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5 Handy Mobile Apps to Help Make Your Filmmaking Endeavors More Productive

10.5.12 @ 11:00AM Tags : , , , , , ,

This is a guest post by Whitney Adams.

There are literally thousands of apps on the iOS and Android platforms, and plenty of them are actually useful for filmmakers. Having some of these apps is like having an entire production office or studio in your pocket. App developers have created tools for all different skill levels, so whether you are just starting your career or have been at it for a while, there is an app for you. Here are 5 that just might make your filmmaking experience more productive:

Producer

The Producer app by True Hero Studio lets you have everything you need right in your pocket. This app lets you create different projects on the main screen so each project is easily accessible. Within each project, you can add in locations, cast, crew, and even a budget. The user can take preproduction images while location scouting and make notes before saving them to specific projects. With this app, you can also have all of your crew call sheets, shot lists, and script right at your fingertips. This app acts as your own private producer’s assistant by keeping all of your production information in one neat, organized app. Currently this app costs $14.99 and is only available for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

MovieSlate

If you forget your slate when shooting, it can make things very difficult and complicated. That is when MovieSlate comes in. Not only does this digital, time-coded slate let you add in basic information like the production name, director, or director of photography, but it also lets you add in extra information for each shot. You can add in camera optic information such as the file name, lens, and filming calculations, as well as sound information like the file name and type, noise, and type of equipment used. MovieSlate also instantly records the time code and other information each time the clapper closes, this information can quickly and easily be exported into a report for your records. The app also comes with Time-code Buddy integration. This lets you use SMPTE time-code by synching it over WiFi with other Time-code Buddy systems. While this is very helpful, sometimes when you are on location you may not have access to WiFi. Instead, you could always set up broadband services like mobile broadband from T-Mobile so that you always have an internet connection while on location. This app is available on iTunes for $24.99.

Artemis Director’s Viewfinder

The Artemis Director’s Viewfinder app by Chemical Wedding can be very helpful for directors and cinematographers. With this app, you can choose what type of camera you are using, then you pick the lens you would like to use. Once you have chosen a lens, you will be able to see the view that you can expect with that particular lens and zoom. This app is helpful when you are rehearsing and blocking. It gives you an idea of what your shot will look like depending on the lens you choose. Currently the app is available for iPhones and iPads, OS 3.1 or later, and Android phones for $29.99.

Sun Scout

Coordinating outside shots can be difficult, especially since you have to work with outside lighting. Sun Scout by Benjohn Barnes helps you find out where the sun will be while you are on location. The app will let you see the suns position for the day, or a day in the future. The app uses your phones camera, compass, and GPS to give you an accurate prediction of the position at a certain time. This app is very helpful if you want to get a shot facing a direction and need a specific sun position. The app is currently available through iTunes for $9.99. There are other similar apps available for Android as well, like Sun Position by Andy Stone.

Kodak Cinema Tools

Kodak has been around for all of our film needs, and now they have an app to help with even more production needs. The app comes with a depth of field calculator, a film calculator, and a glossary. The depth of field calculator lets you add in information like the film format, F-stop, subject distance and/or focal distance so you can get an accurate measurement of the depth of field for that shot. The film calculator will help you find out the run time for a certain film format and length, or how much film you may need for a specific run time. Whether you need a quick refresher on the industry lingo, or were just told to grab a stinger and aren’t sure what that is, you can quickly and easily look up basic terms in the Film/Video Glossary. Kodak Cinema Tools is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android.

We’ve covered individual apps a few times here on NoFilmSchool, but there are many, many more that are useful for filmmakers. What are some of your favorite mobile apps for filmmaking that we haven’t covered yet? Let us know in the comments.

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Whitney Adams is a staff writer for AndGeeks.com and BBGeeks.com.

 

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  • Great post! SlateItBeta is a decent Android slate app. Sun Surveyor is an Android equivalent for Sun Scout.

    Other Android apps I use for videography stuff are Depth of Field Calculator (choose camera/sensor, focal length, and either set the f-number or see a chart of DOF), Android Prompter (free teleprompter), and Rehearsal Assistant (audio recording, but set it to WAV).

    –Ray

  • I would also suggest the production tools from CeltX as well.

  • john jeffreys on 10.5.12 @ 1:17PM

    Cool android stuff that I use for movie stuff:
    Dropbox (obvious reasons)
    Acacia (its like a swiss army knife for dp’s, it even has a director’s viewfinder by using your phones camera)
    FIlmbuddy
    Filmclapper board

  • DSLR Filmmaker Toolkit is really cheap and combines Slate/Shot Log/Viewfinder/DOF Calculator/Daylight Times AND a spirit level all into one iphone app. About £5 if I remember correctly.

