Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Kindle gets more roles in Hollywood

The news article from Variety yesterday about the Kindle being used to distribute and read scripts in Hollywood seems an update to the earlier story in September from Infoworld saying
  'The Amazon Kindle has landed a hot new role in Hollywood as a script-reading device.  At Lions Gate Entertainment [makers of "Crash, "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Mad Men"], instead of lugging around briefcases and satchels stuffed with 150-page scripts, some personnel are now reading scripts on their Kindles.'

  At that time they didn't mention the DX, though it was available.  A note from a staffer in a studio, to MobileRead forums, said they did convert the files, and the article mentioned that PDFs were sent to Kindle email addresses set up by Amazon which would have converted the PDFs on Kindle 2's to Kindle-compatible files that would handle annotations. Each article mentions annotations (not possible with unconverted PDF files on a Kindle)

  The Variety article focuses on the Kindle DX.  Interesting quotes from the article:
' The sleek gadget isn't cheap -- retailing for $489. Still, the paper savings for an agency or studio can be significant, never mind the savings in pricey visits to the chiropractor.

  One rep at a boutique agency says he and his brethren typically lugged home a dozen 120-page scripts a night.  Now, the agent syncs all of his night reading to an e-reader, which weighs about the same as a monthly magazine.

  WME estimates that more than half its agents use Kindles.   In fact, before the William Morris-Endeavor merger, WMA gifted all of the agency's assistants with the gadget as a holiday present in 2008.  Similarly, CAA's staff (Creative Artists Agency) has largely jumped on the Kindle bandwagon.

  Holly Bario, DreamWorks co-president of production, swears by her Kindle. "We only accept submissions now as PDFs," she says.  "No more paper for us."
They mention all the e-reader rivals these days, but clearly Kindle has sparked the interest there.

-- If interested, here is a converted to Kindle-format copy of Avatar (vs the PDF one distributed for free by FoxScreenings but which is unreadable in portrait mode on a 6" e-reader though readable in Landscape mode).  This was mentioned in the 'free books' blog entry the other day.

-- Also, I don't know if this next file will work on Sonys or Nooks, but here is an ePub version of the Avatar screenplay that I made from MobiPocket Creator.  The Nook may not rotate so may need it more.  The file works in Adobe Edition, on the PC, but I don't know for sure it'll work well (readibility) on those 6" e-readers.  Let me know. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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  1. Just downloaded and browsed the first few 10 pages onto my Sony. The ePub version of Avatar works just fine - a few odd line breaks here and there.

    Now if only something could be done about the cheesy dialogue...

  2. Kindle Free Books,
    Good to know! I think there are odd line breaks anyway, but a font one step lower will get rid of them, OR turning it to landscape mode.

    LOL! I was at a concert last night and before it began I wanted to show the Kindle version to a couple of friends but realized I didn't have it on my DX as I'd put it only on my K2, so I put in my URL to here and downloaded it while waiting for the music to start, and they said, "Who would WANT to read that? "

    The screenplay, believe it or not, was nominated for Best but I can't remember which awards those were.

    :-) Thanks again for letting me know.

  3. It makes a lot of sense for Hollywood to start using the Kindle for screenplays. Much of the industry uses software like Final Draft and Screenwriter. I don't know if those packages export yet to Amazon's AZW format, but they probably will in the future.

    Considering all the rounds of revisions on a typical screenplay, it's nice to hear that they won't be killing as many trees to make a movie about the environment. ;)


  4. Buddy,

    Yes. They can be easily converted to PDFs and then if wanted they can be sent to Amazon to convert a copy of that to MOBI to reflow text even if it doesn't replicate original layout enough (original PDFs remain for reference) and to allow easy annotations and font size-changes.

    Interesting website you have. Very varied.


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