Developing Like a Studio

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

I once heard a statement that on average, it takes seven years for a script to reach the silver screen. We all have heard the stories of scripts languishing in development for years, going through multiple revisions, several directors and different actors attached, among other things. These stories are no secret. However, what many do not understand is the development process as a whole.

Behind the walls of studios are multiple teams of people that shepherd a project into being greenlighted. Scores of creative executives, vice presidents, directors, story editors, readers, producers, director(s), top actors, agents, managers, writer(s), etc., most of whom provide coverage, notes, reports, and participate in countless meetings. All with the same goal in mind-- create the best story possible.

The development process has remained largely untouched since the early days of Hollywood, with coverage dating back to before talkies. While this process can be very taxing, studios have perfected this assembly line and have created monolithic solutions to help support as many as a few hundred stories in active development. Small to large independent companies, which have a much smaller executive team, could have as little as a few stories in development or as many as fifty. We found that many have created one off, non-scalable and hard to access solutions that gear more towards functional necessity then scalable efficiency. Often using tools not designed for this process such as Microsoft Excel and Access, Google Docs, and plain old email.

So how could we help small and large companies build their own custom assembly lines and develop stories like the studios, while not increasing costs and bolstering efficiency? We call our solution “Story Office™.” Story Office™ is a cloud based, ESASS (Entertainment Software As A Service) platform with the goal of allowing anyone to create a cost-effective development department and virtual production office. Divided into modules, anyone will have the ability to pick and choose which module works best for their process. The foundation of Story Office is the security, development, mobile, social, and production office modules, which we will offer for free. You will have the ability to set up your own development pipeline and share it with your staff, or anyone you choose, at zero cost.

Story Office™ will fully integrate with the Story Data™ platform, allowing you instant access to the story’s existing coverage reports, characters, scenes, breakdowns, etc. Already have a script? No problem, Story Office™ will ingest the script just like Story Data™ can and provide that data to your development pipeline.

Our goal is to help you develop stories faster and in a more collaborative way without hiring a team of technologists to do it. Over the next few months, we will share more details and invite some of you to participate in the beta. We are excited to be a part of your process of getting a movie ready for production.


CEO @ Story Data IO, a serial technology entrepreneur, and investor.