The iPhone and the Future of Filmmaking

16 06 2009

Okay, that title is more than pompous, but just follow me for a second.

Debra Kaufman writes in her blog “Mobilized TV” about an application for filmmakers that she found at last weekend’s Cinegear.  Called Helios, it is ideal for cinematographers — it shows “a graphical representation of the sun’s position on a compass dial (azimuth) for any time of day, showing the sun’s elevation and proportional length of shadow an object would cast.”

What I’m interested in seeing, now that the new iPhones and the new operating system is all about to hit the street, is how developers start to create niche applications that they can really make some money out of. There are several advances that Apple is giving there that can make all of the difference.

The first is that the hardware interface will be opened up — so people can start to sell gizmos that hook into the iPhone and interact with it. Think of engineering firms that can input directly into an app on the phone. Think of medical instruments being able to hook directly into this tiny phone/iPod touch and interact with an application inside that gives real time feedback in both directions.

And then think of how your iPhone can hook directly into your Red One or a script supervisor’s keyboard and then broadcast timecode data, along with subsets of any necessary metadata back to a post house or the editing room. It’s going to make the set, the editing room, the producers’ office, the lab/post house, and all of the other pieces of the film chain much more integrated. At very low cost.

So, for now, go read Debra’s review and start imagining.


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