Well, to start off, I know there are a lot of us learners, filmmakers who are into Android running devices and not all filmmakers use or like to use Apple iOS for the same. So, I’ve tried my best to feature and focus on the best free and paid apps useful for novice and experienced filmmakers who love doing/creating amazing stuff with their smartphones and tablets. The majority of the apps are available for Apple’s iOS devices and I don’t really understand the reason, maybe it has to do with the simplicity of iOS versus hundreds of different themes followed by different Android smartphone manufacturers which makes it tough for the application developers to adhere to a norm.
There’s no doubt that the modern mobile devices, the smartphones and the tablets aren’t the same slow technological wonders that we used to have a few years ago. The mobile phones in-particular have evolved immensely. The same goes for our filmmaking gears, the cameras, the gears, lenses, all have evolved and have become compact, but there is nothing more compact and useful as a smartphone, a mobile phone. Apple changed the smartphone game with the original Apple iPhone and now into its 7th generation, the iPhone 7 Plus is sometimes the go to device for on-the-run filmmakers with a budget. Filmmakers have used iPhones as standalone video recording devices to shoot full feature length films and have achieved great success doing the same. The current generation of Android smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, Motorola and various others also offer the best specifications for guerilla filmmakers. So, it is quite understandable that the Apple iPhone and iPad or the Android smartphones and tablets can be used for lots of other exercises than just recording videos if you are a filmmaker and here I’ve tried my best to highlight some of the best apps available for you to try.
FiLMiC Pro (for all iOS devices and Android – $9.99 – $12.50)
There’s no better camera app than the in-built camera offered by the manufacturer, in this case, the Apple camera app or the original Google Android Camera app. However, the default camera app doesn’t allow you to have control over frame rates and resolutions, manual control over exposure, shutter speed, white balance, ISO or the color temperature. The FiLMiC Pro not only allows manual control over all these important aspects, but it works with a host of external accessories from lenses to stabilization tools to high-end external microphones.
MAVIS – Professional Filmmaking Camera (iOS only – $16.99)
MAVIS is a serious alternative to the FiLMiC Pro. Just like the FiLMiC Pro, MAVIS gives you full manual power while recording and also offers real-time full-scale video scopes, exposure and focus visualizations, custom external audio inputs, audio metering, manual audio gain control* and audio monitoring in headphones. As per the iTunes reviews, the MAVIS app is much more stable and less prone to crash or freeze. However, I’ve been using FiLMiC Pro for quite some time and I haven’t had any such issues.
Shot Lister – Film set schedule tool for Directors (for all iOS devices and Android – $13.99 – $15.00)
Shot Lister says that it is a film set schedule tool for directors, but don’t think that this is going to fill your assistant director’s shoes. However, it does exactly what it sounds like. It allows you to digitally manage, view and edit your shots on your iPhone, your iPad or your Android device. It eliminates the use of paper and digitally allows you to share changes with your team. You can easily organize and store hundreds of scenes and thousands of shots with the flick of a finger. Industry standard formatting with letter revisions, cast numbers and auto shot numbering. It supports up to 26 cameras that mean you can assign shots to different cameras to be shot simultaneously.
celtx script (all iOS devices and Android – Free)
As the name suggests, celtx Script is a nifty free app that makes it easy for you to write scripts for your projects on the go and in a proper format. It offers free online backup that protects your work, moreover, there are inbuilt formats for you to work on Screenplays, AV scripts, Stageplays, Audio Plays, and even Comics.
celtx has another popular app called the celtx Shots and it allows you to visualize your story and create multi-sequence storyboards, camera blocking, camera angles for each of your shots and lighting setups accordingly. However, the app is only available for iOS devices, which is sad. You can download celtx Shots from here.
pCAM FILM + DIGITAL PRO (all iOS devices – $29.99)
Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development, pCAM FILM + DIGITAL PRO is a smart camera assistant that comes bundled with 25 essential tools for any filmmaker. Features such as Depth of Field, Hyperfocal Distance & Image Circle, Focal Length Matching, Aperture Finder, Color Correction (filters and mireds), Conversion Calculator (Length, Distance, Kelvin/Mired/Decamired, Footcandles/Lux), User-definable custom Camera Formats, CoC & Filters and much more, the pCAM FILM + DIGITAL PRO is a must have app for any filmmaker using an iPhone or an iPad. It is developed by First Camera Assistant David Eubank, so, you do understand what you can expect from the app. As per iTunes, the app is useful for Photographers, Directors of Photography, Camera Operators, Camera Assistants, VFX Supervisors, Script Supervisors, Gaffers, Grips, Motion Picture Editors, Production Designers, Art Directors, Film & Television and Photography Students.
I’ll update the list as we go further. If you know of an app that should be listed here please feel free comment.
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