Ideas for the Apple iPad in post-production

The Editblog on PVC by Scott Simmons

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With Apple’s announcement of the iPad there’s been tons of articles, tweets and blog posts about this upcoming piece of hardware. There’s also been tons of ink spilled about just how this little device could be useful in the filmmaking process as well, some right here on this site. I had decided not to write anything at all about the iPad since pretty much everything had already been said. But I got to thinking how this device might integrate more with the post-production side of the filmmaking process while on a flight the other day ... so I made some notes.

First off I will say that I plan to buy an iPad when it ships. My family owns an old Macbook that I find myself rarely using other than occasional surfing on the couch or to pay household bills. Laptops in general are too big and bulky for my tastes so I rarely lug the thing around. And it’s a Macbook so it’s not that big. I’ve often wanted an ultra-portable computer that could surf the net and access Google docs. That’s really all I want in one. If the iPhone had a physical keyboard then it would work well. If the iPhone was bigger with a physical keyboard even better. A Macbook Air is too expensive so an iPad seems just about right.

I think there’s two general categories of apps that would make the iPad useful to those of us in post-production.

Stand alone filmmaking and post-production apps

First, there’s the obvious things like using the iPad as a camera slate. iPhone apps like iSlate and Movie*Slate will most certainly be scaled to take advantage of the larger screen and if there is some type of dock connector that allows for timecode input and a timecode generator then this thing could become a serious competitor to a traditional smart slate. With smart slates going for over $1,000 new then it could compete on price as well. You just might need some type of matte screen protector for this application to reduce glare and it remains to be seen how it will work outdoors ... in the rain. Of course you could always use the poor man’s timecode slate method on an iPad without any other accessories. read more...

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