grip and electric apps Making the Apps: Grip Apps, Set Lighting Apps, and    Soon    One for Crew Scouts

There aren't many apps for grips and gaffers, but the ones that exist can be contributed to a developer by the name of Nat Aguilar. His programming chops set up G&E apps on iOS — theGrip App and setLighting — and he's constantly turning out new apps for Android on his own — Set Lighting Technician and Android Grip — and is in the midst of developing for new apps for film scouting and invoicing which are coming soon. I got in touch with Nat to talk about his unique work both on set and off.

You're a gaffer who has programmed, released, and followed up multiple apps for mobile. How did you get started? What has been your greatest moment with your apps since starting out?

set technician example 270x480 Making the Apps: Grip Apps, Set Lighting Apps, and    Soon    One for Crew Scouts

Set Technician on Android

Nat Aguilar I am a gaffer who has programmed, yes. But I have been focusing mainly on programming. It's no small subject. Programming came to me as a small curiosity. While I was a gaffer on shows small or big, I always had books — both math and computer science — so I could study during lunch or after wrap. That's where it all started.

The greatest moment I've ever had in app development was with my former business partner Darcy Schlitt. We were in a bar, and we just finished the Set Lighting app and, right there, we uploaded the app to Apple. We were both very proud of what we did.

You began with an iOS app called The Grip App. You've also made G&E apps for Android. What was the greatest challenge working with both SDKs? Were there any unique benefits for your app where Android worked better than iOS — or where iOS worked better than Android?

NA The first application I developed was the Grip App for iOS.

grip app example 269x480 Making the Apps: Grip Apps, Set Lighting Apps, and    Soon    One for Crew Scouts

Grip App on Android

Android was the second platform I developed for. It is actually almost 10x easier developing for android than it is developing for iOS. With Android I could build something with 500 lines of code, but building a replica for iOS would take 10,000 lines of code, and a dozen architectures like MVC, MVP, Target action, delegate, singleton, oop, etc, etc. Because I started with iOS, developing for Android is much much easier.

Looking at apps tailored to gaffers and overall G&E, how do you feel your app is unique and competitive, especially for your price point?

NA For the price, on either iOS or Android, it's a collection of all the information that one needs. Or at least I hope it is the information that people need.

For example, I was on a shoot and the gaffer on the shoot — I was one of the 3-rds — wanted to know what the weight of a 6K was because he was planning to put about a dozen on the grid. I pulled my iPhone and showed it to him. And he had his answer in about 5 clicks.

The price really justifies the convenience of quick and fast information. And as new gear comes up I try to keep up to specs with that information. I think competitiveness comes as convenience to the user of the software.

How has being on set while developing apps helped your apps take off? What new things are you working on currently, both with new apps and existing apps?

NA Working on set has allowed me to understand what people want in software. There have been a few times when people use the apps that I built to get information — but they don't know I built them. I don't really talk about it other than to close friends. But it's given me a knowledge of how people use software because they don't really know that I'm taking notes.

Currently, I'm building an invoice application for both iOS and Android, but one app coming soon is called Crew Scout. I'm most proud of how customizable it is. The fact that a person can make a list for grip, camera, lighting, expendables, or theater, and customize their gear list, and have their own macros already set in the settings is what wonderful. Writing those algorithms took me a long time, but a person can enter, for example, a 10K and all the little details are already done for them: scrims, scrim bag, etc.

What are your thoughts for the future of mobile apps tailored for film crews? Where do you think the overall industry of apps for filmmakers is headed? What do you think needs to be developed as an app next?

NA A lot of apps have been developed for iOS and Android for the entertainment industry. And I'm glad they have. But I think one thing is missing over all. And that is the sharing of information — whether that's invoices or call sheets, the sharing of information between me and everyone else on set.

The sharing of information is something I think that people want. People are sharing contact info via text, e-mails, or person-to-person, but if there is an app that can solve that problem, then we have something.


