BEST PRACTICES AND TIPS FOR SHOOTING SMARTPHONE VIDEOS

HOW TO GET STARTED

Step 1: Be prepared

Before you begin recording your videos, make sure that you have all of the gear, props, scripts, actors and shooting locations ready to go. Additionally, make sure your phone is charged and that you have enough memory available to store the footage. High definition (HD) video files can get large and will drain a battery quickly. Here’s some great advice for what to do before shooting your video on iPhone or Android: Tutorial: 5 Things to Do Before You Shoot iPhone Video

Step 2: Wider for the win

If you are taking your video with your phone, remember to position it horizontally. This may mean that you need to stand a little further away, so use a tripod if you have one, or position it securely on a cushion or pile of books.

Step 3: I can see clearly now

If you want to look your best, you need to pay attention to the lighting. Smartphone cameras are great, but they don’t usually have the best light sensors so if the light source is behind you, your face will be in shadow and the audience will not be able to see you clearly. Try to face a window so that your face is well lit and clear. If you are still not happy with the picture, check if your phone allows ‘touch focusing’ – touch the centre of the image of your face on the screen so that the camera shifts its focus to you.

Step 4: Ready, steady, ...

A steady phone means your video footage won’t be distorted or blurred. Use a tripod or a selfie stick if you have one, or position it securely on a cushion or pile of books. If a friend or colleague is recoding your video, ask them to hold your phone with both hands and to take a deep breath out before starting to record.

Step 5: Making yourself heard

The audio matters as much as the video: a good video can be spoiled by poor audio quality. Unfortunately, the built-in microphone that comes in most smartphones is generally low quality. Make sure that you are filming indoors if possible, so that you don’t pick up noises from wind or traffic. Let everyone know that you are filming so that they can be as quiet as possible. Another tip is to use your hand to cover the area around the phone’s microphone (but don’t completely cover it). This way, unwanted noise can be reduced. If you are going to shoot videos often, consider getting an external recording device or a directional microphone which will work with your smartphone. 

Step 6: There's more (if you want it)

The camera app on your smartphone may do a good job but there’s more to video recording than most have to offer. There are several free apps which  are easy to use and have great features for those new to developing video content, while others allow you to pay a fee to unlock more professional features.