Filmmaking with your Android tablet: Where’s the app for that?


Amazon’s recent announcement of the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet for $199 has rocked the internet, and there is no shortage of Android based tablets and smartphone handsets. And yet, Android apps that can aid in the filmmaking process are few and far between. What gives?

There are tons of filmmaking apps for iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad and even iPod Touch. But a cursory search for filmmaking apps on Android only yields a handful. We find this puzzling since Android phones area outpacing iPhones in sales. But not so puzzling since the iPad outsells all Android tablets combined by 24-1. That means that filmmakers are more likely to us their iPads and iPhones to do everything from manage productions, to create storyboards, to even write their screenplays. So much so that whole sites have been dedicated to highlight iOS apps for the filmmaking process.

But on the other side of the isle, in the smartphone universe we’ve only found a handful of apps like Screenwriter, an Android scripting app, or Easy Prompter, a .99 app that turns your Android device into a teleprompter, and a rather overpriced slate app called SL DigiSlate. There’s also a depth of field calculator and a film footage calculator. But that’s about it. When it comes to using your Android device into a viable cinematic creation tool, the iPhone and iPad have the advantage, and it’s a huge one.

Some would say that it’s due to the iOS interface being more elegant, while others would argue that iOS had a mammoth head start in developing an “there’s an app for that” infrastructure that filmmakers can take advantage of. And that may be. Hollywood is very Apple centric and as such, it’s not surprising that the lions share of filmmaking apps are iOS based. And with a market share of 24-1, we doubt that will change any time soon. But as time goes on, experts believe that Android will surpass iOS in terms of app availabilty and sales. It’s already done that with smartphones. And when it does, the market is sure to drive creation of more Android based filmmaking apps. Meanwhile, in addition to the ones listed above, here’s a brief list we’ve found:

Artemis Director’s Viewfinder ($29.99). Artemis mimmicks an old school director’s viewfinder but offers additional features like adjusting film and camera formats, lens sets, and GPS Location details.

Clesh Video Editor ($4.67) – multi track video editor which edits, stores, and shares videos in the Cloud. Frame accurate. Storyboard and timeline editing, but requires paid storage subscription beyond basic usage and is only for the Web/Podcasting.

Acacia Camera Assistant (free) – Camera assistant app which offers depth of field calculation, lens management, viewfinder, slate, and shot logging.

Location Scout (free) – Database of filming locations

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.

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