A big part of being a freelance ‘film’maker is having the right tools while on the go, and there’s a number of apps that have quite honestly made the work I do a LOT easier.
If you shoot video or spend any time in pre-production or production, I’m sure you’ll find these apps as helpful as I do. Apps like Shot Lister have really made me see just how powerful a mobile device can be.
One of the cool things about the work I do for clients is turning the message they want to get across with video, into a story worth telling. Scriptwriting plays a big part in the process, and the Celtx app makes scriptwriting on the iPad simple (check out their Shots app for storyboarding).
Sun Seeker Lite (FREE)
Once I know what I will be shooting, it’s time to start thinking about where I will be shooting. When scouting possible locations, Sun Seeker helps me determine what the light will be like and where it will be coming from at the time of day I plan to shoot. No more surprises when shoot day arrives!
Kodak Cinema Tools (FREE)
If you shoot film or plan on shooting film, Kodak’s app will be a great help. It provides a list of film types with video examples for each, a handy overview of how to read a film canister, a film calculator, and a depth of field calculator. The Kodak app also shows the time of sun rise and sunset in the town you plan to shoot: handy!
Kessler Crane (FREE)
When I’m getting ready to shoot timelapse photography, the first thing I do is get out the Kessler Crane app to calculate how long I will have to shoot—and how many SD cards I’ll need to get the length of scene I want. The application also includes tutorials on how to use their video production gear.
AJA DataCalc (FREE)
Want to know how much storage space you’ll need for the video codec you’re shooting in? Then you’ll find the AJA DataCalc app indespensible.
Shot Lister ($13.99)
After I’ve written a script and created my storyboards, I breakdown the script and compile it into shots using the Shot Lister app. Shot Lister is without a doubt my most used iPad tool (works great on the iPhone as well). I love being able to output the shooting schedule to a PDF for clients, and they love having it! I even use it when planning photo shoots, so I know on shoot day I’ve captured all the neccessary shots, while remaining on schedule.
Pocket Light Meter (FREE)
If you don’t trust your camera’s light meter, you don’t have a light meter, or want to measure light on a specific spot, check this app out. It isn’t a replacement for the real thing, but it will help you know what you’re aperture should be—and it’s free.
DSLR Slate ($9.99)
A perfectly lovely electronic slate for marking scenes and matching audio to video in post. The makers of DSLR Slate now offer 3D Slate for all you kids out there who shoot 3D.
Filmic Pro ($4.99)
If you want to—or have to—shoot video with your iPhone, use FiLMiC Pro. Shoot with different frame rates, in slow-mo, with a specific exposure or with frame guides. All in an app that will make shooting behind the scenes videos a breeze.
If you have to—or want to—edit your videos on a mobile device, iMovie is a pretty powerful little program. Yes, shooting using FiLMiC Pro and editing in iMovie is a workable possibility for mobile movie making.
I’d love to hear what other apps people are using, feel free to add your own to the list via the comments section below.