... Know more about this author

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