Taking Android on Set

Having a smartphone might be nice to just quickly glance at a script, but if you want to start making edits or letting your actors read off of the script, the small smartphone screen just makes it almost impossible. I’ve been wanting to buy an Android tablet for a few months, and with a slew of new and existing photography and film-themed apps, I want one even more now.

If I were to get an Android tablet, there are only two I’d even consider: the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1″ and the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. Both are amazingly well designed and have great features. I’m going to restrain myself, though, and wait until the next generation Android tablets begin rolling out with the Tegra 3 (aka Kal-El) quad-core. We’re already hearing rumors on specs for the next Transformer. While I’ve been waiting for the release, I’ve been researching the apps that I’d want. Here are a few apps I’m excited for:

SL DigiSlate

Professional digital production slates can cost over $1,000, which isn’t always feasible for student productions. For only about $10, SL DigiSlate offers a lot of great features, along with logging shots digitally.

SL DigiSlate: http://market.android.com/details?id=com.DigiSlate

Artemis Director’s Viewfinder or SL Director’s Viewfinder

Although I don’t use viewfinders on my sets (since I don’t have one), it could be useful. But seeing as the camera we use, the 5D Mark II, is so mobile and light, using it to frame shots is just as easy (and more accurate). At $29.99, Artemix Director’s Viewfinder is a bit pricey for something that isn’t too useful to me. But at $9.99, SL Director’s Viewfinder may seem worth it.

Artemis Director’s Viewfinder: http://market.android.com/details?id=com.chemicalwedding.artemis

SL Director’s Viewfinder: http://market.android.com/details?id=com.SRLFilmTools

DSLR Controller (BETA)

DSLR Controller is a revolutionary Android app, allowing you to fully control many of the newest Canon DSLRs. Some of the best features in the current version include: live view, tap to focus, and manual focus. And if you have the Samsung Galaxy S II, you can even use the app on your phone!  This app alone almost made me buy the Transformer. The developer intends to add live view video settings control in future versions, which would make this a killer app. For now, the beta price is $8.63, but the full version will most likely cost at least $30. So buy the beta version now and get the full version free!

DSLR Controller (BETA): http://market.android.com/details?id=eu.chainfire.dslrcontroller

DubScript

DubScript is a simple Celtx file reader. Perfect to read .celtx script files. It doesn’t allow editing scripts, but it’s a start. Best of all, it’s FREE!

DubScript: http://market.android.com/details?id=eu.chainfire.dslrcontroller

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