Avoiding Disaster


(source: Stillmotion)

Here’s the picture: You’re on location at your clients office for a film/ video shoot (lucky you!), everyone’s working to get things rolling — when the primary lens is declared Missing in Action. It’s not where you need it now; it’s been left behind at the office.  Another lens is on hand, but it requires a re-light, and the camera needs to be repositioned. Your client (and the subject of your interview) is pressed for time; but your schedule is screwed. Apparently, the shot list and breakdown are in the car, which is enroute back to the office to pick up the lens… sound like a horror show? It is is, but it doesn’t have to be. There is an app for that…

Stillmotion’s SMAPP is the iOS balm to keep you rash-free from pre-production to post. Fantastically useful, built by filmmakers FOR filmmakers – I don’t leave the house without. Of course, there are a bazillion app’s on iTunes for use on-set to aid in wrangling your creative endeavors into reality… but this one has alot going for it, and you can’t beat the price; it’s FREE. Here’s the skinny on SMAPP (from the Stillmotion blog); It’s got all this & more:

Lens Selection Tool

Lens selection can make for break your shot, so getting it right is crucial. The LST ingeniously suggests a lens for the job, be it dramatic, comedic, etc. Great little tool for pre-production plans.

Don't be THIS guy.Shot List Tool

The trusty Shot List is akin to a school bus; not fancy, but it’ll get you to school in one piece. Input your shots, lenses, gear, locations, etc and you’ll have a laundry list of all the info you’ll need in one place. Handy.

Movement Tool

You’ve got fancypants moves to make, but which rig to use? If the Motion Tool is peanut butter, the Shot List is jelly. PB & J = awesome.

Packing List

Packing your gear without a checklist is like packing a cannon without gun powder– everything seems OK until you light the fuse. With the SMAPP Packing List, customize your gear inventory for each shoot, check off what you’ve got in the bags, upload your list to Dropbox & share with your crew. Nothing left behind. Isn’t that a great feeling?


Handy for the advanced user or the neophyte, SMAPP is loaded with tutorials– over 30 of ’em in all.

Thanks to the fantastically talented (and most generous) folks at Stillmotion, who give freely of their knowledge, generosity and passion for the craft. Check out the site– packed with good stuff & get yourself the SMAPP.

Got a film production APP to share? Add your comment!

– M

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