Google Opinion Rewards, The Talos Principle, and other awesome apps

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Awesome Apps
'Appy weekend everyone!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Hollywood’s fave iPhone app supports Apple’s go-to video format

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iPhone filmmakers get HEVC support in Filmic Pro update.
iPhone filmmakers get HEVC support in Filmic Pro update.
Photo: Filmic

Filmic Pro, the gold standard iPhone app for filmmakers to achieve near-cinematic quality, released an update today to support the new HEVC format in iOS 11.

HEVC stands for High-Efficiency Video Coding (also called H.265), a compression standard that reduces the file size of videos while retaining much of the quality. This means users can store twice the number of videos on their iPhones or iPad Pros.

How to shoot iPhone video like a pro

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iPhone video tips
Learn all you need to know to get the most out of your iPhone's camera.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

While iPhones have pretty much replaced standalone video cameras, they don’t offer the same level of polish that a dedicated video camera or DSLR produces. It’s true that “the best camera is the camera you have with you,” but you can almost always spot a video shot on a phone.

The quality gap isn’t purely due to the lenses and tech within our phones, though. Bad habits make plenty of iPhone videos look lackluster. To show just how good an iPhone video can be, I put all my filmmaking knowledge to use for the montage below.

Instead of using my $3,000 video camera, I picked up my iPhone. With a minimum of accessories, I managed to produce what I think is a pretty cinematic video. You can see the results below — and then I’ll give you some useful tips and tricks for shooting iPhone videos like a pro.

Filmmaker has mixed feelings about his iPhone masterpiece

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Tangerine was filmed with the iPhone 5s but it's cinematic feel comes from an app, a lens adaptor and several hours of post production. Photo: Sean Baker
Tangerine was filmed with the iPhone 5s, but its cinematic feel comes from an app, a lens adapter and several hours of post-production work. Photo: Sean Baker

There was the buzz going into Sundance and the applause of satisfied audiences at the end of the movie’s screening. But there was also a collective gasp as the last line of the credits rolled past.

Shot on the iPhone 5s.

Sean Baker’s Tangerine, the story of two transgender sex workers in Hollywood, was a break-out hit at the renowned film festival in January. The Hollywood Reporter said the film stands out as “crisp and vigorously cinematic.”

Oft-praised for the rich fringe characters in his independent films, Baker did not set out to change the filmmaking landscape by shooting with a cellphone. Like most indie filmmakers, he had no money.

Pro-Grade iOS Video Production App FiLMiC Pro Free for Thanksgiving [Daily Freebie]

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filmic-pro

There seems to be a lot of noise made about the still camera abilities of the iPhone 4S recently, and for good reason; but let’s not forget that it’s also a very competent filmmaker (and the 3Gs and 4 aren’t slouches either). And if you’re even semi-serious about shooting video on your iPhone, you might want something like FiLMiC Pro, a video-production app with real video-production muscle and features.