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One of the features of Adobe Story is that, as well as supporting regular text for script writing, it also has support for a lot of additional metadata. Now, you might think that's primarily useful for pre-production planning, and that's true. But you can also use it as a guide, as an editor, if you don't have access to a particularly detailed production notes or camera logs. Or even script supervisor notes. If you're just looking to gather as much information as you can about a production, this could be pretty useful stuff.
If you look quite closely at this screen, this is a script called Lucia Visits Marbaya /g. And if you look closely, you can see that quite a lot of the words are in bold. And this is because they've already got additional metadata tags attached to them. If l just click on the little tiny triangle on the far right-hand edge of the screen here, this is going to pull open the Tags panel. And you can see, I've got lots of different tags already associated with my text. It's very easy to add a tag, just select a word or part of a word, then click on the tag that you want to be applied to it.
Very, very straightforward. What I'm particularly interested in though, is the way these tags can be used to generate reports. And in fact, it's not just the tags. If I go to my Projects view here in Story and click on Manage Lists, you can see that I've got a Character List, Actor List, and Set List associated with this script. Now, let's just close that down and go back to my Authoring view. And in this view under the Production menu, I can go to break down reports. And I can have Story produce a whole range of different reports that can be useful for me in the edit. For example, I might choose to produce a report based on the scenes. Now here, inside of Story, this just looks like text that's all in caps. But if you look in the very top right-hand corner, this is showing that Story recognizes this as a scene heading.
Just as it recognizes the text up here is action and the text is a character name. This is a menu where you can choose and tell Story the kind of text you're using. Actually, most of it's supplied automatically. But now Story, knows that for example, I've got a location, a scene that's called Lucia's Lounge. That information could be given to me as a list so I can go to Production and I can choose Breakdown Reports and Scene. And this is going to generate a dot CSV file, comma-separated value file that can be read by any application that can read those kinds of documents.
It's an absolutely universal standard document format. Now, I've made one of these already, and I've opened it up in Open Office so you can see what it looks like when you import it. And right away, it's pretty clear what's going on. I've got the scene heading. I've got the location names associated with it. I've got if it's day or night, exterior, and so on and so on. I've even got the running time, and the running time is possible because if you look at a script, there's a specific number of lines per page. And on average, with this formatting, one page will equate to about one minute of screen time.
This is staggeringly true. It's really unexpected if you're not used to following this system. But the longer the script, the more accurately one page equals one minute. Count up the number of lines and you've got a rough indication of the duration of a particular scene. Again, quite useful. If I just pull back this CSV file on the screen, quite useful if you're going through an edit and you want a rough sense of the pace. You've also got a list of characters here. Now, if I close this window and I'll discard any changes here, and I'm just going to open up this CSV file again. I want you to see the panel that comes up in most spreadsheet applications. You'll notice that you need to choose a particular character set and a language. And you get a preview at the bottom of the Input panel. This is the same kind of thing in Microsoft Excel. This is going to show you how the text is going to appear. Now, if you get this wrong, if I maybe choose some random alternative, you see I'm getting these strange characters appearing inside the text. So, you know when it's right because well, in this case, I can tell you it's right by choosing the Unicode UTF-8 option.
You can see this is going to come up correctly, and now make sure you've got comma-selected for the Separator option. Click OK, and everything comes up as it should. So, that 's how to generate useful production reports under the Production menu. Go to Breakdown Reports, choose the one you want, make a custom one if you want. Choose the option that you're going to have listed, and these are just very useful as a reference when you're constructing, at least do assembly edit.
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