Archives For iOS

After two years of development, Final Draft’s iOS offering is finally here. Many have criticized Final Draft for being late to the game, and their recent Final Draft Reader flop just about started riots in the streets.

Final Draft says they didn’t want to release Writer till it was just right, so now that they have, is the app ready for prime time, or is it too soon to delete the iOS screenplay writing apps you’ve been using?

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Litigation is an unfortunate and sometimes necessary aspect of making a film. It’s absolutely critical that contracts and forms be in place to protect not only you, but the cast and crew. And if it’s not talent releases and options contracts, it’s the mass of paperwork needed to keep a production organized and on track.

For most of us artistic/filmmaker types, all that paperwork can be daunting and confusing, but Cinema Forms by ikan aims to take that burden and make is easy, clear, and convenient. Have they succeeded?

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I’ve written iOS filmmaking articles at Macedonia Films for long enough to realize that there are a common set of features I look for right off the bat. A lot of people would go straight for stability, aesthetics, and ease of use, but I think there are some app qualities that are nearer and dearer to filmmaking than the usual fare.

Filmmaking, by nature, is collaborative. The lone-gunman is either completely insane, or making his first film whereupon he will discover the error of his ways. The ability of an app to accommodate collaboration, then, is absolutely critical. Even though Macedonia Films is a small outfit, there’s at least 4-5 project leads that all need to share and modify schedules, shot-lists, and other documents.

Here are three criteria I’m going to be looking for in upcoming iOS app reviews. They’re not make or break when it comes to the usefulness of an app, but if the app doesn’t fit into a healthy workflow, why would I want to use it?

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As I’ve been compiling notes for my (temporally shelved) book on iOS Filmmaking, I’ve noticed that filmmaking iOS apps aren’t exactly spreading like wildfire. I was a little surprised at first; filmmakers as a whole tend to be the cutting-edge, Apple-loyal types. I’ve found so many apps already that I consider essential to my workflow, apps that save me time and support better communication within my team. What’s gone wrong?

While AT&T’s dismal LA area cell service in the early days of the iPhone may be partly to blame, I have noticed a couple of things I feel are holding iOS back:

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Every screenplay I’ve worked on has demanded very different things from me. Sometimes I need to be home blasting some Derek Webb, other times I need to be out and about, writing wherever I can find a quiet spot.

I need the flexibility to move at a moments notice, and that means having the right iOS apps on hand to keep the creative process moving. I’ve complied a collection of apps I’ve found useful while writing, a few of my gripes, and a new alternative that could transform the way people write on their iDevices.

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One of my favorite iPad apps, Index Card, was released as an iPhone app today! Horay!

Every writer will tell you how important it is to plot out your story before you start writing, and many do so on index cards. That’s exactly what this app sets out to do. Index Card’s straight-forward and uncomplicated interface gets out of the way so you can focus on what’s important: the story.

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A short time ago I wrote about the 10 best iOS apps for filmmakers based on my on-set experiences, and it’s quickly become the most read article on this site. It’s no surprise either. There’s hundreds of filmmaking apps to choose from, with more coming every day. Wouldn’t it be great if some computer-nerd/filmmaker hybrid wrote the ultimate guide to iOS filmmaking, featuring proven workflows, taking you from development to distribution all on your favorite iDevice?

I thought so too, but I haven’t had any luck finding one.

So.

I’m going to write my own.

Introducing The Ultimate iOS Filmmaking Guide!

  • Know which apps to buy and which to avoid.
  • Learn proven iOS based production workflows.
  • Find effective ways to collaborate online.
  • Streamline your communications.
  • Save money and countless hours of frustration.

I may be going out on a limb with this and over-promising a little, but that’s what I want out of a guidebook.

What questions do you have? What would be helpful? Drop me a line. Or better yet, sign up for our monthly newsletter and receive updates and special offers.

I want this to be the best possible guide, so you’ll have to be patient. Check back here for updates.

UPDATE – 7/13/12

I just found out that Taz Goldstein over at Hand Held Hollywood is on the cusp of publishing his own iOS filmmaking book. If you’re not familiar with Taz, he is THE authority on the subject and I’m excited to hear about his awesome opportunity. In light of that, I’ve decided to put this project on the back-burner for the time being.

I’m not trashing it entirely, though. From the sound of it, I think Taz and I are focused on different aspects of integrating iOS devices into production workflows. But, with my fall schedule filling up quickly, this is an opportune time to step back and focus on actually making films (as opposed to talking about making them).

I’ll continue to write iOS articles here, and if the opportunity to pick this project back up arises, you’ll be the first to know.

Good luck, Taz!

I forget my iPhone is a phone sometimes. I use it for so many things; listening to music, browsing the web, editing documents. I also use it quite a bit when I’m making a film. I’m not as gung-ho as some people are, but there are a handful of apps that I’ve found indispensable.

The app landscape is ever changing, so here’s my current top 10 go-to apps:

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