    The best feature is the viewfinder- not least because of its ability to simulate my 5D with any focal length, but because you can take a photo with it and it saves that photo with a googlemaps reference location in a Folder within the app. When I’m just walking around doing whatever and spot a possible scene location, its just perfect for taking some test shots at different focal lengths and not only saving the photos with their location, but having an exact map reference.

    Brilliant.

    • Insanely ugly and what good is a viewfinder that you can’t change sensor size….
      I just recently switched to android and I wish there would be more high quality filmmaking apps!!!

      • The lowest focal length you can set it to is 35mm? I don’t get it, 35mm is not even wide angle on full frame, why is this the lowest focal length in Acacia?

  • Have purchased a tonne of apps for filmmaking… Almost all gather electronic dust — Hitchcock storyboard, Artemis viewfinder, slates, script-writing apps, etc.

    The main ones for me that see any use are: a weather app; and a sunrise app, that says what time the sun rises/sets.

    Very occasionally will use Kata data app, to calculate media needed.

  • There are some iPad App’s worth a quick mention here.

    1: Cymbol $1.99
    – Finally, Pilcrow, Section, Performance Marks and Superscripts easily tied with your favorite App’s on the iPad, with Unicode2Glyph conversion!
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cymbol/id416714959?mt=8

    2. Clapboard $2.99
    – Take One! A fun and useful video task tool for amateurs and pros alike.
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/clapboard/id405769205?mt=8

    3.) NoteBinderApp $6.99
    Powerful, yet no-nonsense, no gimmick note taking app!! – Handwritten or typed notes, insert images, record audio and video in a familiar binder format for school/studies.
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/notebinder-pdf-annotating/id483556591?mt=8

    4.) KataData $4.99
    Just enter the amount of footage you have and KataData will calculate the runtime or storage. Enter multiple calculations and add them together, all from within the app!
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/katadata/id464141210?mt=8

  • Artemis is a great app which I use often when scouting locations.
    I would add the following apps which I use regularly as a cinematographer.

    1) Light Meter by Nuwaste studios. With a cine mode, it won’t replace a real light meter for a serious DP, it’s actually a pretty accurate little app, I’ve often played around comparing the results it gives me with my real LightMeter and 85% of the time it’s spot on. While I wouldn’t do this on a paying film gig, I’ve used it a few time shooting personal stuff on film (where a light meter is crucial), and the resulting exposure was always as I expected.
    2)FilmCalc is aslo useful, it collects a large number of various often needed calculations for film, digital, and still photo, depth of field of course, but many other like split focus calc, lens angle to focal length, matching format calculations, diopter calculation, filter compensation, the list goes on.
    3)Swatch. This is more of a gaffer tool, but for those of us who wear many hats… it’s basically a database of all the major gel filter company (Rosco, Lee, Apollo, GAM), allows you to see the light specs for any given gel, and find equivalent in other companies.
    4)Scenios. Obviously you’ve got to be using the scenios cloud production plateform which was review on nofilmschool not so long ago.

  • I use Sun Seeker, it’s a bit cheaper than Sun Scout, and is binary (runs natively on iPhone and iPad), which makes a big difference for me as I’m always bouncing between the two.

    For storyboarding, I like to draw in Paper (I’m no artist, yet this app always produces beautiful results), export the images to the camera roll, and then import them into cinemek Storyboard HD. I also import stills taken with Artemis when I can do some blocking in advance, which saves loads of time spent drawing. Artemis also prints the focal length on the image for easy reference later, which helps keep the Director and DP on the same page.

    Easy Release is good for getting property or talent releases signed, even lets you take pictures (headshot, location, whatever), is customizable, and has a signature field.

  • Daniel Mimura on 10.13.12 @ 9:18PM

    I like http://www.cinemaforms.com/ for a completely paperless paperwork work flow. That was a tongue twister.

  • These are such helpful posts. Please keep prioritizing iPad apps like these– such a game changer. Thank you!

  • Does anyone know of an equivalent of the filmic pro app for the Samsung Galaxy S3 ?

  • Just thought I might suggest an app I’ve made for Android which helps you calculate storage and memory card usage with various cameras and shooting formats.
    More info: http://agoberg.tv/?p=196

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