We’re delighted to announce the launch of Stornaway – a revolutionary new production tool which lets writers and producers make interactive films for VOD platforms, without coding.
For years, co-founders Kate Dimbleby and Rupert Howe have been frustrated with the lack of professional production tools when writing and producing interactive stories.
We’d already started design on Stornaway when Netflix began investing heavily in interactive specials including Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, which won the 2019 Emmy for Outstanding TV Movie.
Stornaway’s end-to-end tool allows TV & film professionals to visually map out their stories, write non-linear scripts, collaboratively edit, and deliver playable films to our platform or for multiple streamers – free from the frustrations and constraints of technology.
Before Stornaway, interactive production was hard and expensive
The mind-bending challenges faced by Bandersnatch creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones helped us explain the need for Stornaway to our investors and team, to build a powerful writing and production tool specifically aimed at visual thinking creatives in tv & film.
Brooker said that making Bandersnatch was “like doing a Rubik’s cube in your head” because there aren’t any tools aimed at writers and producers, so “everyone went bananas”.1 Jones said that having to create the whole production infrastructure was “awful”2. Interactive storytelling shouldn’t be this hard and miserable – it should be fun for creative teams, and with Stornaway it is.
Another key blocker to the production of interactive stories has been cost. Up until now, even short-form productions have needed to become expensive one-off software development projects.
So far, only Netflix has had the resources and technical know-how to overcome these roadblocks in mainstream projects, producing a steady pipeline of interactive factual, comedy and animation projects with their major brands and partners like DreamWorks.
Netflix’s next big release is The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt interactive comedy special on May 12.
With individual user licences starting at $50 per month, Stornaway offers a chance for other producers, streamers and broadcasters take advantage of the opportunity that’s built into every streaming video on demand (SVOD) platform: they are already inherently interactive.
Rupert says: “Non-linear storytelling is going to be a revolution in the 2020s. Streaming interactivity will transform the way we can tell stories with multiple points of view. Until now, creating them has been too hard and expensive. To realise the amazing potential of these new stories, we needed a creative application designed for storytellers, not engineers. That’s why we made Stornaway.”
Kate adds: “We offer the only system that is aimed at indies working with all the big streaming platforms. We’ve made something that production teams really like using. We see a future where Stornaway is a core writing and production tool for this non-linear world.”