Author

Aaron Proctor
Founder, FWD:labs
Director of Photography site
Contact
@aaronproctor



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  • Published March 31, 2014 in Film + Web

unicef tap project 2014 tn UNICEF Taps Into Global Inaction

Today marks the last day of the seventh annual UNICEF Tap Project, a campaign that offers this simple challenge: go ten minutes without using your cell phone, and UNICEF's corporate partner Giorgio Armani Fragrances will provide one day of clean water for a child in need.

Simply load uniceftapproject.org on your mobile phone, pretend your phone is diseased, and Armani will donate $.0025 for every minute of inactivity towards providing clean drinking water to 768 million people worldwide — making the process so easy that, yes, you probably could and even should do it it in your sleep.

Digital Backlash

The Tap Project is a timely idea propelled by a growing backlash against social media and digital addiction overall. In one fell swoop, the Tap project juxtaposes the first-world boredom of #selfies and #cat pics with the fact that hundreds of millions of people worldwide lack access to something as basic as clean drinking water and sanitation. It’s a refreshing perspective, and provides a sort of reverse call to arms in our era of overconsumption: put down your phones and do something to help.

0 UNICEF Taps Into Global Inaction

"We are obsessed with cell phones," the project's informational video begins, featuring animated diners sitting in a restaurant dutifully glued to their mobile devices. "Have you been out to dinner lately? We think we can’t live without our phones. So why don't we use them to provide something people actually can’t live without? Clean water."

To put this dichotomy into perspective, not only does the Tap Project provide real-time statistics on how many years of clean water have been raised by the effort on a current day (4.2 years at the time of publication), and the current record for inactivity (17k minutes at the time of publication), but perhaps more saliently, what users aren't doing when they abstain from using their phones:

People have helped kids today instead of:

  • Viewing 9 Million #Selfies
  • Uploading 3692 million Facebook photos.
  • Viewing 911K #Cat Photos.
  • Viewing 11 million #nofilter photos.

Don’t Just Do Something: Sit There

unicef tap project 2014 detail 233x320 UNICEF Taps Into Global Inaction

While your phone sits still, you're shown various infographics about the cause.

No one can argue with just how insidious cell phones and social media have become in society, of having so much benevolent power at one’s fingertips yet wielding it to post pictures of our chicken caesar salad; and where the Tap Project really shines is in its cynical — albeit probably unintentional — acknowledgment that the public would prefer to literally not lift a finger in order to make a difference.

UNICEF makes the giving process about as painless and non-participatory as it gets — and because of that, has been extremely successful in drumming up awareness and, more to the point, clean water. Their press release from March 25th stated the following stats:

So far, these Tap Project donations have been used to promote hygiene, provide well rehabilitation and emergency water and sanitation — most notably in Syria, the Philippines, and the Central African Republic.

Engagement Disrupted

In this gilded age of "disruption," the Tap Project provides a definition that is undoubtedly too literal for most digital marketers or campaign managers — and even physically uncomfortable for all those fidgety end-users addicted to their phones. And this is why it works so well. It asks us to be truthful with ourselves, to solemnly acknowledge that what we do on social media, gaming, fantasy leagues, should all be reminders of how many people are suffering worldwide, and should likewise provide the necessary guilt veneered leverage to contribute to a very worthy campaign.

The Tap Project encourages people to pause, reflect, and unplug. Not only to pay attention to events going around the world, but to be mindful of what’s going on right in front of them — for instance, the next time they are poured water at the dinner table.

The UNICEF Tap Project end today, March 31st.


