Best iPhone Apps for Video Editing
So, making a short film on an iPhone?
Yes. That is right. Making short movies and videos is becoming much easier nowadays. How easy? You can write, shoot, edit, and publish an entire video on your cellular device.
Since I am a “low-budget” filmmaker, I don’t resent this. In fact, I’m a supporter of making short films on iPhones. I wouldn’t recommend filming on an iPhone if you have a decent camera that still works, but if a DSLR is too much money for you to be spending, an iPhone will satisfy your needs when you want to make a movie.
I’ve did some research a while ago on iPhone applications that will help make your video look better. The normal camera app that is already programmed into the phone isn’t the best way to go, but don’t throw it out of the window just yet.
Filmic Pro ($4.99)
The first application I got is called FilMIC Pro. It was pretty cheap in the app store. And it did a lot more than I originally though when I purchased it. It has resolution settings, variable frame rates, custom presets. There are functions to lock exposure, lock focus, set the white balance, and turn on a flashlight from your phone to film in darker areas.The one app has more settings than my previous camcorder did (It wasn’t a very good camera, but it did have a good zoom feature). The downsides of this app is that it doesn’t shoot in 1080p all the time, regardless if you have it set to 1920×1080. It can take a while to process the clips after filming them, unless they are very short clips, then you might not have any issues. The app also relies a lot on the battery life of your phone. If you have a fully charged battery, you’re good to go, but the app does drain the battery once you start filming more and more. If you can find a way to keep it plugged in while filming, you’re good to go. If not, don’t worry about it, just keep a charger close by.
Overall, the application is great for filmmaking. It surely doesn’t beat having a good camera, like a DSLR. But if you are unable to get an SLR camera, this app is definitely worth investing in. It’s much better than using the standard iPhone camera.
Movie Looks ($1.99)
The second app is called Movie Looks. The app is practically Magic Bullet for the iPhone. This app is made by a company called Red Giant, who are well known for making software and plugins for post-production software. The app is basically a color grading app. It is…okay. For the price that I paid for it, it’s fantastic. But because there is very little you can do to adjust how you color grade it, it isn’t the best color corrector. You import your clip from the camera roll on your phone and the app gives you a bunch of options for certain looks. The options range from basic (Black and white, daytime, cartoon, etc.) to more advanced ones (cinematic, war film, action movie, etc.). Once you choose your preset color grade, you can make THREE adjustments; the brightness, strength, and an option between full and half resolution. That’s what I don’t like about this app. Limiting my adjustments to just the three settings is kind of a bummer. Sure, you can get a good looking image from adjusting those. But if your into doing color correction and color grading, you would want more settings to adjust the outcome of your clip.
The app isn’t half bad. If you’re not a color correction wiz and just want a cool look for your clip, here you go! I got this app for dirt cheap, and it’s even free on the app store during an online sale. It definitely does more than you would expect it to do.
Action Movie FX (Free)
Other apps have been popping up that include filming. One is called Action Movie FX, which was developed by J.J. Abrams company, Bad Robot Productions. The app has you film for a few seconds, then it inserts a cool looking visual effect (missile explosion, car flip, tornado, etc.) It’s a goofy little app that you can use to have fun with. I absolutely love it because it’s fun to play around with. This application is now free, but if you want to get more effects, it costs $0.99 to get a package of 2 new effects. I recommend getting the Call Of Duty effects and/or Sci-fi effects, they’re bloody awesome!
Another app that I’ve been spending a lot of time on lately is called Vine. Vine has become very popular in the past year, so you may have heard of it. Vine is a social media application that allows you to make a 6 second video and share it with the rest of the Vine community. There are different speculations to this app though; to make a video, also called a ‘Vine’, you tap on the screen and it records whatever you have the camera looking at. You can take your finger off of the screen to pause the recording, then tap the screen again to record more until you have filled the full 6 seconds. You can make some cool stop-motion videos with this. You are unable to upload a pre-made video for this app. You don’t have to fill the full 6 seconds, you are able to move on to publishing the vine once the arrow in the top right corner turns white. This application, unlike the others, is free.
I like the idea of Vine. Since you are unable to upload pre-made videos, it forces you to be creative. A “Go out and film something” type of app. It doesn’t require any major planning. If you have an idea and the app, you can go make it right then and there. So if you’re curious, go and download the Vine application. You’re not paying anything so it’s worth taking a look at. And there is some funny and entertaining content is posted there. (Please be responsible with what you post out there. Vine can terminate your account and/or delete certain vines.)
This application is more commonly mentioned when it comes to filming on an iPhone. It allows you to cut, edit, and publish movies right on your phone. There’s not much I can say about iMovie. It’s just a basic video editor. It’s a bit much for just a basic video editor, just a little bit more than the FilMIC Pro app, but it’s cheaper than normal video editor for a computer. After all, it’s pretty mind-blowing of how much we can do on our phones already.
I have iMovie, but I currently do not have it on my phone. I’ve used it for a couple of projects, but I kind of got bored with it sine it really is a BASIC editor. It’s just a bit dull to me since I’ve worked on a lot more advanced editors on a computer, and I’ve made a habit of importing any footage from my iPhone to a computer. Honestly, it’s up to you if you want to purchase this app. Definitely look into it and create some pros and cons if you are under consideration of buying the app.
Artemis Director's Viewfinder ($29.99)
If you are a director, you’re going to want to invest in a viewfinder. A viewfinder is a device that helps directors see how much of an image is shown when using different cameras and lenses. You can see these hanging as a necklace around the directors and the cinematographers necks. And this handy little app does the same job as a normal viewfinder that will cost between $200 to $800. This app isn’t necessarily cheap for an app, but for a viewfinder, it’s a steal.
Animation Creator ($2.99)
For anyone who loves drawing and animations, this app is for you. This app allows you to draw out short cartoons and play them on your phone. I don’t have a lot to say about this app because I’m not very consistent with drawing the same object for every frame. But I’m trying my best, that’s what’s important. I’ve browsed through the gallery of the animations that other people have made and they are truly mind-blowing. I believe you can also add music and sound effects to your animation after you’re done drawing it out. I’ve seen other animations in the gallery that contain sound.
I would say get this if you’re really into animation.
This is not an application. The OWLE is an attachment for your phone’s camera. It’s essentially a lens for the camera, and a support system. The reason I bring up the OWLE is because it can add professional-like qualities to iPhone videos.
Watch this short film from the guys at Film Riot, that was shot on an iPhone using the OWLE and Filmic Pro.
*Prices correct at time when article was published.