Mobile Filmmaking with IK Multimedia and FiLMiC Pro

Lesson 8/9 - Gear Overview


Mobile Filmmaking with IK Multimedia and FiLMiC Pro


Lesson Info

Gear Overview

As we've talked about earlier there are tons of accessories that are exceedingly helpful when shooting with mobile devices, external batteries, microphones, optics, cases, stabilizers. And so we have an overview here of some of our favorites. So, maybe we'll just go back and forth, and pick up stuff one by one and showcase it. So, external batteries, Anchor makes some great ones. Zag makes some great ones. We talked about the Mophie Juice Pack earlier. Which is great in its own right. Doesn't have a 1/4-20. That's problematic actually wanted to mount it to the tripod Yeah. in that last segment. Didn't work out. That's the one thing I think would be really cool was kinda a hand-held case that also had a battery solution. You have those two things together. Because I feel like that's the thing that's missing. All these cases are really cool but having an extra battery in it would be really great. You might want to go to Kickstarter with that idea. Yeah, totally, stayed tuned with...

that one. This piece of gear here I think is really a game changer for me, at least. The iRig Pro. What you're getting with this is phantom power and a proper XR mic preinput to the lightning connector. So this really allows you to run Lav mics, shotgun mics, any sort of mic level into your camera and it gives you a nice solid signal. And with Filmic you can get rid of the AGC which is that automatic gain control. So it lowers that noise floor and you're getting that really, really, truly clean audio. Like the guys at Tangerine were saying that your camera work can but a stylistic but audio has to be clean and clear from the get-go. And I think that iRig Pro is a pretty, sweet, little accessory for that. So you've obviously been shooting on more high-end sets lately than I have. Because I'm actually partial, and it's going to seem like a shameless product promo but that's because we're demoing it in the very next segment, and so its already mounted on one of the 6 Pluses. But the iRig Mic Field, which you can see right here, is probably about the size of a half dollar. And it's a stereo audio mic that goes into your lightning connector, has external line level input. And it's so small you can just slip it right into your pocket and take it anywhere. So, travel, field recording, music, dare I say, greatest bootleg microphone ever made? Quiet possibly. And pretty affordable. I think under a hundred bucks. Great value, and I love to take that whenever I go traveling anywhere. Yeah, the awesome part about a microphone like this is when you are traveling. Like, some of the coolest experiences I've had when I've been traveling is seeing street musicians play their music in any given environment and being able to capture not only like, really cool imagery of them playing their music but also the clean audio right into the camera with something that you can just toss into your bag. It's pretty sweet. It's really sweet. Yeah. Just to showcase a little bit what's maybe, sort of like an intermediate option which would probably be the difference between the iRig Pro and the iRig Mic Field would be these mini jack adapters from MXL and this one's from an innovative company called MYMIC. It would go right into say a cold shoe mount right here, and then directly into the device. Very useful for low budget, fiction movies and the like. But when it comes to traveling maybe a little bit more unwieldy and I think you're going to raise the higher suspicion of say, like a street musician, where you might find where as the Mic Field nobody will really notice or raise an eyebrow. But if you start fastening one of these onto your iPhone they know you have intentions with the footage that Yeah. you're shooting, so that whole stealth thing. One thing that I'm really excited about and I'm wondering if you can speak to this a little bit. Camera stabilization. I see there's a lot of options here. Which ones are you kinda digging right now? In the way of both camera and iPhone. Besides the MoVI 5? Besides the MoVI M5. (laughing) Right, right, right. Okay, well, let's actually start back with what the Tangerine guys were using, cause this has been out for awhile. They use it to great effect and I swear this thing has baffled me forever and I've never figured out how to use it well. But the Steadicam Smoothee obviously they did not only hand-held but, I mean, actually on a ten speed bicycle. So, you can make it work for you. And it's a smooth gimbal-type operation but see you move it with any sort of oomph behind it and it's starts to sway. What's really interesting in-- I hate to use the phrase: game changing yet again in the mobile space but is the electric motorized gimbal set up which, you know, on the high end, you know, the MoVI 5 is better than anything out there. But you're now seeing DSR pros has one. I think there are one or two others that are electric gimbals that are sort of five hundred dollar level. Single pistol gripped but once the motor turns on, just like buttery smoothness. Yeah, what's really cool they're so low profiled where the Steadicam Smoothee, I mean, you're obviously holding a pretty large device here. But some of these are just like a little pistol grip, the thumb kind of just buries inside there. Right. And really kind of shoot fun action stuff without having to have a whole get up to do that. So I'm really excited for those to come out. If you know of any, please share with us, cause we'd love to talk about those as well. Yeah, and if you're a manufacturer and send us a demo unit and we'll showcase it the next time. I mean, literally, they're about the size of this with the motorized gimbal and a mount. And then you just run around like this and the iPhones are so light that it really doesn't take a whole lot to give em incredible smoothness. So, if those really take off then you're going to see tons of more iPhone footage competing at a higher level. What about some of these other, like, iPad-based ones? I know on the Apple commercial Right. there's a device that a filmmaker was running in-- Right, right, right. and