Years ago, the idea of shooting short movies on your camera phone wasn’t possible. But as our phones become larger, more powerful and evermore like mini media centers, mobile filmmaking using tablets, phablets and phones has become a popular way to make short films.
Mobile Filmmaking: Make Short Films On Your Smart Device
To get started with mobile filmmaking, you simply need a device and some filmmaking applications.
1. Download These Mobile Filmmaking Applications:
Using an application to help you out in your mobile filmmaking efforts is a wise move and you don’t have to pay a premium for most of them either! With a plethora of different filmmaking and editing apps out on the various stores, you can easily give your film a more professional edge. Here are just a few I would recommend:
CELTX Shots: Production Planner – When I was filming some short pieces for my media studies course, my friend used this app in order to orchestrate the next day’s filming. The easy to move images make it a hoot to create a floor plan for where your actors, props and camera will all be positioned for each individual shot. Additionally, this app also gives you the ability to storyboard your whole Short Film using Photos form your device!
SPARK: Easy Filmmaking App – This handy little app allows you to shoot your Short Film in segments and then apply filters. Although you can’t switch around the order of the scenes, as long as you decide on the story beforehand this app has a beautiful interface and makes filmmaking a real breeze.
Horizon: Filmmaking Tool (to banish Vertical Video and Slow Down time!) – If you hate vertical video and struggle to hold a tablet Landscape, then go ahead and get this app. It allows you to basically hold the device vertically and enjoy the results of a horizontal video. Plus this app allows you to slow your films down, making for some great added editing opportunities.
This is a part of filmmaking that should be seriously considered when making films with an iPhone or iPad.
While your devices recording potential is amazing, they are by no means equipped to deal with the noise of the outside world. In fact, wind noise is a huge issue for most camcorders! And unless you have the budget for high quality recording devices, it is advisable to keep your narrative indoors and focus on capturing the best sound quality you possibly can.
3. Edit Your Short Film
While there are options out there on the app store such as iMovie, which allow for on-the-fly movie editing. I would seriously recommend using desktop editing software such as Final Cut for Mac and Movie Maker for windows.
On my Short Film site, a young filmmaker by the name MollymakesaVlog, submitted a film to my community and she had shot everything on an iPad mini first and then put it all together using Final Cut and the results where Amazing!
Mobile filmmaking is a great way to experiment with sculpting a narrative on the fly. So download those IOS apps or the android equivalents and let us know how it goes. Also be sure to submit a link to your short movie in the comments!
Dan Haddock is a curator at The Local Film Network. A site set up to encourage and promote conversation about Short Films and the people who make them. For more info on the site and future TLFN projects tweet me @DanatTLFN!