Ever since I got my Ipad 2, I’ve been looking for ways to use it for my video production business. I wanted to find the best ways it can make both the shooting and editing process better and more efficient, which in this business always equals more creativity. This blog will explain not only what I use it for, but also other useful ways.
This will be broken down into 3 categories, shooting, editing and business.
Of course this will be top of the list, The Padcaster is similar to what we refer to as a cage. A normal cage for a camera is a solid metal box-shaped structure surrounding your camera. It has lots of little screw holes placed evenly apart which allows you to mount accessories to your camera like your shotgun mic, light, lav receiver etc. Padcaster recently sent me one to review so I’ve been able to test it out (I have to send it back damnit).
Padcaster is the same concept except for the Ipad. In addition to letting you mount accessories to your Ipad, it also has a circular mount on the bottom which gives you the ability to attach your Ipad to a tripod.
Another cool thing is it has a simple mounting system for attaching a lens to your Ipad like you would with a DSLR camera. . It’s a really well made product and relevant if you’re going to shoot with your Ipad or have an Ipad but don’t have a camera. It’s a good size, made of high quality metal, rubber and screws. I can’t express how much being able to attach your Ipad to a tripod will help your videos.
My only real complaint is that when the Ipad was mounted into the product, it became sort of difficult to reach the power and volume buttons, but that’s by no means a deal-breaker If you’re doing any amount of shooting with your Ipad, you need this product!
Viewfinder for DSLR – If you’re shooting video with a DSLR like I am, the Ipad can funtion as a live viewfinder. This is very helpful because the regular lcd screen is very small which makes pulling focus difficult. Buying a dedicated viewfinder is about as much as an Ipad anyone but only serves one purpose.
- OnOne’s Dslr Camera Remote HD – Not only does this app function as a viewfinder, it also let’s you control the camera’s functions. The downside is you need a computer hooked up to the camera. I’ll be on the lookout for an update or a better app that works without a computer connection.
Teleprompter – This is the main reason I got the Ipad. Teleprompters are absolutely essential for filming someone speaking directly to the cameraa. I use this all the time in corporate videos and in broadcast commercials. You can hold the Ipad directly above the camera and the actors eyes should be ok but you can’t operate the ipad-prompter and camera at the same time this way. You can purchase a teleprompter kit that uses the Ipad or build a DIY (Do it yourself) kit.
App – ProPrompter – ProPrompter isn’t free but it seems to be the best iPad TelePrompter app. The cool thing about it is it allows you to control the speed with your iPhone/iPod as well as see the scrolling text in real time.
Controlling Your Editing Program – I use an app called Keypad Pro to edit. what Keypad Pro does is give you a customizable interface filled with all your editing hotkeys. It connects with your computer and the buttons control your software. It’s very useful if you don’t know many hotkeys or want an easy way to edit. The app also has a built in trackpad for controlling the mouse directly as well as a built in keyboard. You can use this app for any program you’re running ie photoshop, after effects, fcp, premiere etc.
- Keypad Pro – This app allows you to wireless control your programs. I use it strictly for final cut but you can use it for any program. The pro version allows you to customize your keypads which I strongly recommend. The lite version is cheaper but allows no customization.
External Monitor – There are a couple different apps that do this. They allow you to use your Ipad as an an external monitor which is useful for editing. Most editors I’ve talked to have external monitors at their home suite but they like to use it as an external monitor when they’re working on the road. I use it as an external monitor with my MacBook pro editing with final cut pro. I put my file browser and effects browser on it, which gives me more space for those as well as my canvas, viewer and timeline.
App- DisplayPad – I use this app personally because I had trouble with the popular air display app. This app has worked great for me and was easy to setup.
As you build your respective business you’ll acrue a quantity of notes, documents, contracts, waivers etc. Not only will you need to keep these organized, you’ll also need to manage your schedule….
Notes – I take notes for all my projects. When a client is describing their project and it’s requirements I take notes on my iPad. These notes are automatically synced to my computers and the cloud for safe backup. You can’t expect to remember everything or keep all your papers organized easily.
- Notes – Comes with the ipad. I like the look and it’s easy to use. Limited functionality but no issues.
- Evernote – This app is fantastic. It allows you to sync notes between all your devices for backup. You can record audio, take pictures, organize notes etc. My only complaint is that all my notes disappeared for a while but the latest update fixed it.
- Simplenote – comparable to Evernote but not as well known.
- A-lists – for making checklists. Lots of functionality but takes a while to setup a list.
- Reminders – Also for checklists but easier to use.
Waivers – When you’re doing any video involving actors you’ll need to get waivers signed. This is especially critical for corporate projects or any large client. If you don’t and later on an actor says no you can’t use my image, you’re pretty much screwed. That’s why it’s important to maintain and organize waivers. The iPad has apps that will allow you to get this signed directly on your device and keep track of them.
Contracts – Contracts are an absolute must for any video project you get paid to do regardless of how small. I’ve learned this lesson many times by being burned many times. It also helps the clients feel more secure and legitimizes your business. The iPad has apps to send digitally send contract to get signatures as well as have them signed in person and keep track and backup all your contracts.
Calendar – Maintaining a detailed calendar is extremely important for running a successful business as well as keeping your freelance clients happy. There is a calendar but in that will sync with your calendar on your other devices.
Hope this list detailing how to use your IPad for video production could help you, if you have any additions please send them to me and I will gladly add them.