When it comes to learning the art of Smartphone filmmaking all the gear, programs and social networking choices can be misleading as it comes to mastering the fundamentals. Having all the right gear can be great but it can get in the way of some basic basics that each Smartphone filmmaker should attempt and follow.
So this report includes a few quick and easy tips for basic filming using a Smartphone regardless of what gear you might be using. This guide has come from inspiration and questions in filmmakers, journalists and also my experience out of some poorly shot videos I often have to edit in my day job as a video editor.
Hold the Smartphone sideways
So the first piece of advice is to hold your Smartphone sideways or at landscape position. Some videos need vertical or portrait video like Snap Chat or some Facebook resides but most will benefit from picture filming. If you want to get the most from your video you should always shoot in landscape position. Even when you’re shooting 4:4 for societal videos you will still get most resolution out of shooting landscape. You always need to use as much of the provided resolution which you may.
You should always put you Smartphone in Airplane style after filming. A text message or a telephone call will pick up in your microphone and the resulting sound can mess up your video. Vibrations can also add shake to your video so you ought to turn off those too. Should you want an online connection when doing Facebook live you can always turn on the Do Not Disturb feature about the iPhone which will stop incoming calls.
Smartphone Microphones are not good
The built-in mic isn’t so great for recording quality sound. They aren’t professional grade microphones and are often omni directional and pick everything up around them. They are also prone to handling noise when you proceed or utilize the Smartphone. So whenever possible attempt to use an external mic connected to the Smartphone.
In case you really do have to utilize the built-in mic remember to get near your subject. You should be no more than three feet apart in the person that’s speaking. Also be aware of any other annoying sound that is around you that may destroy your recording. To put it differently film somewhere quiet. It may not seem visually amazing but it’s always better to hear someone obviously. Another suggestion isn’t to move the Smartphone unnecessarily. This is only going to create more noise that may pick up on the record.
Pay focus on light
When shooting video be conscious of the light. Smartphones are not good in low light and also you can get noisy or grainy movie with out sufficient light. So know about the most powerful light source in the room and do not be contrary to it. If you have windows nearby then film your subject alongside them so that the light highlights the side of their face. In case you have overhead or lamps lights then be certain that they are light and on you topic evenly.
If you’re outside make sure that the sun is on your back or to the left or from you. If you can, always film in the early morning or early evening light. The end result is nearly always more flattering to your subject. Also don’t be afraid to move a subject to a better spot if you need more light. A nearby street light can be a better location to film than complete darkness.
Stabilise the Smartphone
Whenever you can, keep your shots inactive. Smartphones, due to there size, are prone to shake. This will often make you movie seem amateurish. Pull your elbows into your body and that will provide you a bit of equilibrium. If there is a nearby wall then lean up against it. You can even use a plastic or paper cup. Only turn it upside down and with a pair of scissors cut a slot at the bottom so your Smartphone can sit . It makes for a great improvised tripod.
Lock Exposure and Focus
When you are filming with a camera program like Filmic Pro it is important to lock the Exposure and Focus. Nothing states amateur than having your attention shifting all over the place and the exposure of your picture going to dark and light. There will be several occasions when you’ll need to use auto focus and auto exposure but in my experience this isn’t often. So remember to lock and set these settings before you begin recording.
Cutaways or B-Roll are short video clip’s that visually clarify or subtract exactly what the interview or narrator is saying. When you’re video editing these have lots of applications, and can earn a boring video more interesting and lively. If you are cutting short form videos for the Web you want great static 20 seconds shots. After every shot you choose change your angle so that it doesn’t seem as the last. As a professional editor I will on average use a cutaway for about 3 seconds. So why trouble shooting a shot that lasts 2 minutes when you are only likely to use 3 minutes. Short controlled shots from different angles are far more useful. Or course this is not necessarily the case and you might get many shots out of one take and longer shots will probably be more useful for performing a long form documentary. However, generally short shots are greatest and are faster to review in editing.