All about FiLMiC Pro. Interview with his developer, Neill Barham (2/2)

If you thought that the first part of the exclusive interview to Neill Barham, developer of FiLMiC Pro was interesting, you do not want to miss what he has to say about what the future of videos made with smartphones and tablets will bring us! You can read it all in the second part of his interview at

We would like to thank Pilar Oncina once again for her effort translating this text.  Find the Spanish version in this link.

Eyes forward and toward the horizon, Neill sees great things coming to the legion of FiLMiC Pro users around the world

At YOS Contenidos, we have just started to work with the chroma key from FiLMiC Pro with photo backgrounds, and the results are excellent. Are we going to be able to film chroma with video in the background.

Great question. The A8 chip is going to be a milestone for Apple and for developers and things that we were anticipating having to process in the cloud are now looking like the may be a viable option on your handset. Chroma Key is undergoing the same scrutiny as the Live Streaming, and we’re gauging whether we can improve its performance enough as a stand alone app to give it video backgrounds. That’s the goal at any rate. With 4K and real time HDR looming I would say its just a matter of time.

We believe that 2013 has been “the year” of video applications, do you think that 2014 will also bring us as many novelties, and as many video apps as last year?

I’m not sure I would agree with your assessment. I think Vine and Instagram video made mobile video a recognizable entity in the minds of many, but bandwidth bottlenecks and crippling storage capacity and battery life still mean that mobile video is in its infancy. This is a market that is only going to grow over a period of not years but decades and “the year” of mobile video, the true tipping point or critical mass is a few years off still. Not many but mobile video is not a fully mature market the way that mobile photography is and there are a handful of inherent difficulties or limitations that mean the transition or widespread adoption won’t be quite as swift. But long term its inevitable. And when you see the digital babies of today growing up with this technology 5, 10 years down the road, the amount of video content you are going to see produced on mobile devices alone is going to dwarf the present day data of the net itself.

Michael Koerbel used FiLMiC Pro in the Zacuto: Revenge of the Great Camera Shoot Out and beat the $13,000 Canon C300 and others in blind audience testing

The number of iPhone filmmakers in the USA is very large; do you think its use is less common in the rest of the world?

South Korea has the best bandwidth in the world and the US ranks surprisingly low in that regard. So mobile video users in the broadest sense aren’t necessarily led by the US. From our vantage point the US doesn’t have a monopoly on creative people in the space either. Sure Michael Koerbel is outstanding and at the forefront, but so is Spain’s Conrad Mess, or the Sandisk Extreme Teamers Joao Carlos from Portugal or David Newton from the UK and I’m not even scratching the surface.

Interestingly, mobile video adoption as a viable mechanism for news is largely being led by the EU and most specifically Ireland and the team at RTE led by Glen Mulcahy. They produce a large amount of news content on mobile using FiLMiC Pro. The BBC has a mobile component, NRK in Norway, RAI is looking into it Italy, Czech television is using FiLMiC Pro. So in that regard the US broadcasters are actually lagging behind their European counterparts. I know you said filmmaking but to us, it is all part and parcel of the same proposition, can mobile video do what traditional heavier, bulkier more expensive cameras have done in the past and replace a large segment of that market. And the proof of that is happening faster in the rest of the world.

Where do you think, technologically speaking, the immediate future of videos made with smartphones is heading?

Long term, I think we’re looking at a two decade expansion until everyone on the planet, literally with a smartphone is comfortable and competent at shooting, storing editing and distributing mobile video. It will be more important than Algebra and will be taught as such. So I think in the near term your going to see an explosion in mobile video education. The A8 chip and the expanding camera sandbox offerings of iOS 8 and the rumored optical image stabilization will further shrink the difference between your iPhone 6 and your hot $2000 camera of the moment. Throw in the impending Adobe SDK offerings and the faster processing time and much of what you used to do on desktops is soon going to be available and viable in the field. After that you will see a dramatic and sustained movement to the cloud to store everything, and then the process of sharing and collaboratively on creative projects in in ways we can only dream about today will begin. And that day is dawning sooner than people realize.

