How I Created a Portable Movie Studio with My iPad and $17

I love movies. I also love making movies. As a young boy I would spend hours with my friends shooting, editing, and laughing at how lame our movies were. One of my biggest complaints about my old movies is that they lacked that “professional feel” due to the technology limitations of the time. Technology since then has since evolved and now a days people are filming, editing, and publishing movies in their smartphone.

At the time my friends and I were using mini dv camcorders and Windows Movie Maker to produce such classics as “Evil Rats From Outerspace” and “Venture Crew 911 Takes On Big Bear”.┬áNow a days my go to device for video production is my iPad. Today I wanted to share a few of my favorite movie production apps and share some of the shots I have been able to get because of these apps.

Filmic Classic

Filmic Classic is my go to app for video recording. I really like using Filmic Classic because it allows me to adjust the exposure, focal point, frame rate, and white balance of my shot. All of these adjustments help give your clips a professional feel. One of my favorite adjustments is switching from the standard 30fps to 24 fps. This will give your video less of a digital feel and more of a film feel. Below is a clip that I filmed using Filmic Classic.

Tilt Shift


Whenever I show the video below to my students a lot of them can’t believe that it’s real. I have had some classes even burst into a full on debate about it!. I’ll admit at first I was skeptical but then I learned about the Tilt Shift effect. If you haven’t seen a tilt shift video I suggest checking out the video below before moving on.

The Sandpit from Sam O’Hare on Vimeo.

Naturally I wanted to try and replicate this effect so I downloaded this app. As I played around with it I began to realize that not only is it a great Tilt Shift app, it also has some great video editing applications. After filming my initial clip with Filmic Classic I imported it into Tilt Shift added some blurring and played around with the coloring. From there I was able to export it to my camera roll and produce the video below. While I didn’t create a tilt shift effect, I was able to change the look and feel of my movie.



This is one of my favorite just for fun apps. I personally would not film a complete movie or scene with this app unless I was making a silent movie. Instead I use this app to create short clips that can be inserted into montages. In fact 8mm was used last year in the Oscar winning film “Searching for Sugar Man” to film additional scenes. After editing my initial video with Tilt Shift I imported it into 8mm and added some visual filters, film jitters, and classic projector sounds. Below is my final product.

Video Grade


Color grading is a great way for students to change the look and feel of their videos. With my original video I imported it to Video Grade added some vignette and adjusting the contrast, exposure, and temperature of the video. In the past I have had students color their videos to represent the types of emotion they were trying to convey. This acted as a great art lesson where my students got to analyze how color creates emotion. Below is my color graded video.




I prefer to edit my movies on a desktop but if I am in a rush I sometimes use iMovie to edit. I keep iMovie installed on my iPad mainly for the trailers feature. The trailers feature is easy to use and takes out a lot of the technical work while still producing a quality product. In the past my students and I have made trailers for a new program we were starting, to introduce a new unit, or as a fun way to summarize what we have learned. Below is an example of trailer I made for a PD I lead on iMovie.


In a future blog post I’ll be sharing some of the activities and lessons that I have done with both teachers and students. If you are a mobile movie maker what are some of your favorite apps? Leave a comment below and share! I’m always looking for new toys!

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