Three months ago today, we reviewed the hottest iPhone apps for screenwriters and filmmakers. Since then, no less than 25,000 new apps have flooded iTunes.
Cherie Lee once again puts her social life in jeopardy to spend some time with her iPhone.
Let’s look over her shoulder at the newest and coolest apps for you, fresh from the App Store. (If you have experience with any, please leave your comments below)
Save The Cat
Based on the story structure made famous by his books, Snyder Enterprises continues the features found in the desktop version of the software and provides them in the compact format of the iPod/iPhone.
Starting a new screenplay in the app prompts the user for Title, Logline and Number of Pages. These are entered by yourself with no guidance along the way.
On the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet screen, you fill in the classic Snyder 15 beats of your story. When entering each field of beats, you receive advice on what that particular entry will define in your story, thankfully providing examples as well.
The numbers in parentheses beside each beat indicate the approximate page number of your script.
Tapping the pin on the bottom left of the screen allows you to view the “The Board”, a snapshot view of the beats in your script and colour coded scene cards.
Tapping on any of your beats will give you a screen with notes you’ve written in the previous step, including the Beat name – Heading – Description – Emotional Change – Conflict – Notes. The right and left arrows at the bottom are a great navigation tool to send you to the next or previous Scene Cards (Beats).
One great feature that is becoming common place amongst these apps is being able to partner with a desktop version. The STC app will ask for your serial number to synchronise with your laptop or desktop, allowing you more control over changes on the run and at home when convenient.
Scratch pad is still there for those wanting to make notes as well.
Although the price is high compared to other apps, as a saving grace to newcomers, you are given a $20 discount off the desktop version.
See the iTunes store for more details.
Screenwriting apps aren’t necessarily easy to work with when you have to type like a pecking chicken. However, if you want to make quick notes or have time on your hands sitting on the train or waiting for your doctor in the clinic, then these types of apps will satisfy the urge to keep working on the next greatest script.
If making notes and gathering ideas is what you look to do and in sync with your laptop, this app is great.
Writer’s Block Assassin
This unique writer’s block application is tailored specifically for help in story advancement rather than just inspiration or idea generation, over 300 questions relating to character, plot development and setting.
Have you considered your character’s motivation? Understanding why your characters do what they do will help you to predict how they interact and how they adopt to events in the story’.
Not just limited to story, there are questions relating to journalism, blogging, literary techniques as well as a punctuation guide and writing definitions.
In terms of screenwriting, the character and plot development questions are definitely the most helpful. Other character questions relate to their beliefs, dilemmas, finances, health, family matters, career, secrets and addictions.
Plot development questions cover various dramatic possibilities, including killing off a character, adding a new character, changing the setting, natural disasters, an unexpected pregnancy as well as general questions relating to theme, genre and general storyline. There’s room after each ‘question’ for you to answer it in relation to your own story.
As well as the questions, there is a section called ‘scenarios’ which, using your inputted characters/places/things randomly creates new scenarios. Or it can create the characters/places/things itself. For example,’Clarence Hodge divorces Gaven Aitkins’, ‘Gaven Aitkins discovered the car’, ‘Clarence Hodge travels to New York’.
At $4.99 it’s a little pricier than your average writer’s block application but because it’s more complex and can help you in specific areas of your story, it’s well worth it.
Movie Slate (Clapperboard and Shot Log)
When you want to make your script into a movie and feel like a serious director, this app is for you!
You enter the production details onto the clapperboard as well as roll/scene/take numbers. You can make voice/photo notes as you go and email the shot log history to your computer in HTML, CSV and tab delimited formats. You can also rate various shots as you go and order the history in terms of best shots.
For those who value aesthetics you can change the clapperboard colour, background and fonts as well as lock in either portrait or landscape mode.
At $12.99 it’s cheaper than an actual clapperboard but there is a cheaper version of this application by the same company called ‘ToySlate’.
ToySlate has all of the same features except for an integrated shot log history and note taking capacities.
I had fun with this one using the prerecorded phrases such as ‘Don’t look at the camera!’ and ‘Where’s my latte?’
‘ToySlate’ is definitely the better buy at $1.19.
Finally, a video editing app for all those with an iPhone 3GS! This application comes with all the basic features of any professional editing program: transitions, trimming and splitting clips, titles/credits, recording/mixing sound and previewing your film as you go.
The transitions are all very basic, cross disolves, fades, blurs and wipes but it will give you a good idea of what your film might look like. You can also edit your home movies on it, on the go.
This is fairly well-priced at only $5.99 although you need to get in quick because it’s only a holiday special and will go up to $9.99 soon!
I studied acting for three years and hold a graduate diploma in writing from Sydney’s UTS. My interest in film and writing was solidified through interning at The Story Department and gave me the opportunity to fine tune my skills. I’ve been involved with several film projects, the most recent of which was shortlisted for Tropfest.
With the knowledge gained from university and my experience at The Story Department, I’m now specialising in professional feedback on short films and documentaries.