November 2, 2017

Are you editing videos on your phone? This tool might make it hard not to start. 

Hare: Hi, Ren! Did you give out candy or take candy this year for Halloween?

LaForme: A little bit of both. I wore a Winnie the Pooh onesie and sat on my friends’ porch with a drink in hand, waiting for trick-or-treaters. We only saw about 30. Still, a fun night. How about you?

Hare: I followed around Uma, (the daughter of Ursula, the sea witch,) Rick Grimes, a witch, the grim reaper and the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man for a few hours. I charged one piece of candy per house for kids who couldn’t carry their own bags.

I carried no bags. But I may have stolen a few pieces since. So what are we talking about this week?

LaForme: Devious! We started this chat earlier this with a couple weeks spent focusing on video. I shared my then-favorite video editing app for phones, Videoshop, which I still think is a great tool. But, Kristen, I think there’s a new king or queen in town.

I met a guy from a company called LumaTouch at the Online News Association convention a few weeks ago. If you were there, they were the ones giving out that stylus/pen/screen cleaner tool. It’s pretty weird.

But anyway, LumaTouch has a wonderful app for iOS called LumaFusion that is so far ahead of most of the competition that it seems unfair. It’s legitimately professional-grade video editing right on your iPhone or iPad (sorry Android friends).

Hare: I did not get one of those pen-cleaner-things, but this sounds cool. What makes is so far ahead of the competition? How does it work?

LaForme: First, the team behind LumaTouch is seasoned more than a basket of state fair french fries. Most, if not all, of them previously worked at Avid, Hollywood’s favorite video editing company. So they’re carrying a lot of experience.

The tool shows it. It has so many more features than something like iMovie or other leading iOS video editors. The editing functionality allows for three tracks of audio and three tracks of video. You can trim, delete, replace, duplicate and all of the other things you’d expect to be able to do with a desktop video editor. There’s an audio mixer with effects and a built-in audio library. There are also a bunch of great effects and abilities to edit color, color correct, and more.

The media library features are robust, as are the project management tools and sharing (you can export at different aspect ratios, framerates, and to different platforms).

Hare: Wait and this is all on my phone? Or it can be?

LaForme: Yes! All in all, it’s a ridiculous tool for a mobile device. But not really when you think about it. Modern phones and tablets are easily more powerful than desktop computers were in the mid-2000s, maybe later. This app just happens to take advantage of that. I think we forget how powerful they are because spend so much time scrolling through Twitter or playing viral but underpowered games.

Hare: Is this free? Also have you used it? How does it work if you’re (a.) New and (b.) A veteran at desktop video editing.

LaForme: It’s not free. It’s a one-time purchase of about $40, but it’s been on sale for the past couple of weeks for twenty bucks, which is an absolute steal. Especially so when you consider they release major updates all the time for free.

I haven’t made anything with it yet myself, but have tooled around with it. It’s remarkably complex, so you might want to start with something more basic if you’re new. But if you’re a video editing veteran, you’ll feel right at home. It’s great because you can work on projects on the go. I don’t know if I’d put together a feature-length movie with it, but I’d certainly feel comfortable relying on it for just about anything else.

Hare: This is the most excited I think I’ve ever seen you. What do you not love about it? What would you change?

LaForme: I could complain about the price, which is more than I’ve paid for an app, but I don’t want to. It feels totally justified in this case.

It really is one of the most refined apps I’ve ever seen. I only touched on a fraction of its features. My only hesitation with sharing it is that I would probably prefer to edit on a desktop device most of the time. The freedom of being able to pull from just about any source directly into a video editor just isn’t something you’re going to ever be able to replicate on iOS.

But I can see where it could be a game-changer for those who are mobile all the time or don’t have access to those types of machines. Twenty bucks for such a full-featured editor is absolutely ridiculous.

Hare: Well if you decide to share a video of a grown-man-Winnie-the-Pooh drinking on the porch while passing out candy, I’m sure a few of us would tune in!

LaForme: I don’t think I’d subject the world to that.

Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of articles that highlight digital tools for journalists. You can read the others here. Got a tool we should talk about? Let Ren know!

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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