Daniel Steiner
Filmmaker
@Hararuk




Part of a series of posts about great film, web, or design artists and their work abuzz online and in-person.

mad men lessons for freelancers [Dailies] Mad Men, Sam Mendes, Paris, and IMDb

  • Creative Bloq's Karl Hodge compares "Mad Men" lessons to the world of freelancing, such as moving with the times and to sweat the small stuff.
  • Director Sam Mendes shares his rules for fellow directors with Vanity Fair. Some favorites include choosing collaborators who disagree with you, having confidence not ego, and never forgetting how lucky you are to do something that you love.
  • Location scouting and geotaggin has been taken to another level in Paris with a project called Cinemacity, which "geolocates film excerpts throughout Paris, exactly where they were shot. Different cinewalks are available to users, enabling them to discover the city through the lens of cinema." Be sure to check out the trailer that was made by a local production company in the French capital. (Side note: check out our article from 2008 on this very topic, Location Based Mobile Cinema.)
  • Software engineer Kevin Wu imports data from IMDb's user ratings for television shows and graphs them season by season, showing where shows gained momentum (e.g. Breaking Bad and House of Cards), lost clout (e.g. New Girl and Dexter), or stayed consistent (e.g. Game of Thrones and Sopranos).

Author

Aaron Proctor
Founder, FWD:labs
Director of Photography site
Contact
@aaronproctor



  • Published March 14, 2014 in Film + Web

first kiss tn The Set Up and The Follow Through

We're drawn in, experiencing what caught our eye. Then, like a domino effect, sometimes content wants us to take another step: to buy some clothes, to see the feature film, or to save the whales.

Selling Clothes

Tatia Pilieva, a Los Angeles based filmmaker finishing her first feature, put together a short, "First Kiss," which came online Monday and has reached over 47 million views by this morning. The short is actually an advertisement for WREN, which used this as a companion piece for their fashion line.

0 The Set Up and The Follow Through

Watching the Feature

Jonas Cuaron, the son of "Gravity" director Alfonso Cuaron, directed a 7 minute short called "Aningaaq." The film is a spin-off short in the same world as the feature film "Gravity" and uses Sanda Bullock's voiceover. According to THR, the short was funded with $100,000 by Warner Home Video and was originally scheduled just for Blu-ray release before screening in film festivals on its own. "Aningaaq" was released after "Gravity" was in theaters and even contended for an Oscar nomination, which would have been historic for a feature and a spin-off to make the same Academy Awards.

0 The Set Up and The Follow Through

Another spin-off short film involved Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel." They put up the short film "Castello Cavalcanti" online three months before the opening of his feature film. Here, the 8 minute short was sponsored by PRADA and crewed by the same artisans as the feature.

0 The Set Up and The Follow Through

Saving the Whales

The documentary "Blackfish" about the killer whales at SeaWorld has legs. It's been through a limited theatrical run, and it's been on video services like Netflix for a while now. But there are captivated viewers who are acting upon what they saw. There's both a petition from a New York senator and a bill by a California lawmaker being raised to save the whales. If you check out anything on the topic online, there's continued public outcry so broad that SeaWorld buys "promoted tweets" and Google Ads to voice a rebuttal. Either way you look at it, the film set up the larger idea to make a serious choice. Nevertheless, the 5% decline in attendance to SeaWorld after "Blackfish" was released is hard to pinpoint to seasonal fluctuation — but now that Jessica Biel is tweeting about it, things could change.

0 The Set Up and The Follow Through

What's Next?

the cove action 320x288 The Set Up and The Follow Through

In these cases, the conversion works far better than any other method. But it's not easy. With "First Kiss," had it been an unbranded piece, it may have had the same viral boom; had it been more clearly an ad, it might have been skipped over. With the supplemental short related to the feature, perhaps it's artistically driven quality content that shows waiting for the Blu-ray release isn't the way to go for everything. And with "Blackfish," the "take action" approach is reminiscent of major docs "The Cove," which showed change can happen as a result of enough follow through.


Author

Aaron Proctor
Founder, FWD:labs
Director of Photography site
Contact
@aaronproctor




fwdlabs traffic reports 249x320 [Updated Feature] Real time Traffic Report for Filmmaker Sites, Now Free for All

Today we're very excited to release a big update to a feature now for all FWD:labs users: real-time traffic reports to your page and your work. Data analytics have been one of the top requests from our users, and we've made some big changes. Now, everyone has access to real-time data. And, as a special perk for our long-time members, we're also exposing data going back seven years!

