Whether you have a big budget or not, technology has definitely changed how filmmakers produce their projects. With mobile device’s cameras as high quality as they are nowadays, just about anyone can become the next Scorsese. From planning, budgeting, filming, editing and marketing, you can do just all film-making steps when you have a capable mobile device. New Age Japan Wrestling, for example, does a weekly reality show filmed and edited by the fighters on their iPhone that get millions of hits per show. You may have been a Vine star, but can you make a “Wolf of Wall Street”? What are you waiting for, Marty? Download these apps and shout “action!”.
The editing world is ever-evolving, and FiLMiC is one of the newer apps on the marketplace. Film Riot, Gizmodo, Wired, and Macworld have all put their name’s behind recognising the power of this app and with good reason. It’s not just an editor, but one that can be used while filming on the fly. With adjustable sliders, one has access to exposure, focus, highlights and shadows. There’s gamma curve, waveform and white balance control, as well as adjustments for vibrancy, RGB, and saturation. You can save in over a dozen formats, and adjust speeds up to 240fps if your device can handle it. You can even use another phone with the app to edit off the current one filming. There’s several high quality exporting options, and extensive audio layering and recording support. It comes with a $15 price tag, but the advanced features and use of technology are more than worth the price if you want to step your filmmaking game up a few notches.
You have an idea for a project, but you don’t know where to start. That’s where Celtx comes in hand. It is a collaborative media creation app that has a monthly subscription fee for great added features. They include budgeting your project, putting together storylines and outlining with index cards, scheduling filming and check-listing the project’s progress. Because it’s so simple to share both among accounts and platforms, edits can be shared on the fly and updates available the next time you log in.
PowerDirector Video Editor App
PowerDirector Video Editor App is certainly a powerful editor. With over 50 special effects and transition, this app makes frame by frame editing fast and simple. You can create titles, add slow motion effects, add voice or music, and even adjust things like contrast, brightness and coloring. You can edit videos up to 4k if your phone supports it, make a video or photo collage, and easily share your creation via social media or uploading to one of many streaming videos sites.
DubScript Screenplay Writer
If you’re looking for a screenwriting specific app, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one as recommended as DubScript Screenplay Writer. With import capabilities from a variety of clouds and file types, this writing app is Final Draft compatible and files can be exported to PDF, Plain Text, Celtx & Trebly. It allows for title pages, dual dialogue, copyright watermarks as well as font, page and editing options. You can create title pages, have the script read back to you as well as export to Google Docs if you prefer that writing platform. There’s an ad-free subscription option and you can also sign up for their beta version, which gives you priority access to new features.
Pinnacle Studio Pro
Considered one of the best video editing apps on the market, Pinnacle Studio Pro is loaded with features that will have you with festival-quality work. Whether shooting an anniversary video or student film, filmmakers of all varieties will find something here. Showered in awards, this Corel creation. With storyboard and dual screen modes, editing video clips are as easy as uploading from various methods, clipping out different segments down to the millisecond, and adding an array of effects. You have access to transitions, different speeds, picture in picture, montages and the ability to zoom and pan your shots. You have access to sound effects and title sequences, the ability to add soundtracks and voiceovers, and you can export your creations at up to 60 frames per second.
Some filmmakers may scoff when they hear Youtube as an app that is handy. But it is, especially if you’re starting out. While you’re building an audience and fanbase, Youtube can be really beneficial while you put out shorter videos and short films. It can teach you editing on the fly and allows you to upload within minutes. Many YouTuber’s make a very income releasing regular videos and vlogs, and there’s no reason why you can’t as well for promotion. Make a channel for your films or web series and start putting out work. As they say in the beautiful Kevin Costner film, build it and they will come.
pCam Film + Digital Calculator
This app is for the people with and behind the camera. It has 25 different functions that would make any cinematographer drool, let alone an amateur filmmaker. With the ability to measure everything from depth of field, lighting, exposure, field of view, hypofocal and more, you will be able to set up the perfect shot before you even turn on your camera. An Emmy award winner for excellence in engineering, this app can be dizzying for someone new to things, but after following the learning curve will never look at their video projects the same way. We’re talking heavyweight tools that you’d normally have to go to film school or work for a major studio back in the day to know how to use. Developed in 1998, it’s gone on to become one of the most comprehensive and detailed technical film apps on the market. A price tag of $30 may sound unappealing, so make sure you know or at least have an interest in knowing what to do with this app before purchasing it.
What are the best filmmaking apps?
I remember when I was a kid, the notion of being a filmmaker was a dream of mine. But I didn’t have access to fancy expensive film schools, and thus not the equipment needed to make my “Goodfellas”. But now, we have both in our pockets when we have capable mobile devices. Cameras are as good as DSLR’s these days, and the editing, writing and tools to make films are just a few installs away. The great thing about this is people like myself when I was younger don’t have to grow up wondering what could have been. They can download the apps listed here and have the best filmmaking tools available to them in minutes. I look forward to seeing your Ragin Bull soon!