Best iPhone Video Apps for iPhoneographers: Directr

Real Storytelling. Moviemaking For The Masses Using In-Camera Storyboard Assistance. No Editing Needed.

Digital shorts have been around for many years. But microMovie Apps for the iPhone have created a surge in video content created by iPhoneographers and visual artists. A microMovie is a style of visual storytelling or video capture that is based on some app-imposed short time limit.

Directr is a simple filmmaking app that uses storyboards to assist iPhone moviemakers. A storyboard consists of a number of visual que's that you follow in order to complete the movie making process. It is a unique and fast way to create video stories. It is quality movie making for the masses that follows a tried and trusted storytelling approach and format.  and The app includes titles, transitions and background music. If you are a budding videoographer this is a great app that removes the need for any post production editing.

Movies can be created within a few minutes. Most of the storyboards are 20-40 seconds but they also range in duration of 5 seconds to 90 seconds. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to shoot short videos without the hassle of post-production editng.

Directr Snapshot

Cost: Free

Version: 1.23

Why it's cool: Storytelling mations.

Updated: Feb 12th 2013

appOS:  iOS 5.0 or later

Compatible iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, 5, iPod Touch 4th & 5th Gen, iPad 2, 3rd, 4th Gen, iPad Mini

Getting started

Step 1: Choose a storyboard from the two options available.

  • Choose storyboard and select from the library of storyboards (there are over 110). A storyboard is a shot list that uses images to present a predefined number of shots, each with a set duration. Example: "Winter Sports" consists of 10 shots and a duration of 42 seconds. Shots vary from 1-10 seconds in duration.

  • Start fresh and choose a blank storyboard to shoot anything. There are three options. Short (1 shot), Medium (3 shots) and Long (5 shots).

Step 2: Creat a shot list. Directing a movie starts with a shot list. The shot list is presented in storyboard style with each scene flowing top down, one after the other. It can be quickly reviewed. The storyboard consists of the following elements:

  • The storyboard opening title sequence. This can be changed to personalize the movie

  • Each scene in the shot list is represented by a still or motion image and a description. A simple swipe is all that is needed to scroll through the list. Selecting the scene you want to shoot is as simple as tapping on the image. You can shoot multiple takes and each take is associated with the scene. The last shot is automatically added to the movie but there is also a take selector that enables you to choose a different take. Each take will be exactly the same length.

  • Some scenes also have titles that can be overlaid. Simply clip on the option withtin each scene to add a title.

Step 3: Select the scene you want to record and the app prompts you to tilt the phone horizontal. There is an option to focus by dragging the focus icon to the point you want in focus. Shooting starts by tapping any part of the screen and stops automatically based on the preset scene length. At the bottom of the screen, two hints appear to help you get the best shot.

  • A short text prompt with a description. Example: "Where are you? Get a shot of the sign"

  • Tapping the bulb icon shows a sample image or video that you can use for inspiration to shoot the scene

Step 4: Saving a movie is quick but it still needs to be rendered, which Directr calls "printing." it takes about one minute to finalize a movie. The time is needed to add the opening titles, title overlays and audio

  • Printed moves are added to a completed folder and the included three options:

    • Share it options. (see below)

    • Love it. Directr is also a visual social network.

    • Delete movie, edit movie, mark as private. (Movies are public by default)

Step 5: The share options include the following:

  • Add a description

  • Share movie on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

  • Share the movie link via Email, SMS, or Link

  • Download movie to Camera Roll.

Tips for shooting with Directr:

  1. Directr is a fantastic tool for visual storytelling. Many of the scenes that you will shoot are less than a few seconds. It is critical to keep the phone as stable as you possibly can because the iPhone doesn't have a great video stabilizer. Keep the iPhone close to your chest, lean against a wall, or use a tripod to minimize  shake.

  2. There is no way to lock the camera's exposure so be careful with the ambient light. Avoid panning directly into the light.

  3. Directr stores each movie as a work in progress. This enables you to shoot multiple scenes or movies over time. This is an absolutely brilliant feature. There is no reason why you shouldn't be shooting daily, weekly, and monthly video projects in tandem. Dont forget to also use it as a storytelling tool for birthdays, special occasions or a night out with friends.

Recommended Accessories:

  1. iPhone mini Tripod Mounts: Select a mini tripod and iPhone Mount. The capta tripod mount & suction mounted stand is a great combo for some of those had to shoot locations.

  2. iPhone Lens: A wide angle or Macro lens can add some creativity to your visuals.

  3. iPhone Batteries: Never run out of juice with a pocket battery backup. If you plan on shooting wth Directr then consider a larger battery. It will save you in a pinch especially with the multiple microMovies projects that you'll  soon be shooting.


Left: Capta Tripod Mount with Suction Mounted Stand

Middle: Digital King Magnet Mount Conversion Wide Angle & Macro Lens for iPhone 5 and 4

Right: Sanho HyperJuice Micro 3600mAh External Battery

Need help or just a creative nudge? Check out the Adorama Learning Center for more articles on iPhone Photography & check out the lastest iPhoneography gear on the iPhone Toolshed.


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