I am a freelance director making films and TV - shows like The Walking Dead, The Boys and Luther. 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.
With advances in Apple’s text-to-speech technology, I 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 assigns a gender to all the 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 the “action” read in one voice (male or female)
and the male characters in another voice and the female characters in a third voice.
It doesn’t get bogged down in reading headers, footers, page number, mores, cont’d etc.
It offers features such as:
make notes (premium)
pause for calls
play a music playlist as you listen to a script
learns gender of new names
Bookmarks your last position in a current script.
can learn pronunciation of new words
ignores page numbers, headers, footers, continued, watermarks etc
use high quality enhanced voices which you can choose.
Has been used on
Quickstart Tutorial - Talking Scripts
Line Learning Tutorial - Talking Scripts
Talking Scripts - tutorial for downloading new voices.
Talking Scripts - Introduction to Switching Character Gender.
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:
If you have any additional favourite voices, please tell others in the blog.