Why every film maker should have an iPhone: Part 2

A couple of days ago, I wrote a blog about the iPhone apps I used on our shoot last week. The response was huge and loads of film makers have added to my list. My original post is here… And below are some more apps as recommended in feedback to that first post.

Panascout Panascout (£5.99)
Recommended by heaps of film makers. It simulates the cinematographer’s viewpoint from a professional cinema camera and is made by the lovely people at Panavision, so you know it’s the real deal . Darren commented on the blog ‘has been amazing on locations and being able to choose framing, aspect AND lenses….’

Original pCam FilmDigital Calculator (£17.99)
Recommended for DPs. Nicolai Amter said ‘it’s handy for calculating anything to do with focal lengths, shutter speeds, aperture, DOF and so on’. And reading the features list on their site, I can see that it does tons more too. Downloading now…!

ISlate-Exists-2 iSlate (£1.79)
There seem to be a lot of clapperboard apps floating around and I have no idea which is best, do you? iSlate was recommended by Ryan at Dotmov.com as you can add notes to slates and send those to your editor. But what is your favourite?

App-store 8mm (£1.19)
This is actually one of my own recommendations, not a film making tool, more a fun tool for film makers. It turns your iPhone camera into a Super 8mm camera, complete with scratches, flicker, weave and snagging in the projector. For my generation of film maker, this is seriously nostalgic. I smile every time I use it.

Mzl.wvwyzpql.175x175-75 DoddlePro (£5.99)
And while I have never used it, and wish I had on the shoot, DoddlePro offers a call sheet solution, so you can create and mail out call sheets to your crew from your iPhone. This makes HUGE sense to me as I ended up with PDFs on my phone which were ideal for print on A4 paper, but not so great to look at on a small screen. Anyone used it? Comments?

Original Pocket Light Meter (Free)
A surprisingly accurate light meter for reflected light only. Ideal for location recces when you don’t have a camera with you. Includes settings for Cine shutters too.

Original kodak Kodak Cinema Tools (Free)
You’d expect a very slick app from Kodak, and that’s what we have got here. The app included a film footage calculator and a depth of field calculator as well as a detailed glossary of film terminology.


AJA DataCalc (Free)
Coming highly recommended by @2timesF is AJA DataCalc, for working our how much storage you will need for various media files. It’s a pretty comprehensive tool that has clearly been built for media professionals, and as its free, you’d be crazy not to download it. Now I can figure our EXACTLY how much storage space I will need for the next shoot. Very nice indeed.

Original LVRUSA (Free)
An eclectic app that contains information on lenses, batteries, recording times etc, as well as a whole heap of official manuals for professional cameras, from Canon 5D MkII to Alexa and Red One. Free and recommended.

Mzi.wcxcmkcm.100x100-75 KeeMe (59p)
While I didn’t use this app on the film I just made, that’s only because I didn’t know it existed! Had I known, it would have been out through its paces. It’s a simple ‘key’ generator that you use with your iPhone props so that VFX people can more easily replace the iPhone screen in post production. It uses motion tracking points and any colour of ‘green screen’ etc.

So any more apps being used by film makers?  Please leave your comments.

Onwards and upwards!
Chris Jones
My movies www.LivingSpiritGroup.com
My Facebook www.Facebook.com/ChrisJonesFilmmaker
My Twitter @LivingSpiritPix

6 Responses to Why every film maker should have an iPhone: Part 2

  1. Kookee888 May 24, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    Got anything for us android users?

  2. Nicolai_a May 24, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    Glad you liked my recommendation of pCam, a crazy amount of stuff you can do with it.
    As to slates I will again recommend Movie Slate. I have used it for short films and music videos in London and for interviews in the jungles of Tanzania and it hasn’t let me down yet. Main features are:
    Camera info flash cards before the slate. Export of xml file, including written and photo notes, which can be imported directly into FCP. Music video mode where it play back the song you are shooting and generate TC for it, you can also select what part of the song you are shooting. TC lock between multiple devices running Movie Slate. And for an additional in-app purchase you can lock Movie Slate to an external TC generator from f.ex you sound recorder.

  3. Chris Jones May 24, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    Simon Morice wrote about this on our FB page and I thought I would share it here…

    ‘I have been experimenting with iPhone as an integrated production and distribution system. I find it a very powerful tool which, when used appropriately, is a game changer. Good enough is good enough.

    On the web, a video is not a great deal of use on its own, you need plenty; but that’s expensive, right? No actually. I can make profitable short, but complete, films for less than £100. It’s all about throughput.

    VeriCorder’s 1stVideo app, along with an Owle Bubo, turn the iPhone into a very powerful production tool. It’s possible to shoot, edit and upload to a newsroom, iReport, YouTube etc in very short order. This means from agreement for an interview to an upload can be a short as around fifteen minutes. Very little production value means that you must have a rock solid story, or you have nothing. I like the rigour of this.

    A couple of months back I was accredited to report on the WAN-IFRA conference on Digital Media in London. I used just the iPhone and a hyperlocal site built by VeriCorder as part of their Global MoJo Project. This includes a government sponsored journalism project in the Northern Territories of Australia.

    Also subject of a post on Beet.TV, the Wall Street Journal has adopted the iPhone 4 as its news gathering technology of choice. WSJ is rolling it out globally and only talking about using Skype so far. Imagine what they’ll do when they realise that a handful of free and incredibly cheap apps can turn the phone into a handheld OB truck.

    The EnCinema 35mm adapter will connect to the Owle Bubo. This makes it possible to use Canon and Nikon lenses to obtain shallow depth of field. This may even assuage the many people who believe DOF to be the only cinematic trick that matters.

    As for other apps, I use MindManager to make call sheets and as reference for the menu structure of the ‘proper’ cameras we use. I also use Omnifocus to manage my tasks. AJA have a free conversion app. I would like to buy the WiFi sensor for colorBUG which allows measurement of colour temperatures.

    There is a bit more about all this here: http://www.facebook.com/l/176c7Yh7reZ9TkuZUrVGV77pgHA/simonmorice.blogspot.com

  4. J May 24, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    As part of the promotion for the movie you can download a free 8mm movie app – search for “Super 8”, comes with film errors, colour filter options and editing for intro/outros

  5. Evan May 28, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    This is a great list. pCam and Kodak Cinema Tools are both valuable apps for cinematographers as well as camera assistants.

    I wrote a whole series of posts about useful cinematography apps and have found the reaction to be great:


    People really seem to want to turn their phones into powerful tools. The unfortunate part is when you run out of battery! Always a good idea to have an analog backup

  6. Peter Johnson July 1, 2011 at 1:40 am #

    You may be interested in adding “Shotlist” to this list, it is the first complete Production Stripboard system for iPhone and iPad.

    Use it to plan your shoots, you can instantly change schedules and send email updates, hold important numbers and web links for a scene, and track your progress on the day.

    More info and video on http://www.solubleapps.com/shotlist.
    Itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/app/id424885833

    Soluble Apps

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