Broadcast-quality film shot on iPhone 4S and edited on iPad (video)

25 Apr 2012

RTE production development manager Glen Mulcahy has proven that it is possible to shoot broadcast quality films on an Apple iPhone 4 and edit them for broadcast through an iPad. He shot a film telling the story of Carol Mahon, a young design/illustration artist based in Dublin.

Mulcahy, who blogs about mobile journalism at explained that the film Design Inspiration – which has excited interest from various journalism schools in the UK as well the BBC – was shot using the iPhone 4S and edited entirely using iMovie and other apps on the new iPad. Graphics were produced using Adobe Photoshop Touch.

Tracking shots were taken using the Philip Bloom Pocket Dolly from Kessler Crane.

Mulcahy is enthusiastic about equipping new generations of broadcast journalists with smartphone-based tools to quickly catch, record and send news reports.
In his role as production development manager at RTE he leads R&D initiatives and manages mobile phone contracts for the station’s newsroom.

Mulcahy has led a charge to get iPhones into the newsroom. For example he spearheaded a project to issue 40 iPhones to journalists covering the count centres during last year’s elections.


Pioneering mobile journalism

“One of the struggles journalists face by sending back video clips over traditional email is they can only send up to 40 second clips.

“What I’m trying to drive is the capability to shoot video and audio with an iPhone, edit it on an iPad and FTP it back to the newsroom.”

With the video he shot telling Carol’s story he succeeded in overcoming a number of technical hurdles around splitting audio from video clips and dropping it back into iMovie. He has described the workflows for this on his WordPress blog.

“The BBC were quite curious about this and colleges of journalism have expressed quite an interest,” he said.

Here is the technological load-out Mulcahy used to shoot the film:


  • iPhone 4S
  • Fostex Ar4i audio interface for iPhone
  • Sennheiser MKE400 / Rode VideoMicPro
  • Sony URX/UTX Radio Mic Kit
  • Cullmann NanoMax tripod


  • The ‘new’ iPad
  • iMovie (latest version)
  • Photoshop touch
  • Camera Connection Kit for iPad


John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years