was it this guy right here? Yeah. So that would be the Padcaster. So, there's basically two major players in the iPad space and they're both great and they're great for different reasons. This would be the Padcaster right here and this would be the iOgrapher right there. This is a nice, rugid metal chasse, all the potential mount points for any sort of device that you want. Say you're going to be shooting with a Sennheiser and using the iRig Pro you could easily mount it to this on the exterior. You could put lights on the top. You could actually use the Magic Arms. There's a great shot of our friend, Michael Crovel-- we won't get to it in the second part of our slide deck. But with a multi-camera rig that he basically fashioned out of Magic Arms. And I made a five camera rig out of the Padcaster. So, very cool for that. And then the iOgrapher is just, like, ergonomically feels right. Nice little hand held grip. Actually I remember when we both thought the iPad Mini was going to be the sweet spot. It really takes advantage of the iPad Mini, doesn't it? Yeah. But the 6 Plus seems to have taken the crown there for the best camera. But iOgrapher makes a model for the 6 Plus definitely and maybe the 6, I should know that. Yeah. One thing I think that's worthy of pointing out is, a lot of these hand held devices have a 37 millimeter thread mount in there. Which is why 37 millimeter, well, it's a very standard small video format of a wide angle lens. So, there's a large selection of these lenses that have existed before the mobile world came around. So, lots of stuff. Lots of options that are available that will actually screw right onto the different devices. Here's a smaller one called Focus that has another thread mount here too so you can get those wider angle shots and get those more telephoto shots that you're trying to get, that you normally can really get because you're really-- I think that there's a philosophy about shooting with one focal length. A lot of street photographers would use just a 50 millimeter lens and just walk around I've got one focal length. There's something very freeing about it. You can stop worrying about where your lens is and just start working within that realm. And that's another thing that's really cool about working in mobile is all these lens options are great but at the same time working on using that wider angle focal length cause the iPhone has the slightly wider angle. What is it? Is it approximate... I think it's 24 now. It used to be 28. And I don't know which but Roger Deakins, the Coen brothers common cinematographer, shoots all his stuff with either a 24 or 28. And it certainly worked for him. Yeah, something to be said for move your camera move in closer if you want closer, move wider if you want wider. Work on your craft that way before adding a lot of lenses. But with that being said, there's some really cool lens options out there. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We showcase a little of it in the last segment. I know we both love this company and we love the optics. It's Schneider Optics. Actually, I'll let you showcase the secondary lenses. They have a nice telephoto here. This is their new case which is a huge, rugged improvement over their old case which if you can see here actually took a little bit of a beating. Sorry about that iPro but it was used with love. And in the pistol grip you can carry a couple other lens options. What do you have there? It's pretty cool. So, we've got a wide angle here, super wide angle. So, it allows you to go from 24 millimeter to-- Is it like, 14? It's pretty wide. It's pretty wide. I don't know if it's that, that wide but... It's kinda hard to translate too but a very, very wide option. Which is great for landscapes and whatnot. And then, this is another really cool little lens. Which is a macro lens. So if you're into kind of zoning out and filming nature and like the vein on leaves or the texture in water or something. The macro lens is really cool to play with. And I just love the design of how all these fit together. They all kind of nest inside each other and it actually ends up being the pistol grip for the whole thing, so. Right, right, right. Which is actually, in my opinion a huge mobile improvement over the batch of 37 millimeter lenses like that. Which if you have a nice studio set up with either the iOgrapher or the Padcaster, I think their new version has the 37 mill mount as well. And those are great but for just slipping something in your pocket and carrying three lens options, four if you count the native, phone itself. It's pretty sweet. And the telephoto is my like, home run hit. I love this lens. I love it for stills as well. I mean, for videos, is great. But shooting stills in the telephoto it really kinda takes you out of that mobile. Cuz again, it pushes in a little further. And you know, you've got all your lenses in your hand and you've got kind of a steady little travel hand held device. It's pretty sweet. Yeah, I think this is-- what like two hundred dollars? Hmm, mmm, I think so. Yeah, pretty sweet. Now if that would work with the motorized gimbal then you know. Come on guys, get with it. Right, right, right. Shoot, another great slide from the second half of the keynote, but the GorillaPod and the infamous Copenhagen arm shot. But this is great. I mean you can mount it anywhere. You could mount it on the light rack here. You can mount it to a C stand. You can mount it to a tree, telephone poll, you name it. Definitely something that you positively want to have in your kit bag. Yeah. And I like the bigger ones. I know they make one that's aimed for the iPhone crowd but Yeah I'd size up one. Yeah. I really dig-- I mean, the GorillaPod has been, I have two of these in my kit, in my MoVI kit. I have a MoVI M5. I keep it in my MoVI kit. You can attach monitors to it for viewing, you know, wireless monitors so you can actually have handles to hold onto it. It's just such a great tool. I think that they, I don't know, they marketed it as you can wrap it around a tree if you can get photos of your family. But I think that is the lamest use of it. I think that being able to hand hold. You can turn it into a kind of a