Finding new creative ways to utilise your smartphone more efficiently and effectively on set is always a wise and welcoming decision as your favourite mobile device can be a really powerful filmmaking tool, especially when you know how to get the most out of it. There are literally hundreds (both free and paid) dedicated filmmaking apps covering various aspects of the creative process, yet only a few of them have been proven over time that these are reliable enough and capable of delivering true value to cinematographers and filmmakers on a day-to-day basis.
Here are five free must-have apps that immediately will boost up your productivity on set as they can be easily integrated into your production workflow and quickly accessed on either your phone or mobile device.
There is no more cost-effective and easy way to create a storyboard and/or on-set blocking for your production than using the Celtx Shots on your phone. The app will let you drag and drop lights, subjects and props into the scene in a matter of seconds, making it easy to share blocking ideas with your crew members. Once you’ve completed your quick board you can send it via email to you collaborators in various formats.
Digital Clapper is another must-have application that eliminates the necessity to carry around your good old and well-trusted clapperboard. It’s an ultimate synch tool for creating time snapshots on a film production sets with multiple cameras and sound devices.
The application features a colour Test Pattern with 1KHz tone, a five seconds Countdown with sound beeps and custom frames-per-second Timecode generator together with a scene, a take and a date display. There is also a Shots Report available that can be uploaded to server exported to PDF format or shared online.
Cinema Forms is another useful application that will tackle all the paper clutter related to your production. It provides and extensive library of various video production forms and templates that serve all the stages of production such as Call Sheet, Breakdown Sheet, Shot Log, Talent Release Form, Daily Wrap Report, Asset Inventory Log and many other extremely useful forms that will immensely help you to better organise and manage your overall production. You can download the free version of the app here.
SMAPP packs a variety of extremely useful and powerful tools such as lens selection tool, shot list tool, movement tool, packing list and more. The application also offers over 30 tutorials for filmmakers at various skill levels that you can also access for free. For the moment, SMAPP is only developed for iOS, however, an Android application is currently in development as well.
At last but no least, comes the AJA Data Calculator. It’s definitely one of my favourite apps on the list and as you can easily guess it helps editors and filmmakers to calculate the disc space required to store their video files. The application supports a handful of codecs such as Apple ProRes, DVCProHD, HDV, XDCAM, DV, CineForm, REDCODE, Avid DNxHD, Apple Intermediate, 16 bit RGB and RGBA, uncompressed, and more. Video standards supported include NTSC, PAL, 1080i, 1080p, 720p, 2K and 4K.
These applications are only a small fraction of all available filmmaking applications out there you can get for free that will also bring some massive value to your production thus making the life on set a lot easier and organised. What are your personal favourite apps that you use on a daily basis? Let us know in the comment section below.