it’s official! SMAPP is launched and in the app store available for download right now. yes right now, as in load up the app store and get it on your iOS device now. you can find it here at getsmapp.com – it’s okay, we’ll wait.
okay, got it?
exciting isn’t it? two years ago Patrick, Ray, Justin and I were chatting at a hotel bar somewhere in California and right then and there the idea for SMAPP was born. since then we’ve been brainstorming, developing, refining, testing and building this app to be something that will help you in the field and help you grow as a filmmaker. we took all our years of experience, our mistakes, our collective efforts and made SMAPP to be something we ourselves would use.
that being said, it’s not done. we have a lot of other ideas we are looking to incorporate and build upon so we would love for you to give it a whirl and send us your feedback on what you like, what you don’t like, what you would like to see in the future and any technical blips and errors that may have come up. we don’t rigorous testing but if something isn’t right, we want to know and get it corrected for you so that you can have the same experience we’re having in the field making the most out of SMAPP.
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this has become so much more than just the KNOW book, in many ways this is now just as big as the entire tour itself. we started off with a simple plan: author a book that looks at the different facets of filmmaking – break it down into something easy to understand and offer insight into why and how to make relevant, meaningful decisions. we got there, and then went way over. what was initially expected to be a 140 page book is now over 300 pages of informative, designed, insane awesomeness.
the book will have chapters on all the main pieces of a film such as story, light, composition, audio, lenses and such as well as more intangible topics like finding and knowing your voice as a storyteller. and in each there are three main areas we are focusing on:
1. concepts, theory and ideas behind each module
2. crafted worksheets that help you understand, build and apply the ideas
3. featured shoots where we break down everything from story to gear to lighting diagrams and production
we’ve incorporated both very technical things like charts, graphs and numbers to dive deep into the basis of each topic as well as carefully designed diagrams, screengrabs and workflows to help you easily understand the idea at hand. we’re also covering things like ideation, treatment and bids and story development. there are worksheets on lighting, samples of storyboards and flowcharts on how/where to start location scouting. there are recommended gear kits, deconstruction of projects and write ups to go with each. pretty neat, right?
check out a few of these spreads from the book. we may be overly excited about it but it’s been such an incredible experience authoring and designing this book. yes, we are so proud of it and can’t wait to get it in our hands :)
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we’re almost there guys, it’s so incredibly close now. we are submitting SMAPP to Apple this week and expect to have it approved soon after. based on our experience with the submission process we are now anticipating a live launch of SMAPP in the App Store on Wednesday, August 22nd. that means you can have SMAPP in your hands just a short couple weeks from now.
it’s been a long time coming and with so many changes and improvements we want to share the launch with you with a live webinar on Thursday August 23rd. all KNOW attendees who receive a free copy of SMAPP, anyone who purchases SMAPP and all those who’ve signed up for the With Etiquette, SMAPP and stillmotion newsletters will be invited to join the entire sm team for an hour long webinar for all the deets on everything we have going on this fall.
we’ll be doing a live demo of SMAPP to walk you through all the neat features we’ve designed, tested and built from the ground up. from there we will share with you the future direction of SMAPP, the latest updates on the iPad app, Android development and new tools we have in store for the next version.
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a few months ago we started working on a series of films with several US athletes about their journey to the Olympics. the pieces revolved around the idea of showing the training, trials, triumphs and emotions that they go through before they step on stage in London. part of that story was told through archival footage and the rest of it we filmed on a rather tight schedule.
much like the Callaway series we DP’d a couple years back, this one features a series of athletes with spots that all tied into one campaign, but unlike that series where all the athletes played the same sport we had the challenge of filming all different sports. while this certainly kept things fresh it also made pre-production and production all the more intense as we had to prepare for swimming, soccer, gymnastics, track& field, beach volleyball and even tae kwon do, all within a couple months time.
one of my favorites is our shoot with Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte. for Lochte’s film we had all hands on deck. after all, this is Ryan Lochte,
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“Going to be traveling for my first out of state production. I’m gonna hire a local lighting/gaffer tech, but still still have a good amount of gear besides the camera (tripod, slider, small light kit, electric cords, etc). Any suggestions and tips for flying with gear?”
we travel a lot. collectively, individually, however you slice it we spend a lot of time on the road and in the air. that means we are constantly moving from location to location, often with loads of gear and with very little time to pack, unpack and repack for shoots. over the years we’ve learned a few things and developed a useful traveling plan to 1) get our gear to the location needed and 2) to make sure it arrives in full working condition.
here are what i like to call the five P’s to making sure your next trip with gear goes off smoothly.
// plan – this seems like a no brainer but it goes a long way and there may be things that aren’t obvious if you don’t travel frequently. take a look at what your shoot entails, what type of gear fits the needs of your project and make a gear list. start with the most important items first and work your way back from there. for instance, you may be maxed out with your camera, support and lighting with no room left for grip so consider renting at a local grip house. this often works well as things like c-stands, sandbags and modifiers are big and heavy, but generally don’t cost much to rent. if you are traveling outside of the continent, consider bringing battery powered lights that you can charge in your hotel room with an adapter or rent larger lights from a local grip house so you don’t have to deal with power issues when you’re lighting overseas. it might also be a good idea to bring invoices for any expensive pieces of gear to show proof of purchase in your country so as to avoid paying taxes upon your return. these are just a few things to keep in mind when you’re starting to plan.
// prioritize – they say less is more and that is absolutely true here. bring only what you need and nothing more. when you’re flying with gear, every little bit counts so while it’s tempting to bring extra gizmos and gadgets, don’t bring things ‘just because’.
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