Improving upon when we first rolled out this feature, our traffic reports let you see daily unique (x 7 days), daily pageview (x 7 days), total unique, total pageview, total unique referrers, and top referrers. You can also see the ratio of unique to pageview, which shows engagement or — in other words — how many footprints somebody made when they visited. This all enables you to know your content and efforts on FWD:labs help get your name and work out there to a lot of people.

Just like seven years ago, we still use a form of sparklines for graph data, inspired by designer Edward Tufte. This allows you to easily see the flow without piling more than you need on a chart. Unlike seven years ago, we now cache all data except for today's real-time numbers, providing you a super fast experience to see numbers that matter.

And while you may be able to see similar data when using services such as Vimeo and Cinely, what we do is different. At FWD:labs, we provide data for both you website and projects, not video player interactions. Best of all, we're 100% free for all filmmakers at FWD:labs.

Want a little bit more? For our users we pro accounts, we also combine traffic reports for any content of yours on fwdlabs.com included with your custom domain name. This would be impossible with Google Analytics. Pro accounts can also look back through daily legacy data since 2007.

Login and check out your traffic reports. Then, with the time saved and information learned, you can get back to doing what you love: filmmaking.


Author

Aaron Proctor
Founder, FWD:labs
Director of Photography site
Contact
@aaronproctor




new academy logo by 180la To Win An Oscar, Enter These Festivals

Unveiled in 2013, the Academy' new logo was designed by 180LA

I was recently asked, "which film festivals should we submit our film?"

Picking where to send your film is hard when you consider scheduling for the coming year and vetting individual festivals. These are two of the shortcoming of Withoutabox, the popular pick for consolidating paperwork and knowing deadlines, which I've written about in the past. You also may want to be mindful of the overall budget, seeing as how most festivals require fees upward of $50 apiece.

Here's where word-of-mouth tips can help steer you in the right direction.

I would first look at which ones you submitted to already, whether or not you've gotten in for consideration. Were they based on calculated research, like they seem to like esoteric parodies year after year? Or were they based on pure reputation, like Sundance and Cannes? If all of the submission rules were followed correctly, perhaps there's insight to figure out why the film was or wasn't selected towards where next to send the film.

Then I would write up a larger list. I don't use Withoutabox, so I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one who would be tempted to just "wing it" and Google some names or throw out only big name festivals. However you want to compile information, once I have a list of 10 to 20, you could chart out a budget: submit to one or two every month for the next year after your film is complete.

Finally, if it's a short, through talking this over with one director who just finished his animated short film, I've learned that the Academy publishes a list every year of film festivals. If you win any one of these 77 festivals, you're apparently considered for an Oscar. (The fine print reads that they may change any of these festivals or awards without notice.)

(Looking for feature film consideration? That's different, because you need votes from fellow Academy members. Check out TheWrap which looks at those numbers, which vary depending on your branch.)

Below is a copy of the Academy's 77 preferred festivals for short films. You can also see their formal PDF version. (If you're viewing this article after our February 2014 publication date, see their Rules page for changes in forthcoming years.)

Of course this isn't the only way to apply to film festivals and vie for winning big. But it's certainly better than starting from scratch if you're new to the game. Do you have any tips? Add a comment below to add your two cents.


