The smartphone can be an incredible asset for filmmaking. Use it as a tool to bring your story to life. This list of apps can help with pre-production or production. I’ve personally used all the apps listed and these are recommendations based on my experiences using them. Considering the cheapest director’s viewfinder I could find was about $100, this app is worth it for everything it can do.
Artemis – $29.99
Artemis Director’s Viewfinder is an indispensable tool for filmmakers. It replaces the traditional viewfinder that would hang from a director’s neck, with a more convenient form factor and far more accurate and adaptable feature set.
CINE METER II – $29.99
Cine meter II is a light and color meter all in one. It uses the built-in camera to provide a shutter-priority reflected light meter, an RGB waveform monitor, and a false-color picture mode. Cine Meter works on any camera-equipped iDevice running iOS 5.1 or higher. It’s worth the price considering you are saving hundreds of dollars with this as an alternative. I use this app all the time.
You can read more about it from the creator Adam Wilt here: http://adamwilt.com/cinemeter/
Helios – $29.99
You need to be able to track the sun if you are filming outside. Helios does that for you. This app is the best out there for tracking the sun. When I’m on set, I’m using this app 100% of the time.
SHOT DESIGNER – Free
Shot Designer is a tool for creating animated camera diagrams, with shot list, storyboards and director’s viewfinder. I really like having the ability to quickly diagram lights for a set up. The director’s viewfinder is cool but in my experience is far from being accurate. It does give you a general idea of field of view though. One of the best free apps out there for filmmakers.
The Grip App – 7.99
You need to be able to communicate effectively on set. The grip app is like having flash cards that will teach you what certain gear is called. It also comes in handy when you need to know the specs quickly in order to know things like fitting gear into tight spaces.
Adobe Capture – free
Understanding color is another huge component of being a great cinematographer. Adobe color allows you to quickly capture, edit and create production ready assets — including brushes, colors, filters and shapes. This app is great for applying color theory and creating color boards and look books for your films.
Tools I prefer to use on the computer, but you can also use on your phone are google maps and street view for scouting purposes. I also weather.com to know what weather I’m facing on production days.
As I personally use more apps worth mentioning, I’ll update this list with my findings.