If you have ever been interested in the craft of filmmaking, then you surely know how intimidating it can be to learn about it, especially considering how broad it is in its scope. On the other hand, you might think that making a great film is a perfectly manageable task and that all it takes is just your iPhone camera to do it. But regardless of how easy (or difficult) you think filmmaking is or regardless of your skill level when it comes to making movies, there is always something new and useful you can learn about it.
This is why I find the SMAPP iPhone app (free on the App Store) so interesting. No matter how much you know about filmmaking or how daunting it sounds, the app is aims to work as the ultimate reference tool for anyone trying to make a film regardless of its scale.
Let’s take a more detailed look at SMAPP and what it offers to filmmakers.
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Upon opening the app, you are welcomed with a screen showcasing the latest news, tutorials and entries. I found this extremely useful, especially if you use the app frequently and want to have quick access to just the new resources.
Next, there is the Interact menu (all menus are located at the bottom of the screen) which gives you access to all the tools that the app offers. While the list at first glance is short, it actually is quite deep.
Be it the Shot Planner with its incredibly detailed instructions to plan your shot or the Movement Tool with one of the most simple and intuitive interfaces I have seen, the app succeeds in simplifying these otherwise complex tasks.
The other menu, Tutorials, is perhaps the most important of the entire app, and it shows. Here is where you can find tutorials on all the major aspects of filmmaking, including Audio, Lighting, Storytelling, Movement and more.
Quite surprisingly (in a pleasant way), all of these are divided in detailed sub-sections and are presented in video form, which makes learning a lot easier.
Videos are even tagged by difficulty level, so you know beforehand which ones are suited to your skills. Additionally, each tutorial sports recommendations of other related ones, as well as a detailed list of all the gear featured in it, which is a very convenient (and welcome) touch.
Overall, SMAPP is a deep and useful app that offers an array of tools and tutorials that make the filmmaking process not just easier, but most importantly, painless to learn. This in the end helps current and aspiring filmmakers really understand the processes behind the decisions they make behind the camera, which is exactly what filmmaking is about.