Los desarrolladores de Filmic Pro
Each year FiLMiC Pro selects some of the best mobile shooters in the world and heads out on the road to exhaustively put the FiLMiC Pro app through some serious testing under real world conditions. Here, Founder Neill Barham is flanked by Majek Films director Michael Koerbel and Storyboard Composer Founder Jonathan Houser

What new products surprised you the most at the last MWC?

The general complaint is that there wasn’t anything earth shattering out of this years MWC. Analytics and mobile ads were the driving force behind much of what we saw and both of those are nothing new. There were some cool demonstrations of VR or 360 degree camera technology that while still somewhat primitive effectively foreshadowed that some mind bending things are just around the corner. In that respect Facebooks recent acquisition of Occulus Rift would seem to be a $2 billion dollar validation of that.

What is your relationship with Spain? I am asking you because the Spanish director Conrad Mess is one of the ambassadors of FiLMiC Pro; your Youtube Channel portraits Madrid and Barcelona at “On the Road series”, and you almost ended up studying in Alicante…

I love Spain and often dream of moving here. One of my great regrets is falling in love and moving in with my collegiate girlfriend instead of following through on my intention of studying abroad in Alicante. Ah, to be young and foolish. But some opportunities you can’t get back so easily.

Still, I’m immensely happy where I am now, have the partner of my dreams, so in that regard everything worked out well. I’ve been to Spain a bit in the past few years and it is a continuing love affair for me. The people, the language, the culture. So I am lucky that MWC gives me a reason to visit Barcelona each year. And I fully intend to start spending more time here as we consider opening up a Cinegenix office somewhere in the EU.

As for Spaniards I’ve been fortunate to meet: I have as much respect for Conrad Mess as any mobile filmmaker alive, and will happily advocate for his emerging film career until I see him take home an Academy Award. David Cornadó at Cinephone Film Festival is another hugely influential person advocating for mobile and is as passionate as anyone I’ve met in the space, I’ve become friends with some writers and photographers in Madrid, so my attachment and relationship with Spain is only going to grow.

What should we expect in the next upgrade of Filmic Pro?

2K. 3K if you want to get really crazy. Or burn up all the available storage in your device in nanosecond (16 gig device users beware)! New 17:9 aspect ration options based on the recent Digital Cinema Initiative to as closely replicate the 1.85, 35mm film theater, aspect ration as possible. A whole host of broadcast quality audio control including a very touch sensitive audio gain control wheel. We have a great partnership with the folks at MXL Microphones and have working on a bluetooth audio solution that might make it in there.

We’ve got support for the wonderful Moondog Optics 1.33 anamorphic adapter which lets you capture high resolution 2.40:1 video. We’re adding some image manipulation controls. A whole expanded range of resolutions and historical aspect ratio offerings such as 1.33:1, 1.66:1, 2.45:1 and more.

There are some simple but much requested tweaks. Like volume shutter control for start stop recording. Tap screen for photo. This intended for production and or location stills but not in any way a substitute for a stand alone photo app. We’ve made some UI improvements and have most importantly improved the speed, stability and efficacy of the app in ALL situations.

Neill Barham, creador de Filmic Pro
Cinegenix Founder/CEO Neill Barham on the water in the Lesser Antilles

Many thanks for your time Neill.

Many thanks to you and your readers, Javier. Please let them know they can write me anytime at with suggestions and recommendations for things they want to see in future versions of the app. We get many of our best ideas from our wonderfully talented users from all over the globe.

I would like to finish this post with a recommendation that Neill has brought especially just for you. These are some videos of great quality recorded with FiLMiC Pro (some of which you have already seen posted here at our blog):

If you enjoy this interview, be sure to share it with your network and become a part of the phonefilmaking revolution!! 😉

Next… learn more about the best app to video record for Android, developed by a Spaniard. See you soon!