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Smartphone Filming:

A guide to getting the best video results

Filming and posting a video clip is the best way of engaging people on social media, it’s been proven but I won’t bore you with the statistics for now, try Google!

It may seem a daunting process putting together a professional looking video. We’ve all seen shaky, dark, poor quality clips that have been filmed on a phone, in portrait, then immediately uploaded to YouTube. If it’s shocking, massively newsworthy (breaking news from on-location) or of special interest to the group you’re displaying to it’s unlikely to be viewed by many.

Put in a neat opening title graphic, sharp, bright images, clean steady shots and you’ll be much more likely to engage.

Here are eight steps to getting the best from a Smartphone camera. No extra equipment, no fancy lenses, apps, tools, just a phone. You’ll be surprised how much better it can be and it’ll be ready for professional editing if you want to take it further.

1. Set camera to highest quality/resolution/definition (essentially the same meanings)

2. Make sure there’s lots of light, fewest shadows and the sun behind you if outdoors, even if it’s cloudy

3. Hold the camera in “landscape” not “portrait”

4. Start the recording 2 seconds before and stop 2 seconds after you think you need to

5. Hold the camera as steady as possible, use a solid surface for support if available. Avoid panning and tilting

6. Keep the subject or the subject’s head in the upper two thirds of the frame

7. Make the recording twice if possible, exactly the same position

8. Take a few extra “context” shots – wide angle and close up so it’s clear where you are

With this done you’ll have a small set of clips that can be easily edited (spliced for old-schoolers!) with branding, subtitles added and “call to action” at the end. Editing can be done on a Smartphone, Tablet, PC or Mac or you can send your clips to a professional editor for the best results as colour correction, white balance, transitions and countless other parameters can be adjusted for a really sleek looking video.

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