6 tips for making better iPad movies

Apple's recent iPad ad glimpsed at how you can use the device to capture interesting video footage -- but you can improve projects using this handpicked selection of software and accessories.

[ABOVE: MovieMount explainer.]

Hot hardware

It may be a tablet, but the iPad already offers 1080p video capture, iMovie (and other apps) for movie editing and LTE support for quick and easy movie transmission. What hardware can you get to improve it with?

Movie Mount (Makayama)

To make better movies you'll want to use accessories with your iPad: conversion lenses, movie lights, microphones, you may even want to use a tripod. Movie Mount provides housings for all these peripherals, and lets you switch between your choice of lens and the built-in iPad lens on the fly. It costs $69.95.

6 tips for making better iPad movies

Mic Lightning (Apogee Digital)

The Mic Lightning connects to the device using a Lightning cable (so it is fast). This is a studio-quality solution: cardioid microphone; a great preamp and built-in on-device analog-to-digital audio conversion makes the $199 system a winning choice for GarageBand and video makers. Mic Lightning is also compatible with the Mac and a huge selection of iOS apps.

Pro lenses

I already use the Optrix PhotoProX photography system with my iPhone 5S. When it comes to the iPad and movie making, things are a little different as you'll want to use your choice of professional lens to boost the image capture you get with the tablet. Systems like MovieMount (above) or the aluminium SLR lens-compatible Padcaster let you use your choice of accessories with your iPad, including your choice of lens.

6 tips for making better iPad movies

iDive iPad Housing (iDive)

If you need to film underwater then do take a look at iDive iPad Housing when it ships this spring. Developed by Dr. Michal Berumen's team at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, the contraption provides robust underwater protection for your iPad. What makes this system noteworthy is that you can use it in very, very deep water because it includes a pressure management system to cope with deep-water pressure. There's even threaded accessory ports, so you can use waterproof accessories. The system costs $799 and is expected to ship in late spring.

Solid software

You may want video effects and/or editing features that aren't available in iMovie. There's hundreds available, so why not take a look at:

Pinnacle Studio for iPad. This is a great alternative to iMovie with a more familiar TimeLine-based interface, though some customers don’t resent that you may need to also purchase additional features on a modular basis.

Cinema FX: This gives you several additional effects to apply to your clips.

VideoGrade: Better color-grading: modify brightness settings, add tints, and tweak shadows, highlights, mid-tones.

Action Movie FX: A few neat action movie effects to play with.

FiLMiC Pro: A great app that boosts your iPad camera's existing features with a host of handy tools.

Slow Shutter Cam: A range of slow shutter effects you might want to use, currently the top paid Photo and Video app available on the App Store.

[ABOVE: Now two years old The Latter remains a superb example of the kind of movie you can film and edit with an iPad.]

Project management

There's more to making a movie than the accessories or editing software, you also need to get organized. Take a look at solutions like Storyist, which helps you write your script or Storyboards Premium which will help you plan your shots.

One more thing…

Perhaps you've been itching to put together a movie project but don't know what you want to do -- if that's you, don't worry, there's Directr, a storyboard-based video creation project app. Use Directr's templates to film numerous themed projects and pick up some movie making experience as you do.

Google+? If you use social media and happen to be a Google+ user, why not join AppleHolic's Kool Aid Corner community and join the conversation as we pursue the spirit of the New Model Apple?

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Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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