Semi-Automatic Filmmaking: How to use the Android app, Documatic, to automatically pre-edit your videos

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Documatic is a participatory, android-based, mobile shooting assistant, and pre-editor. I have created this program to lay the basic groundwork for the larger concept of "semi-automatic filmmaking" as part of my Master's Thesis in Digital Media at Georgia Tech.

This instructable will teach you about how you can use this Android App, to streamline the production of your own films. The official project website is available at: 

The basic principles of Semi-Automatic Filmmaking are that, instead of gathering tons of footage with a video camera, and then later meticulously sorting and organizing in a separate editing stage, you can use an Android device to roughly annotate and organize the video clips AS THEY ARE BEING RECORDED. Then later, the system combines these annotations with the raw footage and intelligently organizes and "pre-edits" the footage into an Adobe Premiere Sequence. (This will all be explained in further detail in the later steps.

Here is a prototype documentary made with the Documatic system:

If you would like to read more about the theory and design that went into this program, please read my official design document available at:


The actual Android application is freely available for download at:

***Please note that this product primarily serves as a proof of concept for a semi-automatic editing system. There are numerous bugs and flaws that are bound to pop-up, and the entire user-experience has not quite been professionally streamlined. For instance, the system should theoretically work for Final Cut Pro, but i have only been able to get it to work for Adobe Premiere.

On that note, if you are interested in helping me develop this program further to include features such as Multi-camera, or Multi-annotator support please email me at:

FrankR63 months ago

Just downloaded the app, really cool so far! I've been using celtx with shot designer and action pro ( www.action-pro.tv ) Those apps together have helped me create and finish my projects much faster. I'm still learning about movie making and i hope to one day make a feature film. I'll definitely use documatic on my next small production and return with feedback. Cheers!