Must Have Apps for Film Making and Video Production

Film Making and Video Production requires lots of efforts, team work and support. There are number of apps that can help you during different phases of film making. From Pre-Production, Production, Post-Production and Distribution, you certainly need different types of apps that can help in managing your work efficiently.

Below are the few apps that can help you during the entire process of film Making.

Apps for Pre-Production

Apps for Pre-Production

  1.  Evernote: I migrated all my information and words that I’ve ever written into Evernote. Now I not only capture early ideas for stories here, but logistical planning that isn’t ready for everyone. Or note taking during production meetings. I always ensure Evernote is open somewhere during meetings.
  2. Index Card: As far as I know it’s iOS iPad exclusive, but it’s effectively taking the use of traditional index cards and digitizing it. Plugs into Scrivener if you use that .
  3. Google Docs: Since you can’t always account for people’s platforms or email services of choice, you’re sort of looking at the “least bad” options for easy document sharing among people. So far, not only do most people seem comfortable interacting with Google Docs, but most people have actual Gmail accounts. Keeping integration pretty painless. Docs are used for anything that’s near enough ready it can be shared to a collaborative team.
  4. Celtx: I still consider Final Draft to be a better piece of software to use for scriptwriting, but when everyone is self-producing, and looking for free programs Celtx dominates. So I use it too.

Apps For Production

Apps For Production

  1. Magic Lantern: It’s a small software modification that can unlock many more valuable configurations on Canon DSLR camera lines.
  2. DigiSlate: An iPad app that lets you do digital slating. It’s not as nice as a real one, you have to bring it much closer to the camera to read, but for our client shoots it’s nice little pomp-and-circumstance. and it can definitely help in keeping some of the more complex stuff better organized for the ingest.
  3. Softbox Pro: it turns your iPad screen into a big light with some control options. Doesn’t work in every setting, and it’s not a strong light, but I’ve seen some really cool enhancement effects by placing it on people’s laps or just off camera to accentuate mood. Do not consider this a replacement for proper lighting. It’s like the extra sprinkles on top of the regular sprinkles on your sprinkled doughnut.
  4. Dropbox: I honestly consider this more for Post work, but I’ve had off-site edit teams that just watch Dropbox for incoming assets so we can edit on the fly. With a little planning it does a lot for fast-paced event shooting days, especially if you’re dealing with iPhone footage.

Apps for Post-Production

Apps for Post-Production

  1. Prelude: Basically Log and Transfer from the Final Cut Pro 7 Days. You can start marking your selects on the fly and bounce into Premiere only what you want to work with, while still archiving the complete shoot in case an alternative is needed.
  2. Photoshop: Titles in Premiere are ‘okay’. Titles in Photoshop are great. I build a lot of our still assets directly in Photoshop and use Dynamic Linking to send them where we need. I also have framing template guides we internally use as overlays that never get out into post. I’ve also got a handful of Gradients that I use as emergency ND filter overlays in Premiere if I am in a real corner….but mostly I do graphics development in Photoshop.
  3. Premiere: My chief editing platform. I even do our Color Grading here (while I keep training on DaVinci) with Adjustment Layers. I consider Premiere to be the “least bad” NLE to choose from for client work right now. I keep peeking in on FCPX, but it’s not ready for my uses yet.
  4. CTRL+Console: A touch based iPad interface so you can edit using gestures. Jury is still out if this is just a novelty or completely amazing.
  5. After Effects: Compositing, Motion Graphics, Masks, Tweaks, Animated Graphics.
  6. Audacity: I don’t use it the way you think. Many of my projects have opportunities to be enhanced with proper ‘glitch art’ stylization. I run visuals through Audacity to ‘sonify’ them.
  7. Avidemux: One of the better programs for doing datamoshing. We don’t always go this way, but it happens enough that we’ve got a workflow process for it.
  8. Garageband: Lets you create some pretty decent ‘quick and dirty’ music beds that come royalty free.
  9. iTunes: Organizing and maintaining our internal sounds and music library.
  10. ProTools: This is what Audio people trained in on, This is what they use. Everyone uses ProTools. It’s great. Learn it.
  11. Adobe Media Encoder: It’s what I export from. Adobe Media Encoder can be configured with watch folders and automagic presets for export control.

Apps For Distribution

Apps for Distribution

  1. Dropbox: I have a custom subdomain set up to auto forward to our dropbox public folder. It’s been a great code-free way to share files with clients and provide them with dedicated downloads. Downside is that public folder is absolutely public, so anything under NDA really shouldn’t be distributed like this.
  2. Vimeo Pro: Beautiful for your own projects or for client review. You can even control the URL to a degree to keep it within your own company branding. You also get better encoding priority and more bandwidth than the free accounts, and you can 100% customize your player interface. Delightful if this is important to your business needs.
  3. WordPress: Gotta get your own website. WordPress has been the most flexible and most adjustable platform choice I’ve come across. Some people like the services that pre-build you sites as you go. I’ve had more heartache than help with many of them, not to say WordPress is much better, but at least the cost can be free, and you have total control.
  4. Wave Accounting: Best invoicing software I’ve found to date. Plugs into google apps, no client limits or anything weird. You can also make custom invoice sheets within their template choices.

That’s a lot. And I’m sure I’ve missed a few apps, and not given others their due justice. I want to say these are the apps or software I use, not always exclusively, and not on every project, but it’s still fairly representative of how important CPUs have become in our own process, and a big part of why I think so many fresh film makers are still stuck in their developmental phases.


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