Mobile Filmmaking: 10 Apps for Filmmakers

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Filmmaking has changed drastically over the years, and is still continuing to do so. Now we don’t need an expensive camera to shoot our next project, those small things in our pockets will do the job just as well. Of course, we’re not saying smartphones should replace high quality film equipment, they can also be used to log schedules and take shots of potential locations.

The following apps are just some of the ways to make your phone a more filmmaking-friendly device.

10. Cinescope – £2.99 (iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch)

Shooting with a phone can be restricting when you start looking at the finer details of manual composition. With this app,created by Fruitvale Station cinematographer, Rachel Morrison, you can open up some capabilities in regards to framing, and shoot in any aspect ratio you wish. Whether it’s 16:9 widescreen, 4:3, 1.85 or even a customised ratio, Cinescope is a great way to get a better idea of your visuals.

9. Magic Hour – FREE (iPhone & iPad)

You’re shooting outside, and you have no control of your environment. With the Magic Hour app, photographers and filmmakers will know when is the best time to shoot. The app will specifically countdown to when it is the ‘golden hour’; when there are no shadows as light is diffused through the Earth’s atmosphere. You’ll also get info about light in your area. A great tool for filming outdoors.

8. Cinema Forms – FREE (iPhone & iPad)

Filmmaking is a creative process, but it’s all that tedious paperwork that makes all your plans come to fruition. The app allows you to create and manage all kinds of production worksheets, call sheets and legal forms so you can reduce the amount of paperwork you have to carry on shoot day. Upgrading to Pro is £7.99, which allows you to share the documents and convert them to PDF form, but it’s still a great app to have.

7. Adobe Premiere Clip – FREE (iPhone & iPad)

You’ve made your experimental, stylish project on your phone, but don’t want the headache of uploading all that footage onto the desktop. Adobe have created a bitesize version of their editing juggernaut to give users the basics of video editing… and it’s FREE. Premiere Clip is also connected by Adobe’s Creative Cloud, so you can import the data into the flagship software.

6. Celtx script – £3.99 (iPhone & iPad)

One of the most popular screenwriting softwares on desktop, Celtx has brought everything that’s good about their desktop version to the App Store. This allows you to write perfectly formatted scripts right from your phone or tablet, as well as collaborating with others. You can also backup all your scripts for free.

5. PowerDirector – FREE (Google Play)

Cyberlink have brought their powerful PowerDirector range to Google Play. You can edit and trim videos with great ease, and add effects to enhance the quality of your phone camera footage. While it’s a far cry from the fully loaded editing software we get on our laptops and computers, Cyberlink have been able to condense their rich software into a user-friendly app that won’t destroy your phone or tablet’s battery life (kind of).

4. Scripts Pro – £8.99 (iPhone & iPad)

The ultimate portable scriptwriting software. Designed for film and television writing, Scripts Pro not only imports and exports your scripts, but can read all of your Final Draft, Celtx or similar formatted Text files. It is also easy to rearrange scenes and edit every aspect of your script with tab buttons and suggestion pop-ups. Fully integrated with iCloud, you can also upload all your scripts directly to Dropbox.

3. Celtx shots – FREE (iPhone & iPad)

Storyboarding is something many low budget productions neglect. But having a visual on paper is much better for a crew, since no one can read a director’s mind! Celtx shots allows you to design storyboards using photos you’ve taken or the various animated art you can download once you have the app. Also it’s much neater when you make last minute blocking changes (no scribbles!). Oh and it’s FREE!

2. iMovie – £3.99 (iPhone & iPad)

There’s a lot of good editing apps coming through nowadays, but it’s hard to beat Apple’s own editing software. Unlike the others, it isn’t just a barebones release with the basic editing. You can create beautiful HD movies with the help of the many tools iMovie has to offer, from picture-in-picture to slow motion effects. It’s the comprehensive video editing app.

1. Filmic Pro – £5.99 (iPhone & iPad)

Number 1 has to be the app that proved you could make an award-winning feature (Tangerine) using just an iPhone (or 3). For just under 6 quid your phone will have all the bells and whistles of a high powered camcorder or DSLR. You’ll get complete manual control of your focus, ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. It’s all you need to give your iPhone that extra filmmaking boost.

Watch the video to see it in action:

Obviously, there’s lots of other apps that can help you make your next project, but the point is that with technology going so fast, maybe it’s time to use that small rectangular object in your pocket for more than texting!

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