Studio B Top 5 Favorite Apps When Making a Video

Studio B Top 5 Favorite Apps When Making a Video

Two days before a shoot @ the Adobe headquarters in San Jose, I was asked to be Jane’s assistant director – which in production speak – was to make sure the crew pulled off all the shots we’ve spent weeks dreaming about – on time. Two years ago I would have panicked. But in today’s digital candyland of solutions-for-everything, I knew there was an app I could rely on: Shotlister. Four hours later, I had uploaded Jane’s shot list, assigned times to every scene, and exported our shoot schedule.

When you’re making videos with us @ Studio B, you will quickly learn that we are armored on set with two critical things: our iphones and Kombucha. Our phones to digitize our production processes and Kombucha to help us get through that last stretch of shooting (when we feel like we have needles in our feet).

As we look back on 2013, we created a list of our favorite production apps that have made us more efficient, organized, and most importantly – allowed more room for creativity and storytelling.

1.)  Scripts Pro – Let’s face it. Scripts change. Sometimes minutes before the first shot goes live on set. This app allows crews to update and share scripts in real time so that everyone has instant access to the latest edit. You can drag and drop scenes, tab through elements for each scene, and convert to a wide range of file formats such as .fdx, celtx, txt, pdf, and html.

2.)  Cinemark Storyboard HD – This app takes storyboarding to the next level. As ideas pop into your head, you can pre-visualize your story wherever you go. Simply import photos, create characters, add animated camera moves, determine start and end framing positions, add text, and then play back your project in real time.

3.)  Sun Seeker 3D – If you are shooting outdoors, it’s important to have the most optimal light condition for every shot. This app is critical to take with you on tech scouts. It uses GPS to determine the sun path so you always know the position of light according to time of day. It allows you to plan months or days before you shoot.

4.)  Shot Designer – Another app useful during tech scouts or blocking sessions, this is a dream for Directors and DP’s. It allows you to create a diagram of your scene with customized props, characters, camera gear, lighting, etc. You can add character and camera animations so you see how everything moves throughout the scene. The Director’s viewfinder allows you to select from a list of cameras to frame each shot – including the option to provide you with equivalent lens sizes. Like I said…dream.

5.)  Movie Slate – Now it’s time for Action! No need to fret over wondering if that last-minute AC you hired forgot to bring a slate. Just upload this app and you just saved your editor hours of wading through footage. You can log and take notes as you shoot, record shoot location, and attach timecode data to every shot.

Lisa Donato brings over 12 years experience in leading creative teams within marketing, advertising, retail, and entertainment. She has been published in Self Magazine, LA Times, Whole Life Times, and 5280 Magazine. She is currently contributing scripts for commercial video campaigns and continuing as a freelance journalist.