Directr is a new iOS app from the company of the same name. It’s available now as a free download from the App Store, and carries no additional in-app purchases.
Directr is a social movie-making app that promises to help users make their home movies look more “professional.” It goes about this by providing a series of storyboard templates into which users may insert their own clips, and then the hard work of editing, adding music and titles is taken care of for the user. No knowledge of digital video editing is required, and the end results look surprisingly good — though they do tend to be festooned with the Directr logo, making it abundantly clear that the finished product was not entirely the work of the user’s own abilities.
Using Directr is very simple. Upon creating a new movie, users may either choose to start from a blank storyboard, or use one of the many available templates. Some of these simply include space for clips of a specific length plus a soundtrack, others include licensed content. One notable example includes footage from the movie “Jurassic Park,” into which users may cut their own custom videos that replace the first appearance of the dinosaurs to the main characters. Each storyboard template includes an “inspiration” video that shows an example of how it might be used, and many allow users to include captions or other text. The app also allows users to shoot multiple “takes” of each scene on the storyboard and then pick the best one to incorporate into their finished movie. Users may also import pre-existing video from their device’s photo library rather than shooting “live” if they prefer.
Once a video has been completed, it takes time to process. The user does not have to sit and watch a progress bar while this occurs; the service sends an email when the video is complete, allowing it to be viewed from the app’s profile page or, if the user has elected to make their video public, from the main feed.
The app’s social features include an integrated mobile-social network that allows users to view, like and comment on each others’ videos. Facebook connectivity allows users to share their content outside of Directr’s own network, and this also allows users to easily find their friends. Facebook connectivity is not a requirement, however; users may instead sign up simply using their email address if they prefer. Finished videos can be shared through a variety of means or simply saved to the device to be shared via apps or networks that are not natively supported within Directr itself.
The current version of Directr that is highlighted on the App Store front page is actually version 1.5 of the app, and it seems the developers have included some significant improvements, particularly on the social front, since it first launched. However, a few App Store reviewers are complaining of the fact that they lost some of their posted content after upgrading to version 1.5, which is something of a concern. Most reviewers are pleased with the update, however, and note that it is noticeably better than past incarnations of the app.
On the whole, Directr is a good, fun app that creates some high-quality videos for users to share via social media. The “storyboard” gimmick is an interesting one that helps people compose and structure interesting movies rather than splicing everything together and hoping for the best, and it helps Directr stand out in an increasingly-crowded marketplace of video sharing apps. Its use of yet another proprietary mobile-social network as its main means of sharing content is arguably unnecessary, but it does at least provide a place for people to meet other video enthusiasts who are perhaps outside their normal Facebook/online friendship groups. All in all, it’s a good quality app with an interesting twist, and those looking for something fun to do with mobile-shot video should at least give it a try.
You can follow Directr’s progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.