Created entirely using an iPhone 4 and iPad2 (and edited with iMovie for iOS), in this how-to video, you’ll learn the basics of movie making using some cool accessories and apps while editing it all on the iPad 2.
Hey Sync readers, if you’ve ever wanted to create your own blockbuster, it might be easier than you think. The iPhone 4 and iPad2 capture excellent video and with the right apps and accessories, you too can become a star movie maker. Enjoy!
- Pre and post roll is highly recommended. It gives better editing options later on. Basically record a few extra seconds before and after each shot.
- It doesn’t hurt to always take more shots than you need as well, this too gives you more editing options later on.
- If you are shooting an event, try to anticipate the movement of subjects and think about the edit at the same time.
- Both devices capture really great sound within a reasonable distance. For those that might want to narrate a story or how-to video, iMovie for the iPad2 has this feature built into the app which makes the job even easier.
- An excellent iPad app to help create simple title boards that were used in the video is Extras for iMovie.
- To split a clip in iMovie on the storyboard, simply highlight so you see the yellow bars and swipe downwards.
Video transcript along with the links to the accessories and apps mentioned are listed below:
Hey Sync readers! With the Toronto International Film Festival well underway, I thought it would be a good idea to show you how to make your own Hollywood blockbuster using an iPad 2 and iPhone 4, making it all come together in iMovie right on the iPad. So lights, camera, action! Let’s get started!
Movie making can be a lot of fun and with a little planning beforehand, your videos will go from good to great. The iPhone 4 and iPad 2 are a lot of fun to use everyday – even when you’re not shooting video – but with the right accessories and a few apps, you’d be surprised to see how good your movies will come out. For this how-to video, we’ll focus on a few things: Basic production, some accessories (plus apps) and of course, final editing on the iPad2. As you’ve probably guessed, I’m reading a script that I created before I made this video. I created a basic script so I know what it is I am going to say in advance. I use an app called iaWriter, but even a basic text file or simple email will do. The idea is to gather your thoughts, organize them based on the goal for your video which then gives you some direction in terms of what it is you want to shoot, and say, on or off camera.
There are 3 categories of shots: the long shot, medium shot and close-up. The long shot is your star from head-to- toe in relation to the environment and taken from afar. An establishing shot, like the outside of a building, is a great way to start off, so your viewers get some context of the movie and the people and objects related to it. Medium shots are not as detailed and might include people shot from the knee or waist up, sometimes referred to as the ‘cowboy’ shot. The close-up, as the name implies, shows detail of a specific scene or someone very tightly framed from a few buttons up. Another shot to consider is the extreme close-up, like this cool caterpillar eating some milkweed. Yes, this was shot with an iPhone 4 with a really cool accessory that we’ll touch on in a moment.
Ok, so now you have an idea of what you want to shoot now comes the fun part. To really increase the production value, you want to make sure you have a really steady hand or invest in a tripod. Decent ones are not that expensive and really make all the difference. You’ll then need to find a way to mount your device, but don’t worry we found two great accessories that work really well. For the iPad2, we’re using the Tournez tripod mount made by the folks at the Joy Factory. And for the iPhone 4 we are using the Kapok mount from Canopy. With either device securely mounted, what about light? Ideally you want to shoot in daylight, but if you have to shoot in the evening you need to find areas where you can leverage some existing light. Anything that can brighten up your scene because even the best of cameras, do not perform very well without some light. If you have to shoot with limited light, I suggest sticking with a close-up shot and use the on-board light that the iPhone4 provides.
When you’re setting up your shot, you want to make sure you give either device a reference of what it is you are focusing on. So by tapping the focal point of your shot on the touchscreen, a little square will appear telling you the device has set the focus accordingly. If you want to get a little creative, you might want to consider these cool lens attachments designed for the iPhone4 by Digital King. They attach magnetically and give you a little more variety and I have to say were fun to use.
Finally the edit, first you’ll need to get all your clips organized and imported into iMovie. The clips taken from the iPad2 will automatically appear in the camera roll, but what about if you used your iPhone 4 as well? A simple and relatively cheap solution is by using an app called PhotoSync which will send all your photos and videos from one iOS device to another. Best of all, it works with other computers and online services as well. 3rd party camera footage works too, only you’ll have to first convert your clips to an iMovie friendly format. Programs like Handbrake are free and work well, but don’t forget to import them into iTunes afterwards and then sync the iPad 2 once again. Luckily, I could easily import video from my Flip cam using the iPad camera connection kit without needing to transcode it. The kit also works good for bringing in photos from your point-and-shoot or DLSR camera and afterwards, I realized that I could actually bring in my iPhone 4 footage the same way as well.
So with all your clips ready it’s time to start the cut. Start reviewing the clips by simply clicking on them and they will appear in the media preview window to the right.The yellow handles on either end of the clip allow you to drag the in-and-out points of of each one. Once you set those hit the blue arrow and the clip will then appear in the storyboard below. Repeat the process for each clip and you’ll slowly start to build your movie. Clicking the storyboard area allows you to scroll through the various clips and where ever the red line sits is where you next action will be, like adding another clip or adding a transition. You can easily move clips back and forth and re-arrange them in the storyboard area as well by simply holding and dragging.
iMovie for the iPad has some great themes and sounds to make some fun movies and also visual treatments like lower 3rds, which are basically a graphic elements which help provide scene descriptions, names of subjects, and opening or ending credits. If you want to add more pizzaz to your movies, you can add photos of course and even mark them up and add your own personal touch to them. I use several free apps like Adobe Ideas and Adobe Photoshop for the iPad. All of which, allow me to customize my images and once they’re done, will show up in the camera roll in iMovie. If you want to make a screen capture from your device, quickly press and release the on/off button and home button at the same time. A flash of the screen confirms the shot was taken which is also added to your camera roll as well. What’s cool is that you can pan and scan these photos so that they have a little motion as well when you’re in iMovie. Photos customized or not, are a great way to add non-video elements to help increase your production value. One other thing, there are the many 3rd party apps that allow you to treat a video clip too before you bring it in to iMove, my favourite is the one you’re watching and it is from Red Giant called Movie Looks.
We could go on for hours on the art of the edit, but really you want to tell a story visually. The more shots and images, the better. It keeps people engaged and makes for an enjoyable viewing experience. With your first cut put together, add a few final touches, like transitions, audio tracks, and of course titles. I am adding a narration track as I go along, but you can add your own music or even sound effects supplied right in iMovie. So your almost ready to make your movie come to life. Exporting could take a few minutes, so I suggest you plug in the iPad if you’re running low on battery power and prepare your acceptance speech for when the big day comes. After it’s done, you have a choice where you can post the video online, share it with friends and family, or simply connect your iPad2 to your TV and grab a bag of popcorn. So there you have it Sync readers! You could arrive in style next year at your own premiere here at TIFF by using your iPad 2 and iPhone 4 making movie magic all using iMovie. I’m Bruno Marsala for Sync, and I’ll see you on the red carpet!