Smart Phones Advancing Film?

A camera, script, editing suite, slate, TelePrompter, and focus puller all in one.

If you said that in 2000 someone would have laughed and called you crazy. But the release of iPhones and apps has propelled the craft of filmmaking to a completely different level.

The Camera: iPhone 4

iPhone as DLSR

Not having a camera can no longer be a reason for not making a movie. If you have an iPhone you can make a movie with the 720p video and some innovative SLR lens mounts.

720p shooting @ 30 fps

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I still find the CMOS footage on iPhones to be a little jittery, but what can you expect really from a phone? But as processors increase in speed within mobile devices, the cameras are going to be crazy on smartphones. 4k 23.976 time remap to 120 fps? Probably not anytime soon…

Not only can the iPhone be a camera, it can also control a variety of other cameras. DSLR cameras can be triggered with such apps as DSLR Camera Remote, or with the new Redrock Micro MicroRemote Follow Focus system you can pull focus! At a price point of around $1,000 this is going to be one of the most inexpensive remote follow focuses on the market. Indie filmmaking just moved up several notches.

The system works by placing a sonar fixture by the camera lens focusing gear and aiming toward your subject. Moving the outer ring of your screen lets you know how much room you have with focus and where to pull to. Touch focusing? Hopefully in the future.

Redrock Focus Pull

Screen writing is another wonderful asset to the iPhone and iPad app collection. Script supervisors and production crew can have up to the minute script revisions with file sharing and the ability to edit on the fly without all the paper. FinalDraft has been announced for the iPad but no word on the release yet. If you want to be the first to know go here.

Until then, you can download this zip with templates for scripts
within Pages, which is a really great document app for the iPad. iPad Pages ’09 Joke and Biagio Screenplay Template.

via @

Pro Prompterdevelops software, apps, and mounts for making tele-prompting easy. The iPhone version would be good for a Canon 5D shoot up close to the talent, but more than five feet would be really hard to read. The iPad version is amazing, a good size for most productions, and having the ability to control your scroll speed through another iPhone is such a fantastic feature.

All of these apps make for great tools. The quality and how they compare to the real thing is up to the operator. But for the convenient portability of the devices, and having it all in one, they are becoming an asset.

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