8 Great Apps for Smartphone Filmmaking

Have a look at your smartphone. In your hand, you have the most convenient high-quality camcorder ever. It is way better than anything a young Spielberg was able to lay his hands on. If your inner filmmaker is straining at the leash, this collection of apps should set you up perfectly in the director’s chair.

Clips (iOS) / Androvid (Android)

Although iMovie is pretty good on iOS, my editor of choice is Clips. The cleverly constructed interface of this app provides a preview of your video at the top, and below are all the clips you want to use. You arrange the clips simply by dragging them into the correct order, and the sliders allow you to trim each clip; you can also add a soundtrack to your movie. It is free to download, with a $4.99 upgrade required to unlock the full Pro version.

The next best thing on Android is the cleverly named Androvid. It is less visually polished than Clips, but actually offers many more features. The full version is $1.99.

Persicope (iOS) / Meerkat (iOS + Android)

Live online broadcasting is at the experimental cutting-edge of video right now, and it also happens to be a nice way of communicating with friends. These two apps are incredibly similar, both providing an easy way to set up a livestream. The essential differences are:

  • Periscope is integrated with (and owned by) Twitter
  • Meerkat has an Android app

I recommend trying both, and using any social media clout for building up an audience.

Hyperlapse (iOS)

Timelapse footage can be both mesmerizing, and a good way of cutting between scenes in a movie. Normally, it requires a tripod and hours of taking single images, but this app from Instagram lets you speed up standard video into timelapse-like clips. The options are limited, but Hyperlapse is easy to use and free to download.

Bleep (iOS)

As the name suggests, Bleep is an app which overwrites bad words in your clips with a high-pitched tone. Whenever someone curses in your video — or you want to make it sound like they did — you just hold down the on-screen button, and the app will censor the rudeness. Yes, it does completely replace sections of audio, and it requires a $1.99 in-app purchase to remove the watermark, but it is a simple way to keep things clean.

Horizon (iOS + Android)

This one is for the moments when you have a brain fade. If you accidentally record in portrait, Horizon will turn it into perfect landscape format for you. Simple, and it only requires an in-app investment of $2.99.

SloPro (iOS + Android)

Finally, one for the sports/science/blowing-things-up enthusiast. SloPro lets you take slow-motion video at up to 1000 frames per second. When played at normal speed, this is the kind of footage which makes snowboarders hang in the air, and specks of dirt gradually move upward behind a mountain bike. A must-have app for budding epic-action movie directors, with the full Pro version costing $3.99.


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