Author

Aaron Proctor
Founder, FWD:labs
Director of Photography site
Contact
@aaronproctor



  • Published February 21, 2014 in General

Part of a series of posts about great film, web, or design artists and their work abuzz online and in-person.

esurance save 30 [Dailies] #EsuranceSave30, SundanceTV, Criterion Collection

  • What ever happened to the #EsuranceSave30 stunt after the Super Bowl? There was a winner, but Esurance also released the stats of their marketing stunt, which included 1) 5.4 million uses of the #EsuranceSave30 hashtag, 2) more than 200k entries within the first minute of the Esurance commercial airing, and 3) 1.4 million hashtag uses in the first hour and 4.5 million in the first 24 hours. They also gained over 261k new followers to espouse their marketing messages, which sounds like ad money well spent. (via AdWeek)
  • "Single Stories" is a branded content series from Vizeum and The Story Lab featuring celebrities such as Bryan Cranston sharing an impromptu, but pivotal story and "the wisdom they've gleaned from the experience." The brand behind it all is the single malt whiskey company, Glenlivet, and they're for SundanceTV, although some clips are online. (via Fast Company)
  • "Film Restoration at Criterion Collection" is a short film by Michael Hession and Nicholas Stango that walks through how Criterion works their magic. Tech blog Gizmodo produced the piece. (via Thompson on Hollywood)

Author

Aaron Proctor
Founder, FWD:labs
Director of Photography site
Contact
@aaronproctor



  • Published January 30, 2014 in General

karate kid Good to Great : 8 Steps to Improving Your Storytelling

As a storytelling coach, I often hear the same question from students: How do I become a better storyteller?

As is the case with any pursuit, it all comes down to practice.

Storytelling is one of the most innate human activities – people tell stories in one form or another every day – but it takes work to hone your craft. So to help you shape your stories, here are “8 Steps to Improving Your Storytelling.” The exercises won’t turn you into David Sedaris, Spalding Gray or even Ralph Macchio (see above) overnight, but try these every day for a month and you’ll notice the benefits. And it’ll be way easier than learning to catch flies with chopsticks*.

  1. Keep a daily log. The first step to becoming a better storyteller is to record events as they happen. Set aside at least half an hour each day, preferably in the morning or late at night, to write in a journal. When you write, it’s important to stick to the facts as much as possible. Avoid passing judgements and drawing conclusions. Be specific (paint a picture), honest (don’t lie!), and personal (explore your stakes), and you’ll quickly find that the journal will become a source of material for stories.
  2. Sharpen your listening skills. Listen to the stories that your friends and family tell. Try to identify the component parts (character, setting, problem, stakes, conflict tension, crisis, climax, consequences) of every story. As I mentioned in a previous post, the fastest way to become a better storyteller is to become a better listener.
  3. Record and transcribe the story. One of the best ways to practice storytelling is to record yourself telling a story. Once you’ve finished, do something unrelated for an hour or so and then come back and transcribe the tape verbatim. The transcription process will help you identify verbal tics (‘um’, ‘uh’, ‘like’, etc) in your speech pattern and will offer insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the narrative.After you’ve read over the transcription, ask yourself: Does the story interest me? If I were a complete stranger, would I listen to the whole story? If the answer to either question is ‘No’, don’t despair. That’s where Step 3 can help.
  4. Outline the story. Once you’ve recorded and transcribed your story, outline the story. Break the story into scenes, draw pictures, or use a story map (see here and here). Experiment with different outline techniques and you’ll find one that works best for you.
  5. Turn the story into a pitch. You should be able to summarize your story in a one sentence pitch, so practice doing this with every story you tell. Pitches should be simple and should suggest big moments or events (i.e., “the time I almost failed out of college” or ‘the time I peed in my pants in front of my high school rowing team”). The simpler the pitch (ten words or fewer) the better.
  6. Try a story out in a social setting. Pitch your story to friends in a social setting and see if anyone wants to hear the story. You’ll quickly figure out what your audience finds interesting. Once you’re feeling comfortable with the story, try performing it at an open mic.
  7. Identify a theme. As I’ve mentioned before, a theme (i.e. redemption, love, betrayal, etc) will often appear in a story after you’ve told it a few times. Once you become aware of the theme, edit the story so the scenes work in service of the theme or themes. You’ll be amazed at what happens when you take the time to edit properly.
  8. Add a new twist. After you’ve performed a story several times, add a new twist. Start in a different place or add in a new detail and see how your audience reacts. The change may or may not work for the story, but you’ll learn something in the process. And that’s the point, after all.

