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5 Apps for Making Movies on Mobile Devices

Every year at Hollywood award shows, we see fantastic movies celebrated for their rich storytelling and dynamic performances. Your students can become moviemakers, too, thanks to some powerful apps for mobile devices. With these tools, your children can take videos and edit their work to make professional quality movies using iOS devices (iPads and iPhones) and Android tablets.

One good thing about this easy-to-use technology is that students can still use important English language arts skills like writing a narrative, planning a sequential story, and including key details when getting ready to make a movie. These apps can enhance the work that you are doing with children in the classroom and give them room to be creative storytellers.

iMotion HD (iOS: Free, Upgrade Available)

Your students can create a time-lapse or stop-motion film using this video app. iMotion HD lets kids make a movie by combining still photos. They can set this app to take photographs at timed intervals to show elapsed time (like a plant growing or a sunset) or for stop-motion film (using action figures or puppets). With the full version of the app, users can add music and get access to extra export features like uploading their movie straight to YouTube.

PicPlayPost (iOS: $1.99)

PicPlayPost is a video and editing tool that lets users combine videos and still images into a shared frame. With a tap of the screen, the videos will play simultaneously or sequentially, and the still images will be placeholders in the frame. It's a great tool for displaying a combination of pictures as an alternative to a traditional slideshow. Kids can manipulate the style of the frame and add music from their iTunes library to play in the background.

Magisto Video Editor & Maker (Android: Free)

Magisto lets users shoot video from inside the app, edit video saved to their device and create a movie with this footage. Once students select the still images and videos that they want to include, they choose a theme and music. Then the app puts the pieces together. In order to save movies to an album, users will have to set up an account.

iMovie (iOS: $4.99)

With iMovie, students can edit video that they've taken with their iPhone or iPad. This powerful app lets kids create feature films and Hollywood-style trailers using the built-in themes and templates. iMovie lets them add titles, transitions and music as they apply different film techniques like slow motion and panning over still photos. Whether your students dig deep into all of the professional quality features in iMovie or simply scratch the surface, they'll create a fantastic final product.

Andromedia Video Editor (Android: Free)

Students can edit video saved to their device with Andromedia Video Editor. This app lets them organize clips, crop video and even apply the "Ken Burns" filming technique to still images and videos. Users can add transitions to each clip, edit audio, and record a narration using the microphone on the device. After rendering their video, students can share it on multiple platforms.

Have you tried using mobile devices to make movies? How could you see yourself using these tools in the classroom?

Comments (14)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Frank W Baker's picture

Dan, I think we're on the same page. We must teach analysis ALONG with production. One without the other is...well....useless. (But unfortunately schools ARE giivng kids cameras with no instruction in visual literacy or the rules of photography) FB

Kathy Schrock's picture
Kathy Schrock
Educational Technologist

Magisto is also available for iOS, and the iOS side also has Videolicious and Vimeo as video creation tools.

John Lanford's picture
John Lanford
Dir. of Photography, Miss. Public Broadcasting

I am an Androidist. No apologies. For others who are, please read the reviews to the Android apps noted before you jump in. The Andromedia Video Editor as described seems awesome, but reading the reviews I would think some factors should be considered first. Is your Android phone a power house? If so, this app might work fairly well and if not, you will probably just get angry with it. Check out your options before committing and then test whatever you go with before you need it. Another one to consider: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.androvid&hl=en_GB

John Lanford's picture
John Lanford
Dir. of Photography, Miss. Public Broadcasting

OVERALL review: Do not use an android device for editing video. Your end product will not be good enough to overshadow the frustration of producing it. If you must edit video shot on phone/tablet, do so on a computer first.

I have since downloaded the AndroMedia Video Editor app. It crashed a number of times. I would suggest the app needs work by the developers. The app gives options to add two supplemental audio tracks! It also gives the option to edit the entry point of those audio tracks. Every time I attempted this edit, the app crashed. I ended up saving the project for video only. I then opened that separate video and added a chosen audio track and edited that. After a couple of times was able to make it work. Note that transition lengths cannot be edited. A fade cannot be added to either the head or tail of a sequence. All in all, the app is very limiting. My suggestion would be to NOT edit in phone. If you use this with an android tablet you might have enough power to make it work, but I did not try that.

NatalieSiclair's picture

iMovie is free once iPad is activated after Sept. 2013. If activated prior it is the price listed above.

Lucie deLaBruere's picture

Somehow WeVideo did not make it on this list. It has some unique features that I really like, including ability to do some collaborative video editing in the cloud using the same features we are use to in Google Apps and also SAVE to Google Drive, two great features for schools. I must admit that the mobile app works to for capture and quick edits, and more complex edits are best left to the cloud app through your computer.

M.E. Francis's picture

This is a great resource and all of these apps are amazing for video creation. I work for a small app company that produces Directr, another filmmaking app. It has storyboard-based guidance along the way of each movie, easy-to-use editing features, and much more. We've had many a student project filmed using it. If you're looking for more apps like these, you guys should definitely check it out! Thanks!


Tech Lazlo's picture

Technology is developing by leaps and bounds. The Climate is changing with its own dynamic approach. Today cellular phones especially there functions and Android Apps In Pakistan Has Provided a great charm to technology and all.

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