The five Apps you must have to film a documentary

Feb. 12, 2018

Creativity, audacity and practicality, all these values taken together make the trilogy of skills that every documentary filmmaker must master to film a non-fiction film. In the world of reality there are no controllable factors and we must be prepared for everything in order to tell our story. Because times have changed since Flaherty set out for utopian explorations to film indomitable landscapes, Guidedoc recommends five essential apps so you can shoot your documentary wherever you go.

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1 - Forms (Free)



Like no other film genre, when filming documentaries the relationship of the production team with the people who help us make the film has many more implications than in the case of a fiction film. “Forms” allows us to access a wide variety of types of contracts that will make our life easier in the legal aspect of our production. In “Forms” we can create release forms, Non Disclosure Agreements (NDA), contracts with our suppliers and members of the production team, and other legal documents that we'll need for the subsequent distribution of our film.


2 - Bear (Free)




This app is a direct recommendation from Guidedoc’s founder, Victor Correal. As every good director takes care of his precious notebook with jealousy, with “Bear” we can have at hand a multimedia canvas that works perfectly for us in the investigation-creation stage of our documentary and that even later can be of great help for our notes during the editing of our movie. The app helps us organize photographs, drawings and other texts that help us keep in mind vital information we need for the development of our film.


3 - Artemis Director's viewfinder (29.99$)



This is undoubtedly the best application to emulate those curious lenses that directors use on the set to choose the best angle and lens before starting to shoot. Despite being the most expensive app of the list, we know that the investment is worth it when we have at hand a long list of lenses, cameras and aspect ratios that we can combine to know exactly how our shot will look like. The application - which has been used by acclaimed cinematographers such as Roger Deakins – is quite handy when it comes to scouting locations, creating storyboards and choosing the ideal camera equipment for our shooting.


4 - ShotLister (13.99$)



In the filming of documentary films we do not always have an assistant director nearby, so at the time of shooting it is good to have our visual idea of the film stored in a safe place. In “Shotlister” we can organize and reorganize our shot list in an easy and practical way. In addition, if things get behind schedule on the set, the app allows us to share any change of plans with the rest of the team in real time.


5 - Rode Rec (5.99$)



A good documentary is never complete without a nice sound recording, especially if we talk about a hyper independent production. For only 5.99$ plus a lapel microphone, we can get an appropriate sound recording equipment for the benefit of our movie. “Rode Rec” allows us to monitor the waveform in real time plus control the volume and other vital options for a quality sound recording. The app also allows us to export the files in a variety of formats and upload them to Dropbox, Soundcloud and other storage sites immediately.


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