There are so many apps which bill themselves as essential to filmmakers that it's hard to know which ones are truly useful. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it does highlight some iPhone apps that will help to streamline your pre-production planning, which will, in turn, help with a productive shoot and post-production process. In some cases, apps can simply complicate simple tasks, but these filmmaking apps should help simplify complicated tasks.
DSLR Slate (iPhone, iPad, $9.99)
This slating app helps streamline shot-logging and will make things much easier in post-production. It does what a traditional slate would do, but it allows you to pack in much more detailed information than you could ever fit on a slate including shutter speed, ISO, aperture, lens and much more.
Film Touch (iPhone, iPad, $9.99)
Though it was designed around commercials, industrials and music videos, Film Touch also comes in handy when you can't keep track of old call sheets or remember that handy PA's name. The app imports your PDF call sheets and crew lists into a private, searchable list of your jobs, companies and coworkers.
MapAPic (iPhone, iPad, $3.99)
Sure, taking photos of potential locations on your iPhone is helpful. But this location scouting app takes it a step further. It organizes all your shoot locations in one place, with geotags, hi-res pics, sunrise and sunset times, your tags and notes and more. Even better, it also provides directions to your locations and allows you to share your locations by email, Instagram and Twitter.
Shot Designer (iPhone, iPad, Free)
Directors and DPs can use this speedy, free app to create camera diagrams and animate characters in order to pre-visualize scenes. You can sync scenes across devices and share with other users. There's an integrated lighting designer and set designer. There's also a pro version with file management, sync and team sharing, scene freeze and more.
Shot Lister (iPhone, iPad, $13.99)
This film set schedule tool allows directors and producers to build, organize, schedule and share shot lists and shooting schedules digitally. It's a lot more efficient than sketching your ideas on little pieces of paper you stuff in your pocket.
ShotPro (iPhone, iPad, $29.99)
The days of using stick figures and arrows to visualize your film's world are over. This pre-visualization app by Shot Professional allows filmmakers, directors, DPs and storyboard artists to build compelling 3D sets and scenes as well as animatable characters. You can build a virtual set and bring your characters to life and even adjust their facial features, control lighting, add props and even add multiple cameras for each scene. You can even add weather effects.
Storyboard Composer (iPhone, iPad, $14.99)
This mobile storyboard and pre-visualization composer allows you to to add markups (such as dolly, track, zoom and pan) to your photos. You can then set a duration for each storyboard panel and play it back to get a sense of pacing and framing. It's easy to learn and best of all, you'll never have to draw a storyboard again.
Below are some previous stories on apps for filmmakers. Got a favorite filmmaking app we haven't mentioned yet? Please share your suggestions in the comments section below.