The waiting period between productions for aspiring filmmakers can feel excruciating. It could take weeks, months, or even years to get back on set. But there’s no reason you can’t hone your craft even between productions. Fortunately, there are plenty of apps that can help with this problem.
There a variety of powerful, pint-sized programs that can help every auteur-in-training keep their skills sharp. You don’t have to wait to find a gig on a film set when you can download a bunch of apps that can morph your phone into a portable film set. We’ve compiled a list of 6 of the iPhone and Android apps that can help you strengthen your skills and build your portfolio so you don’t have to sit idly by waiting for the phone to ring. Of course, this is not a comprehensive list, but you should find these apps pretty affordable — especially on a tight budget.
1. Fly (Free, iOS) – Fly is a perfectly suitable video editing app at first glance. You can upload and alter four videos at the same time on one screen. Voiceovers, background music, dissolves, cuts and other special effects can be added straight from your device. However, you might want to pay a little extra to access advanced features like "Multi-cam." This handy tool can sync up to four iPhones together in order to capture and shoot video at the same time. Although it costs an extra $9.99, the steep fee could be worth the ability to create a production whenever you want.
2. Horizon ($1.99, iOS) – iPhone cameras are great, but they have one frustrating limitation: the inability to record horizontal video. Downloading Horizon will help you solve this problem. The app lets you shoot horizontal videos regardless of the way you’re holding your phone. It works in portrait mode as well. Multiple resolutions, different aspect ratios and three kinds of leveling modes will help you keep the camera steady so you can capture the right shot at a perfect angle.
3. Wattpad (Free) – Engaging characters, thoughtful dialogue and an excellent structure are some of the essential qualities a good script should have. Wattpad, an online community of writers, is a perfect platform to help you hone these essential assets. Users can upload a variety of short stories, long features, fan faction and other kinds of content. You can receive helpful feedback from other people on the site. Although you should brace yourself for some tough criticism, Wattpad can help you identify and improve upon your weaknesses.
4. Magisto (Free) – Interested in becoming an accomplished editor? Use Magisto to enhance your portfolio. This is essentially an automatic video editing software. You can upload a video to the site and Magisto analyzes the footage. It identifies the most intriguing parts, puts them together and lets you add a variety of music and effects. Magisto’s goal is to cut down the time it takes to edit a film. You can take time creating albums on the website or edit videos on the go.
5. FX Guru (Free) – Express your creativity with FX Guru. You have 18 free effects to choose from when you download the app. To use more, you have to pay a mere $0.99. These features can be used on action, sci-fi, or horror videos. Demonstrate your creativity by deploying perfect explosions at the right time or having a zombie attack occur in the proper lighting. Utilize this app to become a maestro of mayhem when it comes to work on future film sets.
6. Shake (Free) – The goal of these aforementioned apps is to bolster your body of work and make it easier for you find a job. Once you finally arrive back on set, use Shake to ensure you get paid for your hard work. The app helps you quickly form binding legal contracts and non-disclosure agreements from your phone. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste. Shake will seriously help you out on any job.
Remember: you don’t have to wait for the phone to ring. Pick up your device of choice and get out into the field.