Smartphones are now necessary for video production

Smartphones have become indispensable parts of our lives. For many of us, our phones are the first thing we reach for in the morning (often doubling as our alarm clocks) and the last thing we see at night. We use them for entertainment, social connectivity, shopping and conducting business.

Additionally, our smartphones serve to connect us with our acquaintances, remind us of dear friends’ birthdays and get us to important appointments on time. We have come to rely on our phones for everything from checking our daily bank balances to booking our family vacations.

Plus, there’s an app for virtually everything you can think of. Similarly, for media makers, our smartphones have become valuable and essential production tools. Usually, the cameras on smartphones are very easy to use.

These pocket-sized cameras can capture footage at HD resolutions that rival the capabilities of professional camcorders. But, that’s old news. What’s exciting is the wide range of other tasks. Besides image capture, the savvy video producer can now use their smartphone to accomplish many things.

After all, editing apps now abound in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Additionally, free and low-cost editing apps now allow you to edit high-quality video, complete with titles, filters, transitions and effects right on your smartphone. You can even use phone apps to key out green screens to create video composites. Many of these capabilities required expensive and exclusive production gear just a few years ago.  

Even if you don’t shoot video on your phone, there are lots of ways to make use of your phone while producing video.

Even if you don’t shoot video on your phone, there are lots of ways to make use of your phone while producing video. For instance, you may not be aware that you can use your iPhone to remotely control your DSLR camera.

Canon DSLRs are well known to be easily compatible with smartphone controls. Thus, you can control a lot of your camera’s functions, on many DSLRs that have infrared receivers, with just your smartphone.

Do you shoot with a drone or GoPro? Your smartphone can act as both a production monitor and remote camera controller for shooting video via drone, mounted action cam and 360-degree video setups.

But wait, there’s even more! Look for iPhone apps like DigiSlate to slate your shots and MovieSlate 8 for logging and making notes on your takes while you record on set. This app can capture info such as scene, take, timecode and more.

Plus, Scripts Pro is a scripting app that lets you write, edit and access your screenplay on the go. Cinemek Storyboard Composer allows you to use your phone to create storyboards to pre-visualize your shot sequences.

Similarly, Sun Scout and Sun Surveyor are examples of apps that help you scout locations for outdoor shoots. In fact, they show you where the sun will be positioned at different times of the day. Even more, CineMeter turns your iPhone into a real-time histogram with YRGB and can be calibrated specifically to your phone.

All in all, your smartphone is far more than a communications tool and it’s much more than an image capture device. In essence, with the installation of a few apps, your phone is like the ultimate production Swiss Army knife. So, make the most of the tech that you have in your pocket to take greater control over your production process. 

Matthew York
Matthew York
Matt York is Videomaker's Publisher/Editor.

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