New Website Takes the Reading Out of Reading Scripts Lets You Instantly Listen to the Writing

Reading scripts just got easier, thanks to Santa Barbara resident Guy Goldstein.

Goldstein, a screenwriter and software programmer, created for actors and his fellow screenwriters. One day in 2010, Goldstein was looking forward to reading a script that a friend had given him but wasn’t looking forward to all the sitting in L.A. traffic he had to do that day. Making the most out of the situation, he created an initial version of the ReadThrough program and listened to the script during his drive.

“It was so useful,” he said, “that I returned home and started the program.” He created the recently launched website, he added, “with a vision to make the reading process easier.”

In about “5-10 seconds,” Goldstein said, screenwriters can upload a PDF version of their script and embellish the process from there. The writers can choose computer-generated voices to read the scripts — which can be downloaded and listened to on mp3 devices — or can choose voice actors from the site’s database. They can also add music and sound effects to further convey the plot.

Saying that makes script-reading (or -listening, rather) “a pleasure instead of an inconvenience,” Goldstein added that the program benefits actors and screenwriters alike. The writers get to hear their work performed and get feedback on it, and the voice actors are provided with helpful cues and a choice of playback options depending on their line-memorization level.

And both parties — the screenwriters especially — can rest assured that their work is secure, Goldstein said. In addition to being SSL-encrypted, doesn’t claim ownership of the scripts, and the only person able to access the script is the writer, who is then able to either provide certain people with a password or make the script public. The site, Goldstein said, supports several types of software in addition to PDFs: Celtx, Final Draft 8, Text, and Microsoft Word.

The site is subscription-based, but the first month is free so that people, Goldstein said, “can try it out.”

“I think a lot of people are getting excited about it,” he added. “The goal is to change the way people review scripts. The traditional way is a time-consuming process that can prevent scripts from getting seen.”

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