If you’re looking to film a simple video, and you’ve got an iPhone or a smartphone, you already have all the tools you need to make a high-quality video. However, making a GOOD video on an iPhone requires more than just pulling out your phone and pressing record. To help you learn how to make a video on your iPhone or smartphone, we’ve put together a handy guide of techniques for shooting video and filming interviews to make sure that you get the most out of your shoot. Get the best looking product by using these easy tips for shooting video on an iPhone or smartphone.
1. The Golden Rule. This one is easy. MAKE SURE TO HOLD THE IPHONE IN LANDSCAPE, as in horizontal or wider than it is long. Ever go to a movie theater with a really tall skinny screen? Didn’t think so. iPhones DO shoot video vertically, but in 99% of all cases, shooting horizontally will help your video format correctly on YouTube and other uploading sites, thus improving the overall quality of your final product.
2. Lighting. The best place to shoot is in a well-lit room (sunlight is best) but do NOT have a window behind you. Your iPhone’s camera will either make you really dark and the outside visible, or you visible and the outside a blob of light. Finding indirect sunlight instead will give you bright natural lighting and allow your camera to produce the highest quality video without losing that HD quality that iPhones are capable of.
If you’re outside, avoid direct sunlight. Bright sun causes hard shadows and makes people squint. If you have to shoot outside, find a nice shady spot or wait for an overcast day. Clouds reduce the harshness of the sun and create ideal lighting conditions.
3. Sound. Make sure your subject physically close to the phone, ideally between two and three feet. This will reduce the ambient noise and echo. Avoid places and times with a lot of background noise. For example, a local cafÃ© probably isn’t the best place to film video as there will likely be a lot of noisy things going on in the background that will muddy up your sound and distract your audience.
4. Framing. Anyone who’s taken a basic photography class has heard of the “Rule of Thirds”. For those of you that think I may be making a weird baseball analogy right now, allow me to explain. If you were to divide your screen into thirds horizontally and vertically, you would end up with 4 lines. Placing subjects of interest (your interviewee) along those lines will frame the shot in a way that generally looks more appealing than if you put your face front and center or way off to one side. Luckily, this is such an old trick iPhones come with a built in feature called the “grid,” which you can turn on in your camera’s options. Place your subject’s eyes along the top horizontal line to achieve a pretty standard “interview” style shot.
5. Put your phone down. You have some options here: you can buy an attachment to hook your phone up to a tripod, or you could just tape it to a chair or prop it up against something. Either way, holding your phone will make your footage shaky. Placing your iPhone on something will help keep everything nice and consistent.
After you’ve finished shooting your iPhone video, you can choose to either edit it directly on your phone using the iMovie app, or you can bring the footage into your favorite desktop editing software. If it only needs to be shortened up, you can trim video right in the Photos app on your phone. Then, you’re ready to use your video on YouTube, your website and wherever else you need it. Happy filming!