Ten Apps Every Filmmaker Should Have

February 2, 2015

Today’s phones and tablets have had a profound effect on our industry. We’re more mobile than ever before, bringing tools to the set we could have only dreamed of a decade ago. And whether you’re just starting your career or have been at it awhile, there are great filmmaking apps at your fingertips. But with literally hundreds of apps for iOS and Android platforms to choose from, how do you find the right one for you? We’ve been downloading apps for quite awhile here at Movie Mogul and here’s a list of applications we found truly useful.

Artemis Director’s Viewfinder
Device: iPhones, iPads and Android Devices
Price: $29.99
Download App from iTunes and Google

The Artemis Director’s Viewfinder app by Chemical Wedding can be very helpful for directors and cinematographers. First, you choose what type of camera and lens are being used. The app will then show you the view that can be expected with different focal lengths. This app is very helpful when you are rehearsing and blocking, and features a wide array of options. While it is pricey, the app is worth it and has been popular since 2009.

MovieSlate
Device: iPhones, iPads
Price: $29.99
Download App from iTunes

MovieSlate is a digital, time-coded slate that lets you add in basic information like the production name and director. You can further add in camera optic information such as the file name, lens, and filming calculations, as well as sound information like the file name, noise, and type of equipment used. MovieSlate also instantly records the time code and other information each time the clapper closes, so 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.

Fade in Mobile
Device: Android 2.2 and up / iOS 5 and later.
Price: Free
Download App from Google and iTunes

The app offers a clean, straightforward app for writing and formatting. You can tab through scenes, characters and dialogue at the touch of a button, and the finished product can be exported to Dropbox. The free version has a few limitations, like the inability to import documents or work on multiple screenplays. You can, however, upgrade to a full-featured paid version.

Celtx
Device: Android 2.2 and up, iPhone & iPad
Price: Free
Download App from Google and iTunes

Celtx for desktop has always been one of the most popular, powerful and affordable screenwriting programs on the market. You can choose from several formats, including screenplay, stageplay and comic. You can add comments and notes to yourself as you go, and scripts can be easily imported and exported from the desktop Celtx version.

Pocket AC
Device: Android
Price: $9.99
Download App from Google

Pocket AC – the AC standing for camera assistant – is packed full of tools, calculators, and references for anybody working within the camera department: Depth of Field Calculator, Digital Runtime Calculator, Camera Specs Reference, Film Stocks Reference, Exposure, Field of View Calculator, Focus Chart, Insert Slate, and more.

Kodak Cinema Tools
Device: Android 2.2 and up, iPhone & iPad
Price: Free
Download App from Google and iTunes

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.

Shot Designer
Device: Android 2.2 and up, iPhone & iPad
Price: Free (Additional Charge for Pro Upgrade)
Download App from Google and iTunes

Shot Designer might be the only app you need to build lighting, camera, and blocking diagrams. It features a fluid, no-nonsense interface. It may look simple, but is incredibly powerful.

Sun Scout
Device: iPhone & iPad
Price: $9.99
Download App from iTunes (Sun Position- for Android)

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.

Light Meter Tools
Device: iPhone & iPad
Price: $3.99
Download App from Google

This app turns your Android device into a light meter. As the description explains, it’s “a reflected light meter with spot metering (using the device’s camera) and an incident light meter (using the device’s light sensor) in one app. Tested accurate against Gossen and Sekonic meters on most devices.”

RØDE Rec
Device: iPhone & iPad
Price: Free
Download App from iTunes

This app turns your phone into a 48Khz capable field recorder with a boatload of options. It has the ability to record directly to AIFF, WAVE, AAC, and has built-in integration with Soundcloud and Dropbox.

We’ve covered individual apps a few times here at Movie Mogul, 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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