Top Ten iPad Apps Under $10 for Student Filmmakers

Top Ten iPad Apps Under $10 for Student Filmmakers
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By Nella Citino

Beyond the games, the readers and the internet access the iPad offers, this mighty piece of technology can have valuable apps for the filmmaker, video producer, director, scriptwriter, production assistant, production manager, location scout and well, the student filmmaker or producer.
Here are some apps that appear to be helpful if you’re planning on attending or are considering video production or film school.   All are priced under $10 and if used intelligently, they are the best things since sliced bread.

1. Celtx   ($4.99)
Celtx  mobile application for video production | Media institute

Get that story that’s running around your head and put it onto this quick and fun app. If you use the desktop version of the software (which is a free download at then the iPad version is just as intuitive. Sync from your desktop to the iPad and write and edit your film script, storyboard, two – column script (Audio Visual script) or comic book (yes, comic book).  Add notes if you need them and print or send from the iPad. You can also block cameras, lighting set ups, actors, and set pieces. Buy it once and use it on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

2. Easy Release  ($9.99)\
Easy Release application for photographers | Media Institute

You’re shooting a multitude of people and just cranking through interview after interview and need to have people sign off on a release form. This app is developed specifically for the photographer or videographer. With a couple of release form options and some customizable forms, you can use the forms for on -camera subjects or location clearance. Have it signed and send a copy off as a PDF or jpeg to the legal department in a blink. You can also add a logo, business name and address and in comes in 12 different languages just in case you find yourself in Canada.

3. Field Notes LT (Free)
Field Notes LT (Free) applicaiton for video production | Media institute

You’re in the middle of Iowa and you see a perfect cornfield that you think you could use for a baseball film. Right next door is a beautiful Victorian house with a sweeping porch. Pull out the iPad, describe the scene and the surrounding area. Take a few photos. Note the GPS coordinates.  Ah yes, Dyersville, Iowa,  just might work. Keep those notes and ideas organized in different folders and then send it off to someone in Hollywood.  Of course, you may need wifi to get it there or the 4G plan.  If you want to upgrade to FieldNotes Pro, it’s (9.99).  Take a look a the promotional video

4.  DSLR slate ($9.99)
DSLR slate application for video production | Media Institute

This colorful resource is one of the better slate apps on the iPad. The slate is not customizable which is unfortunate but you learn to work with it fairly quickly as long as you know what you need and what you have. It allows you to log shutter speed, ISO, aperture, and the type of lens you are using. And it looks cool as it flips through the various screens right before the beep. ACTION!

5.  Tcoder ($3.99)

You have a wonderful interview with a wonderful interviewee but you need to keep notes on the conversation. Sync up your camera timecode or clock with Tcoder and you can write all those notes down so you can review and add to them later. You can also add details like where you are, the name of the project, and the name of the interviewee. And maybe you need to write down some follow -up questions but you know darn well you’ll forget them if the conversation keeps taking twists and turns. For 3.99, this app is invaluable because you can fire off the notes in an email to someone in the room or off site because maybe, they have questions too.

6. ProPrompter ($9.99)

You have to do the longest stand up in the world. Your talent keeps forgetting his or her lines. You need a quick intro or outro. You have a list of questions that absolutely need answered. Enter ProPrompter.  Add an iPod touch to control the scroll and you have a nice little set up that usually costs hundreds of dollars to rent or buy.

7.  Logic’s Music for Video ($9.99)

Looking for more cowbell? Logic is presenting a powerful app with a learning curve to score your film and videos. It takes a little getting used to, but play around with the buttons, tabs and parameters and soon enough, you’ll soon find your way around. There are tutorials and wealth of ideas on how to get that cowbell base line just right. It’s a big app at 368 megabytes so leave room on your iPad if you can.

8.  Pocket Call Sheet  ($6.99)

It’s 5:00 AM. Where’s your crew? This app makes it easy to let everyone know               what is going to happen that day. You can create the call sheet. Distribute it. And track a massive amount of information that you normally need to make a shoot come off without a hitch. If you have a keyboard attached to your iPad you can type it up fairly quickly.  If not, then it can get a little cumbersome, but the app allows you to pull in people directly from your iPad address book even if they have multiple phone numbers or email addresses.   Everything is added to the call sheet so it’s guaranteed they’re going to get it. See you on location in an hour.

9.  ReelDirector ($1.99)

So here we are, it’s an editing app.  It’s too obvious for a digital film student but this app makes  it easier to edit and share your movie clips. Add transitions, music, drag and drop clips,  and ta-da,  you’re Spielberg.

10.   Netflix   ($7.99 a month)

Set up a streaming account with Netflix, and enjoy an abundance of indie films.  I know, I know.  The fee is monthly but try it out.  Download the free app and watch movies full screen.  Go ahead, steal some ideas. Play your favorite scene over and over and over. Believe me, it’s worth the price.
Of course, if you can’t pay the monthly fee for Netflix streaming then download the free Vimeo app. There’s even more material from extremely talented professionals and a huge amount of tutorials.  Just don’t expect badly shot cute cat videos.
There you have it.   Total price tag for start -up student filmmaking:   less than $66.00.    Wow, what a bargain for some incredibly powerful apps and a way to keep your productions organized.
But wait there’s more…here’s one more  that could prove very handy.

iCam ($4.99)
iCam application for spy cam | Media institute

This app promotes itself as a spy cam but if you need a quick interview with someone, this is incredibly practical. The software must be set up at both ends with a web cam but let the interview begin (and save the traveling costs). The interaction and control is between the webcam and the iPad. You can also record and share the stream if needed. Save it and edit it later.

Now go out there and start shooting!!