Both my iPhone and iPad have a folder called “Movie Tools”; apps I turn to almost every time I’m on set. For filmmakers, these things are wonderful. An iPad and iPhone are the perfect accompaniment to a filmmaker’s camera bag. Here are the apps that I own, and consider most valuable.
1. DSLR Slate – $9.99
One of the most expensive apps on the list, but the most important. If you’re shooting with a DSLR in a narrative setting, you’re probably recording audio separately. This app functions like a professional slate, giving you sync points for your audio and video. Even if you’re recording audio in camera, it’s a great way to log your camera settings. We used it recently for a green screen shot, to allow us to exactly duplicate the camera settings and placement.
2. DOF Calculator – Free
A basic, free app that allows you to set camera, lens, aperture and distance to subject and will give you your depth of field and near and far focusing distances.
3. Final Draft Reader – $9.99
The quickest and easiest way to read, reference and annotate Final Draft scripts on the go. An invaluable tool for anyone who’s working on a scripted project.
4. Telepromt+ – $14.99
Pricy, but awesome. A robust, full featured teleprompter app for your iPad. Imports from Dropbox and Google Docs, allows for editing within the app and full customization of text speed and color. Protip – keep it close to the camera lens so your subject doesn’t have to move their eyes away too much.
5. iHandy Level – Free
A traditional – looking bubble level. Perfect for determining the angle of a camera when doing green screen and effects work.
6. Flashlight – Free
This is more than just a way to find the batteries you dropped behind the couch – aim it at the lens to create off camera flares or throw a little additional fill light on a subject’s face in a dark room.
7. Timecard Pro – $.99
Without question, this is the app I use the most. Assign different rates to different projects, monitor the money you’re earning and email out a spreadsheet when you’re ready to invoice. An invaluable tool for anyone doing contract work.
What apps do you find useful during a shoot? Leave a comment and let us know!