*I’ve never caught a fly with chopsticks

(Originally published at The Story Source.)


Andrew Linderman
Writer. Teacher. Consultant.
@lindermania




cadrage directors viewfinder Making the App: Cadrage Directors Viewfinder for iOS and Android

Here at FWD:labs, one of our most popular resources is a directory of apps for filmmakers. Filter the list down to apps for directors, and then director viewfinder apps, you would have seen only one for Android, called Cadrage Directors Viewfinder. They've now rolled out their iOS version. I reached out to chat with their creators, Daniel Ivancic and Anselm Hartmann at distant blue – mobile solutions, based in Vienna, Austria.

You started the application on the Android platform, which is incredibly popular worldwide but not as competitive when it comes to mobile applications for filmmakers. How has being "Android first" helped your app? How did you come up with the app, decide on its name, and figure out its primary features?

 Making the App: Cadrage Directors Viewfinder for iOS and Android

Daniel and Anselm We started talking about "making an app" about three years ago over a beer, initially just to see if we could pull it off. It was pretty soon clear that it was going to be a filmmaking app, as this would combine our qualifications nicely — Daniel has a degree in informatics and Anselm is a cinematographer. We finally decided to go for a director’s viewfinder because this seemed to us like a challenging project and back then there weren't many similar apps out there like today. It took us a while to get started in the beginning since we both always had other commitments, so we only did some research and figured out the math at that time. Coding for the Android version actually started in summer of 2012.

The reason why we developed for Android first is because we figured it would actually be more complicated to accommodate so many different devices and if we could make it work on Android it should not be too complicated to port it to iOS (or so we thought). Another reason was that Daniel is very familiar with Java, so it made also sense to start here.

Testing on many different Android devices made us aware of the problem that the camera parameters provided by the phone manufacturers are sometimes usable but more often than not way off. We need to know the correct field of view of the phone though to calculate and display a preview that matches a certain camera. Unlike the couple of iOS devices that are all easily accessible, it was impossible to test thousands of Android phones for their FoV. This is why we came up with the calibration tool that lets the users calibrate their devices. This improves accuracy dramatically. iPhone/iPad/iPod touch users don't need to do this since we tested all supported devices and the app will choose the right calibration automatically. We still added the calibration tool to the iOS version so that you can calibrate wide-angle or telephoto adapters you might want to use on the phone.

In terms of the user interface the goal was to make it as simple and clean as possible. It made sense to us ergonomically to put the buttons you would need while framing a shot (changing focal lengths and taking a photo) on the lower right hand side, so they would be easily reachable with the right thumb. This way you could hold the phone with both hands keeping the framing steady while changing focal lengths or taking a snapshot.

Another aspect we found important was to offer all different shooting modes (like the 2K, 3K, 4K etc. with RED cameras) and aspect ratios with all the camera formats, for example to have a 1:2.39 crop when shooting with a Canon 7D. Of course the camera only lets you shoot 16:9, but many people use Magic Lantern to display frame guides or put markers on their monitors.

The name "Cadrage" was used initially on a layout for the splashscreen just to have some name for the app. The word is originally French for “framing”, but it is used in the German language also. It kind of stuck, so that's how it became our app's name.

Coding for different operating systems can be tedious. Can you walk me through how you converted your Android application over to iOS? What were your individual roles and did you take on everything yourselves? What was the greatest challenge? Were there any unique benefits for your app where Android worked better than iOS — or where iOS worked better than Android?

