Ina Fried

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Pair of iPhone Filmmakers Try Their Hand at Editing on an iPad 2

Filmmakers Michael Koerbel and Anna Elizabeth James like putting Apple’s latest gear to the test.

When the iPhone 4 came out, the USC film students created a series filmed using the phone. Now, with the debut of the iPad 2, the pair has created an episode edited on the tablet, using the new iMovie application.

“It still has a long ways to go in contrast to Final Cut or Avid, but if you’re on the go and need to shoot, edit, and upload something immediately from an iOS device, it’s perfect,” James told Mobilized. It also shows how the iPad is expanding beyond content consumption, at least in some cases.

James and her colleagues produced episode nine of their series, Goldilocks, by filming scenes on the iPhone as usual, and planned on editing it using their normal tools, including Avid and Final Cut Pro–at least until the iPad 2 was announced.

They waited in line for six hours at the Apple Store at The Grove shopping center in Los Angeles before getting their iPad on Friday and then spent from 6 p.m. until 5 a.m. the next morning editing the footage.

They even shot a couple clips using the iPad itself, although they said that the iPad 2 camera definitely pales when compared to the iPhone 4, let alone more professional gear.

Overall, they gave the latest Cupertino product a thumbs up. “As with any new piece of technology, there is always the immediate wish-list, although Apple packed a decent amount of features for our fingertips into iMovie,” James said.

However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing according to Fawaz Al-Matrouk, the team’s editor.

“On the desktop version of iMovie you can separate audio and video, you can’t do that on the iPad version – so we had to get creative with how we overlapped video with audio clips,” Al-Matrouk said. On the plus side, he said that “editing in iMovie was really cool.”

“It made editing feel like arts and crafts–like I was back in kindergarten again–because you’re just using your fingers,” Al-Matrouk said.

Given that the team produces Goldilocks for sale in iTunes, they are also happy about the new AirPlay feature, which lets content be zipped from an iPad or iPhone to other devices.

“Seeing Goldilocks on the big screen without wires and cables is super exciting and gratifying,” Koerbel said in an e-mail on Sunday night. “Deep down it’s every storytellers wish–to have our stories on the big screen and this is a huge leap forward for us in that direction. As filmmakers you used to have two options on getting your content to a big screen–festivals or studios. But that’s changing now and its such an exciting time to be in the world of visual storytelling.”


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”