Storing/Searching Libraries At Scale¶
The days of a Dropbox folder of 500 PDF files need to come to an end. ScreenJSON allows individual script documents to be stored as single database records in JSON format which can be queried and searched as semantic data. Once the raw data of a file has been extracted, it can be programmatically be retrieved and interrogated alongside thousands of others to provide an aggregated view of an entire literary corpus. Instead of files in a folder, scripts are records in a database broken down into their separate elements.
Example: A studio or literary agency might choose to turn their script reading room into a secure, searchable electronic archive which can be analyzed and mined for specific subjects and/or writing quality.
A script is not just a story authored by a writer: it is a production blueprint for studios and crews. ScreenJSON separates the presentation of a screenplay from the data it contains. Rather than manually guessing which parts of a document are which, it provides a lightning-fast way to access the meaningful content of a script in a logical, ordered, and programmatic way. Listing every location, character, or word is trivial. For example, transcribing subtitles is as simple as extracting all the dialogue elements of a document, perhaps grouped by scene, and processing with automated translation tools.
Example: A data scientist might want to produce a statistical presentation involving metrics such as the amount of times a character or location occur across a collection of screenplays in a genre/group.
Analysing Structure & Content¶
A screenplay can take 1-3hrs for a human to read; perhaps days to analyze and break down for production. ScreenJSON allows a computer to understand the semantic content of a document and programmatically interrogate what it contains. A computer can read a structured electronic document in milliseconds to generate statistics, detect errors, identify patterns, and provide summary information for human operators.
Example: A software provider might want to provide a system which can compare and analyze multiple breakdowns of a secured document for production crews in different countries which is being re-written by multiple screenwriters.
A program or platform which uses its file format for remembering how to present a word processing document in its UI does not store what the information is (i.e. its structural role or semantic context). For example, Final Draft stores an Action block as a paragraph, whereas ScreenJSON defines the content as action. ScreenJSON re-structures the content of a screenplay into an Object-Orientated hierarchy model which allows each UI provider to define its own rules as to how it presents the data to the end user. Each element can be given access-control witj encryption, or separated into different languages.
Example: A translator might need to extract the dialogue from a film for localization across different markets, which can be converted to different subtitle files for distributors.
Enabling Holistic Workflow¶
Electronic storage of a screenplay in a central data format provides an agnostic way for each software program or platform in the production process to access and modify the information it contains without needing to think about how it should visually appear. Instead of a long chain of different formats - authoring in Final Draft, exporting to PDF, encrypting with PGP, printing to hard copy etc - each party can work within a consistent framework using the same structure and data, with their own internal methodology. A file authored in ScreenJSON can be imported into any other platform without needing to re-format its presentation.
Example: A production coordinator might want to export different parts of a greenlit script after a new draft is issuer by a writer or director. Crew in one country might need n pages as a printed PDF, whereas actors in another might be restricted to certain scenes inside an encrypted tablet viewer.