Home ReviewsApplications 7 Essential Filmmaking Apps to Make Some Movie Magic Happen

7 Essential Filmmaking Apps to Make Some Movie Magic Happen

by Patrick Phillips
Filmmaking apps

Alright filmmakers, you’ve finally got your script where you want it. Now all you have to do is sell your soul and make your movie. Really…it may come to that. While your soul (and what you do with it) is entirely in your hands, there are now plenty of easily accessible apps that can help you make your movie. Whether you are a seasoned pro or just kicking around with your buddy’s camera on the weekend, these apps can help you get the most out of your production.

NOTE: These filmmaking apps are readily available for your iPhone or iPad through the iTunes Store. Many are also available for Android devices (please check availability). Some are free, some are not. All are worth your time.

Film Terms – $1.99

Everybody’s gotta start somewhere. Fact is, you’re not going to get very far as a filmmaker if you can’t speak the language. Film Terms is a simple, easy-to-use glossary of over 400 filmmaking terms that can help you navigate through pre-production all the way through post. Don’t worry if you don’t know what those two terms mean…they’re included in the glossary.

Shot Designer – Free

Designed by Per Holmes of The Hollywood Camera Work Master Class fame, Shot Designer is an essential filmmaking app for pros and novices. Loaded with marvelous features, Shot Designer is the app for directors and cinematographers to sync their individual visions.


  • Camera Diagram – streamline the diagram process as this app can generate a full-blown diagram in seconds.
  • Animation – pre-visualize the rhythm of your scene by seeing it with animated characters and camera moves.
  • Set/Lighting Designer – build floor plans and lighting designs with these fully-integrated design tools.

This app is a bit of a game changer. With all that it offers, it’s sort of hard to believe that it’s free. Download this one today.

The Director’s Viewfinder – Free

Traditional logic will tell you that the Artemis Viewfinder is the way to go on this front. While Artemis may be the most comprehensive viewfinder on the market, I’ve always found its interface a bit muddy and difficult to navigate. I’m going with The Director’s Viewfinder here because: 1. It’s Free (at least for now) and 2. It’s insanely easy to use. Pro or amateur can scout locations, plan your shots, see your scene and save time doing it with this beautifully designed filmmaking app.


  • Lenses – try any lens, any sensor and any aspect ratio combo you can think of.
  • Presets – create presets for your favorite lens/camera combinations.
  • Swipe/Pinch – switch combos with ease with simple swipe or pinch capabilities.

On any set, time is money…and the one thing that cannot be replaced. Save time, save money, and execute your vision with The Director’s Viewfinder. Be warned, this filmmaking app is in the midst of a launch sale and will only be Free for a Limited Time. Get it now!

Movie Slate 7 – $29.99

Logging your footage will save you oodles of time in the editing room. Movie Slate 7 turns your iPad or iPhone into the best clapper on the market. “The Rolls-Royce of slates,” this filmmaking app is a little on the pricey side, but it’s an absolute beast and worth every penny.


  • Slate – easily select and edit information on an optimized keyboard. Set timecode and sync between IOS devices with ease via Bluetooth. Switch to music video mode to sync with songs from your iTunes library.
  • Clapper – mimic real clap with easy shake & clap feature.
  • Shot Log Histories – Save multiple time-stamped notes. Add voice/image/text notes. Save logs over multiple formats.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Really, there are too many fantastic features to list here for Movie Slate 7. With a clean, functional interface, logging your footage is easier than ever. If you are serious about making movies, you will want to drop the coin to have this invaluable filmmaking app.

AJA DataCalc – Free

While the name isn’t exactly sexy, the app certainly is. In this age of digital content creation, AJA DataCalc is filling a vital need…telling you exactly how much space you will need in almost any shooting scenario. For video pros and video noobs, this free app is essential.


  • Optional Formats – designed to work with virtually every video format and compression method.
  • Simplicity – change settings and calculate storage needs in a single, easily navigated screen.

If you are a digital shooter, you will eventually find yourself with memory running out and footage to shoot. AJA DataCalc is hands-down the best option to help you figure out how best to utilize that precious storage space.

Videoshop Video Editor – $1.99

Every iPhone/iPad filmmaker out there knows what a pain in the a** iMovie can be sometimes. Seems the folks at Videoshop are in agreement. With their slick little video editor app, they’ve taken the mojo behind iMovie and kicked things into overdrive. Loaded with well-designed, functional features, turning your little iPhone movies into something more than trivial is now quite fun…and really easy.


  • Effects – add music, sound effects, slo-mo (or fast), animated titles and numerous other effects with the push of just a button or two.
  • Merge Clips – easily merge separate files and clips into one, seamless video.
  • Sharing – share your clips to Vine, Snapchat, Instagram, Vimeo, YouTube, and Facebook.

While I have mixed feelings about iPhone/iPad movies in general (movies are meant to be BIG, people!), I cannot deny that I really like this app and its functionality. Whether you are tinkering or looking to add some phone footage to your larger digital project, Videoshop Video Editor is a great way to get that footage into shape.

Focus Chart – Free

Simple. Effective. Necessary. In the end, it doesn’t matter what you’re shooting or what you’re shooting with if your images are out of focus. This absurdly simple Focus Chart app is the easiest way for cinematographers and camera assistants to make sure that golden light and those one-time-only performances are captured in focus.

No more excuses, folks. Get off your butts and go make your movie! With so many apps to help and so many places to share your content, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t make some magic happen.


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