An IOS app that READS PDF FILM AND TV SCRIPTS TO YOU.
Built by two industry professionals for industry professionals.
Stefan Schwartz - Director, The Boys, Walking Dead, Luther
Idris Elba - Actor, Beasts of No Nation,Thor, Star Trek
Stefan Schwartz and Idris Elba, a likely duo. The two of them have Luther in common and ... dyslexia. They both freely admit that reading scripts is a necessary chore, which is why they collaborated on developing Talking Scripts, an app for hearing scripts read out loud. But it turns out it is not just for dyslexics.
As a freelance director I often get sent a pile of scripts to read by the end of the week which, as you’ll know if you work in this industry, is very time-consuming.
My dream for years was that I would be able to use the time while I was commuting to the production office, sitting on a plane or exercising (which wasn’t often) to listen to scripts. If an app could read them to me automatically, I could get through my pile of scripts without eating into my quality time at home with family and friends. Talking Scripts was born out of that dream.
I have a tough time reading scripts and have sat in too many traffic jams listening to scripts with Voice Over. It was a painful experience - hearing the watermarks, page numbers and headers being read on every page, with only one voice. I was desperate for an app that could read me scripts in a simple easy way, dumping all the stuff I didn’t need to hear and getting me into the story.
With advances in Apple’s text-to-speech technology, We found a way to create an app which ‘reads’ a script to you, one that knows male from female characters, allowing you to have different voices for men and woman. One that knows what parts of the script should not be read, like page headers or “continued”.
Talking Scripts uses a simple interface to allow you to listen to
PDF TV scripts or film screenplays.
Talking scripts imports any PDF script and analyses it to see all the
character names. It then identifies the four main characters based on the
dialogue and assigns them a gender along with the other characters, using
an inbuilt database of names. This list is presented to the user and they
can correct the gender of any names they wish to and the database
will update with the new gender assignment.
It then reads the scrips with up to seven voices, four for the lead characters,
one narrator who reads the “action” and two more for the supporting male
and female characters. It doesn’t get bogged down in reading headers,
footers, page number, mores, cont’d etc.
It offers features such as:
create script notes with Siri integration, then share them.
Emotion enhancing algorithms and acronym recognition in HQ mode
variable voice pitch and voice speed
pause for calls
listen to music playlist on your favourite player as you listen to a script
knows the gender of your script's characters
learns gender of new character names
bookmarks your last position in a current script
ignores page numbers, headers, footers, continued, watermarks etc
use high quality enhanced voices which you can choose
create reminders so you always finish your scripts on time
Guide to IOS voices
This is a little ratings table that shows our personal opinion of the IOS voices you can find on your iPhone. It is not scientific, just compiled from our thoughts as we listen to scripts. It is a great resource when you are first setting up the app with voices and are not sure which ones to download. Check out the video on "downloading voices" (just below) if you are not sure how to do it. You may not have all these voices, but you can see the voices available to you at:
iOS 13 or above
IOS 12 and below
If you have any additional favourite voices, please tell others in the blog.