simple hand hold rig to be able to get a little more stability. These are so cool. And like you said this is kind of the medium-sized one Right. and there's a larger one and a really small one. That it's-- when you're doing a lot of travel photography it's so useful to have one of these little guys in your bag. The minute I go somewhere and I have forgotten that-- It's like, dah! Right, right, right. Absolutely. Okay, a couple quick things and then we're going to get onto our last segment. These are the Magic Arms. They can screw into any 1/4-20. So this is how you can attach multiple devices. Just screw it in there, make an L-shape, you can get different vantage points. You can put different optical options on the different devices that you mount so you could potentially have four different cameras, four different lens selections, all filming the same scene. Not too different on the actual set up point. But I'm not for a little bit of variety and then mix up the shot comp. Another really, really cool device is this SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive. It has a lightning connector on it. So if you do happen to have a smaller phone or a phone that's filling up quickly, you can just plug this right into the end of your phone and transfer your files from Filmmaker or other apps directly to this drive and then it's got a little USB port you can dump it right to your computer. It's really great just to have in your pocket and you realize, Oh you've just ran out of space so you don't have to go through and delete files, you can just transfer it over. Right, yeah, that kills the shooting experience. Oh, go ahead. I just want to talk about this again. This is the anamorphic adapter that we had earlier from Moondog Labs. This is a really, really, really cool thing. You know, until you play with it you kind of don't see, can't really grasp it. But if you really want to kind of, up the ante. This is on my birthday wish list for sure. Yeah and interesting from those guys like we keep talking about, this gear's great, why doesn't it work with that? And this thing's great but it doesn't work with that. It's really frustrating but I know that Moondog Labs is working with two other partners on this table to bring together some sort of unified solution. Don't know when but definitely that's worth being on the lookout for. I wanted to ask you a question. I remember when we've been traveling on content trips you often do the earbud thing. One in and one out so you can hear the rest of us and you know, engage in crew discussion. Do you have a preference between open-backed headphones and closed-backed or do you just like the earbuds for their simplicity? I definitely like the earbud for the low profile. Especially, I really am so partial to just the Apple brand earbuds for stuff that's not really critical, because you do kind of do fly under the radar a little bit. I think it depends on how quiet your source is. Closed is really great for a source that is on the quieter side so you can really knock out the outside of everything. But if you want just confidence monitoring, these open, Grado makes killer open ear back headphones that I use all the time. The only problem is it's really hard to tell if your mic is isolating what you're doing because you are hearing everything around, so. Oh, right, oh right. I've gotten to the point to where I can actually, with one ear can kind of hear what's going on and whatnot, so. I think it's all personal preference. But, weirdly enough, just the straight up Apple headphones are one of my favorite. Pretty great. Useful. Yeah, pretty great. Okay, just one or two last items. RODE makes some nice, Lavalier, MXL does too. We're wearing Lavs now, they sound great. Wonderful way to maybe use a little micro table top tripod. Oh, we've got it over there on the keyboard not to give anything away, but... That's exceedingly useful on the Combo makes a great blogging set up. One other audio thing worth talking about, it just shows how the GoPro-ization has taken off. MYMIC makes a Lav that is a sport Lav that mounts to your mountain bike helmet or ski helmet so you can basically be bombing down the trail and giving a play-by-play narration until you know, (laughing) go off the trail or something. But that's very cool. And I've seen it in action. They have a very nice demo video. Oh and last thing since you've been talking about lighting. You were mentioning the shower curtain. Yep. Something terribly affordable and effective. Light discs is so nice. It's really great to be able to give a nice little kicker from behind or also open it up too, you have like, a diffusion. Really, there's often times-- one of the cons of these phones is the dynamic range is not really big so you really need to control it, reign in your light. Being able to have some sort of light control is very important. And it's a whole nother topic that we don't have time for. Yeah, yeah. Key light, bounce light, kick light. Yeah. Should get into that some day.

Class Description

In the last few years, mobile tools for filmmakers, musicians and creators have become more powerful, useful and more widely adopted. IK Multimedia has developed a range of products that are affordable and effective when paired with market leading filmmaking tools like FiLMiC Pro.

In Mobile Filmmaking with IK Multimedia and FiLMiC Pro, Neill Barham, the founder of Cinegenix and FiLMiC Pro, and noted cinematographer, Jonathan Houser will show how to use their mobile app with the IK Multimedia's iRig PRO and iRig Mic Field to get incredible shots and capture pristine audio that will fool anyone into thinking you have the budget of a hollywood film.

Listen to special guest filmmakers Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch talk about how they used iPhones and FiLMiC Pro to make their Sundance hit Tangerine, which was acquired by Magnolia Pictures and will be released theatrically this July. See the trailer here.

Both the iRig PRO and FiLMiC Pro were recently featured in an Apple iPad commercial with Martin Scorsese and are becoming more widely used as professional tools for filmmakers. Learn how to use them to get the breathtaking shots you want. See commercial here.