FIlmakr App Shoots Video Content for Inclusion Inside Another App:

A Digital Publishing Romance Novel Interactive Experience

Not that Filmakr doesn’t shoot content for broadcast tv and the web, but now we’re going to be included inside of a first-of-a-kind digital book app experience. Here’s a sweet photo from Tristan Pope making the Filmakr UI look as sexy as the model dude.

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filmakr iphone interface best video camera app mobile application sexy handsome hunky model tristan pope filmmaker cinematographer videographer director smartphone beastgrip pro joby shotgun microphone record button manual focus exposure photo

Rocking the Beastgrip Pro and the Joby.

What You Actually Want


It’s the difference between what people say they want, and what they actually want.

— Todd Yellin, Netflix’s VP of product innovation.

Word. Here at Filmakr Labs we’ve listened to input from professional DPs (directors of photography / cinematographers) and home movie makers not just by hearing what they say, but by watching what they do. The UX design (user experience) choices we’ve made let you make finished films, not just shoot a few clicks into your Camera Roll. We want to make sure you can quickly and easily make and share your family get-togethers, web antics, and stories needing telling. Just like Netflix wants you to watch what you actually want to watch, you want people to want to see your films. While Filmakr alone can’t unlock the inner creativity each and every one of us has inside, it sure can make it easier and more likely by taking lots of video-making obstacles out of your way.

The Verge: The science behind Netflix’s first major redesign in four years

Early Mojo Experiments with Gary Vaynerchuk

wine pour gary vaynerchuk garyvee mobile journalism web video wine eco environment news interview mobile photoAfter shooting Mark Wahlberg on the Nokia N95 in 2008, I continued to experiment shooting web videos for and Discovery’s Planet Green television network. Remember, this is before the iPhone could even shoot video. Here’s a sit-down interview I did with entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk over a midday meal. In Part 2 Garyvee turns the lunch table on me grabbing the cellphone and having me taste the wine he’s talking about. I immediately fell in love with the promise of intimacy this type of reporting provides, to swooping around easily and seamlessly to grab coverage. It was delightful for me to compose the shots on the fly. I really got a kick out of adapting my handheld camera moves for shooting on a mobile phone. Kanting the camera on a dutch angle to frame with a wine bottle in the foreground, subject in the mid ground, and colorful activity happening in the background such as the waitress adjusting the umbrella.

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It’s up to us to adapt to it, be fearless in our framing. To be alive as alive and in the mobile moment as our subjects.

Lunch Interview with Gary Vaynerchuk shot on a Mobile Phone

Part 1

Part 2

Content for the Attention Span Impaired

Given these videos were intended for the web, and having been looking at early viewer behavior data coming in, we began to realize how sort internet clips needed to be. So we experimented with pulling some stand-alone soundbites. Quick, digestible stuff which at that time was labeled as “snack-sized content”.

Eco Tip


Being in the Mobile Moment

Sometimes the best material happens randomly in front of the camera. It’s up to us to adapt to it, be fearless in our framing. To be alive as alive and in the mobile moment as our subjects. Here’s an uncut moment where Gary chats with the owner of the Cook Shop restaurant about the wine we’re drinking. Further improvements in audio acquisition were to come in the future of my mojo trials.

Filmakr Origin Story

Starting in 2006, nary a year after the launch of YouTube, I began contributing video to the start-up environmental website experimenting with emerging web video production. By 2007, the site had been acquired by Discovery Communications, I was producing for broadcast as well as vlogging on the environment, had become very busy, a father to tiny twin babies, and tired of carrying big gear to small shoots. Having begun as work done out of concern for the environment, I was still eager to get the word out on sustainability and good causes.

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Coordinating getting a camera person and lugging a camcorder rig for these quickie, do-gooder web videos was pretty unappealing and not cost-effective. I happened to get an $800 Nokia N95 phone for free in a Webby Awards party swag bag. While it came with a free month of phone service, I never used that but rather was drawn to its capacity to shoot 640×480 standard definition video to mpeg-4 files at around 3-4 mbps — at the time the iPhone only in its second year of existence could not yet shoot video. noikia n95 mobile phone video quality mpeg-4 mbps acc audio 48 khz mono imageComing with a whopping 8 gigabytes of storage, I decided to try the Nokia with an LED light strapped on with gaffers tape using this kluge to interview Mark Wahlberg at a charity event — he eyed me with some suspicion since again this was early 2008 way before the site of throngs of people shooting video on phones became commonplace, and meanwhile the rest of the press had their heavy-duty, giant, shoulder-rig broadcast cameras. Nonetheless he gave me a great interview to spread word on the internet about the charity. Around that time I also used the Nokia N95 for an interview over a leisurely lunch with the peripatetic Gary Vaynerchuk. We veered off topic to touch on the undeniable fact that mobile was the future for these types of production.

nokia n95 litepanels miniplus daylight-balanced led onboard gaffer tape camera auto-focus carl zeiss optics lens nokian95 cell feature phone mobile smartphone 8 gb device gigabyte portable tungsten gel kluge photoCAMERA KLUGE: The Nokia N95 strapped to a Litepanels MiniPlus daylight-balanced onboard LED. Nokia N95 specs: 8GB NAM (N95-4) Frontal CIF video call & main rear 2592 × 1944 camera with auto-focus, Carl Zeiss optics, capture Aspect ratio (image) 4/3 (1.33:1)

I explored the idea of creating a stand-alone camera device with live-switchable front/back cameras, but then Apple introduced the App Store and by 2010 I began to think if I built this thing, we could make it available for everyone. I decided to develop the ultimate, all-in-one, video-making app for iPhone, Filmakr.

The capacity to only shoot individual clips wasn’t good enough for me. Shooting single clips and then off-loading to a computer would defeat the purpose. Wouldn’t unleash the potential of mobile devices. The app needed to deliver full-circle production beginning with shooting, through multi-shot-auto-editing, and finally upload to the web. The solution had to be a mash-up of camera and editing into one, simplified, fluid experience that feels seamless to use. And this new way of doing things would speed the inevitable march of video-making becoming transfored into digital filmmaking. I also recognized that over time having to use multiple paired-down apps to accomplish making films on a small phone would become annoying and counterproductive. I decided we had to make the killer videomaking app. And to cram all the required functionally into a single app without sucombing to the bloatware, Swiss Army Knife pitfall of crappy user experience. The UX needed to be off the hook. We would have to start from scratch and rexamine every element of the workflow, never assume the current way was the best way for mobile, certainly we weren’t going to simplly port-over and transpose a desktop paradigm to a little iPhone touch screen….

I go into a bit more historical perspective and tell a bit more about my own journey in this article about how high quality low cost cameras are disrupting the film/video job market.

More here: Early Mojo Experiments with Gary Vaynerchuk