 Making the App: Cadrage Directors Viewfinder for iOS and Android

D & A Everything on the app was done by ourselves, we didn't outsource anything. Generally speaking Daniel was in charge of the coding and Anselm worked on the user interface/graphics. Although we added new features and re-designed the UI graphics in the process of porting the app, with the existing Android version of Cadrage we knew how the app had to look and behave on iOS: so the first step was to find out, how the core functions — the live image processing of the camera preview and the re-composing of the snapshots — could be realized in the iOS framework. With a prototype that covered this functionality and which ran stable and fast enough on the iPhone, the "real" porting process started: the translation of the data-structures and data-models to the Objective-C programming language, which is used for the iPhone app development. The next step was to implement all the other functions of the Android Version and to rebuild the user-interface for the iOS version. The hardest part in this whole process was that you first have to get to know the characteristics of the framework and the language you are programming in and then have to find out all the "tricks" that you need: but the knowledge of this stuff comes from the experience you get during the whole process of porting the app.

It would be easy to talk for hours about the differences between the iOS framework and the Android framework and which design detail on each operating system makes it easier for developers to realize a specific goal -– but it would be a never ending story and it would be impossible to pick a clear winner. But there is one thing that stands out: On Android our app has to run on more than 3,500 different devices from many different manufactures, that have all their own little adaptations and modifications of the current Android operating system, especially in the way the hardware has to be accessed. In our case that is the access to the device’s camera and it was not easy to make it work stable on all devices. On the iOS operation system we only had to handle about ten devices, which all use the same unmodified operating system. So from this point of view the development of an application for iOS is much more comfortable than the development of an Android app.

Now on iOS, there is a handful of competition with other director viewfinder apps. How do you feel your app is unique and competitive, especially for your price point?

 Making the App: Cadrage Directors Viewfinder for iOS and Android

D & A As you said there are a couple of different viewfinder apps available by now, especially for iOS. Our goal with Cadrage was to make a straight-forward app that works reliable in a professional environment both on iOS and Android that is also affordable for indie filmmakers and film students. We wanted to make it feature rich but still keep the design and user interface as simple as possible. A unique feature is definitely the calibration tool, but in the end it's often the little things in usability that really ties it into your workflow. For filmmakers we're another option they can choose, like they choose all their tools and equipment in filmmaking.

You're based in Vienna, which is a notable European film capital with an incredible film festival, and you have two applications now for filmmakers. How has being in a major city helped your two apps take off? Where do you find your apps have been purchased/downloaded the most around the world? How has making two filmmaker apps helped shape your overall business at Distant Blue?

 Making the App: Cadrage Directors Viewfinder for iOS and Android

D & A We would often meet in a café to work on the app and Vienna has lots of really nice ones with good coffee, so this helped us most definitely. But being in a city with working film professionals of course makes it easier to find people who are willing to test your app. We might be stating the obvious here, but it's important to know who your users are and how they’ll use your app in their work. You can have thousands of great features but end up with an unusable app that makes everything more complicated instead of easier. So our focus really lies on usability. We did get a lot of input from friends and colleges who used early versions of Cadrage during their shoots and this helped us the most. For us it's about making apps that we want to use ourselves and knowing a thing or two about filmmaking is in this case essential to creating a high quality app.

About our users: Approximately 20% of them are located in the United States, 40% in Europe and the other 40% in the rest of the world.

What are your thoughts for the future of mobile apps for filmmaking? Where are your two filmmaking apps headed, and where do you think the overall industry of apps for filmmakers is headed?

D & A It's hard for us to make any predictions about the future about filmmaking apps in general but as long as there are apps available that make your work as a filmmaker easier there's going to be a demand for them. They are just tools you can decide to use if they help you save time or stay organized. Just as workflows are constantly changing with new cameras being released every year and smart phones getting more and more capabilities, new apps will emerge that accompany these changes in technology.

We will of course keep on updating our released apps. This means in case of Cadrage either adding new cameras to the database and ensuring compatibility to new devices or OS versions but also working on new features and improving old ones. We have a couple of ideas for new apps so you will see more (filmmaking) apps from us soon.


Author

Aaron Proctor
Founder, FWD:labs
Director of Photography site
Contact
@aaronproctor




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