Filming Videos With A Smartphone

Now you know the general stages of video production and basic rules of video editing process. You are inspired and ready for action. But what a bad luck, you found that you have no camera. Is that all? Everything is crashed? The dream to become new Spielberg bites the dust? No way! Explore your pockets, we're sure there is a path to your dream in one them - a smartphone! Take it in your arms and move forward to the new "Titanic"!

Use manual settings

As in case of SLR camera or video camera, don't rush to film with a smartphone. At first you should set the settings. It could seem that everything is configured in a smartphone and you can shoot immediately, not worrying about anything. However, manual settings often do not fit for video shooting (remember the question about format for shooting and post-editing). If you shoot in a manual mode, it will be easier to control the process. What should you do:

  • Turn off the automatic mode and manually adjust exposure, white balance and focus;
  • In order to reach the image clarity, change the depth of field and exposure;
  • Shoot horizontally or vertically, depending on the channel you plan to use;
  • Consider that the image from main camera has often better resolution than from the frontal.

Pay attention to the lighting

You need a lot of light in order to shoot with a smartphone. Good lighting will help you to make the video attractive to viewers. You should plan the lighting in depends on capacities of your smartphone and the effect you want to reach.

There are different add-on devices for adding extra lighting, like portable selfie LED-ring, which can be of different sizes (from pocket-size to table-size). The benefit of the last one is the opportunity to use it for shooting both with a camera and with a smartphone.

  • If you need to shoot in a sunny day, choose a place in a shadow. Otherwise a part of elements in a shot will be overexposed (during the editing there will be no information about these areas of image and you will not be able to lower the brightness and correct the shot). Moreover, sunlight can cast non-cinematographic shadows (under eyes, nose etc.);
  • For the shooting indoors you can use daylight from the window;

  • In order to do the light softer, use light-reflectors (any white smooth surface). Stand with back to a directed light source and place a light-reflector in front of you. It's done! Now you have a soft stray light. However do not forget that if you choose the sun as a source of constant light it is quite changeable (ohhh, that sun…), so the brightness and illumination will change during the shooting that is no always good for the idea for a video;
  • Using the lighting, you can set the atmosphere of a video. It's not necessary to use only white light, you can also use colored lamps, LED-tapes, filters. Add the spirit to your video!

Do not ignore sound quality

Viewers should not make efforts in order to understand what characters are talking about. Good sound will minimize your editing time. Some tips for making your sound quality better:

  • Place an object of shooting as close as it possible to the camera;
  • Dispose of unnecessary noises;
  • While shooting in a loud place, use an external microphone;
  • Do not close the microphone while shooting.

Use the all benefits of your smartphone

The main benefit of using a smartphone for filming is its size. The smartphone is much smaller and lighter than a SLR or video camera. Moreover, modern models are powerful portable computers, so you can not only shoot videos, but edit and post them in the internet.

Pay attention at:

  • Tripods. Now there are a lot of tripods for smartphones. For example, you can film yourself in a motion with monopod for selfie. And with GorillaPod tripod you can place the smartphone on a different surface.
  • Lenses. With using special lens for macro shooting or fisheye you can experiment with the appearance of objects in the frame.
You can always find valuable tips about equipment, lighting, sound and other at the open source resources such as video hostings or online-libraries. Professionals often share their experiences. You can also can tell other authors how you have studied to film videos.
  • Do not wait that everything will be ideal from the first time. Start filming videos and improving your skills! If you have extra questions about video production, you can always ask us on Facebook! Good luck!