So you make videos and tell stories right? Awesome, then you’re a filmmaker – and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! With filmmaking, just like all other art forms, there’s need for particular tools to make the process of creation smoother and easier. Luckily, we live in a world where we have access to hundreds of tools right on our phones – so, what’s stopping you? Below is a list of apps I use almost daily to create videos and short films.
I’ve been using Celtx on my desktop for years now, but lately as I’ve been traveling more, I’ve needed to take my writing on the go. Well, lucky me, Celtx has a wonderfully simple scriptwriting app that works much like the desktop version. Quickly format your script – from actions to character dialogue – with the tap of a button. You can even export your completed script and send it to your email to work on at a later time. Also, by creating a free account with Celtx, you can backup all your writing to an online studio to ensure nothing is lost.
Filmmaking is a visual art form and when on set or working with a team, it’s extremely important to make sure that everyone understands what’s being filmed and how exactly that footage should be captured. Celtx Shots is a simple app that allows you to create storyboards on the fly and easily layout the blocking of your set and talent. This is such a great tool to keep everyone on the same page throughout production.
I don’t know how many times I’ve been out driving and come across the perfect location for a future shoot, only to forget about it months later when I’m in preproduction for a new project. Well – that’ll never happen again! Panascout Lite allows you to snap photos of potential locations and geotag them for easy GPS directions. You can also record verbal notes and share them with your crew.
We all know that some of the most beautiful scenes in cinema’s history have been filmed during magic hour – you know, that small window of time when the sun hits the horizon and everything becomes, well – magical! The Magic Hour app will help you create those special moments with a large countdown clock that notifies you of the “magical” time in your area. With time-lapse becoming a huge part of vlogs lately, there’s also a wonderful tool that allows you to set various alarms for sunrise and sunset to get you on location and ready to capture something amazing.
Seriously, Periscope. What a fantastic way to take your audience behind the scenes and give them a sneak peek into your latest project. This app is so easy to use – just give your stream a title and boom – you’re live! Another great way to use this app is to host Q&A’s or quick daily chats with your viewers to let your personality shine and get people engaged in you and your project.
This is another behind the scenes tool and honestly it’s becoming one of my favorite apps of all time. I use it to tell stories about my day, show new projects in the works and discuss those same projects once they’re complete. I know this might sound similar to Periscope, but it isn’t live and with the time constraints on the video, you sometimes have to find creative ways to tell your story, which really makes this app much more fun.
Okay, I know. This isn’t really a filmmaking app but I think music is a great way to get people motivated. Use this in the morning as you set up to shoot or to re-energize your crew around lunchtime, when you’re 6 hours into a 14-hour day. I’ve also used Spotify many times to create scene-specific playlists to help share my overall ideas on a film’s mood or help my actors get into their character.
If you have any recommendations on apps you’ve used during the creative process, please share them below and shoot me a tweet!