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HOW TO SHOOT GOOD FILMS ON YOUR IPHONE

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Filmmakers Karina and Victor from Quick Brown Fox have 7 tips for us...

You're armed with a mobile photo and a cute kid - how are you going to make a great family film? With these iPhone filming tips from the professionals...

 

Mobile phones are everywhere and they’re becoming increasingly powerful by the day. But just because you have a powerful camera it doesn’t mean your films are going to win Emmys. That shiny new iPhone 7, ok scratch that… that battered, smashed screen iPhone 5 will only get you great quality if you use the right technique and the correct tools to edit. Practice makes perfect, so read on for a round-up of what we think are the 7 key points to consider when shooting video with your mobile:

1. Get ready to shoot: not only will you need a script or at least a pretty good idea of what you want to say on camera but remember to check you have enough batteries and storage space on your phone.

2. Keep it steady: Make sure you hold your phone steadily and with both hands. If this is not practical maybe try resting it on a surface or consider buying a small tripod or stabiliser.

3. Vertical? Really? It will be very obvious once we explain, but just picture your TV… think about the screen on your TV or in the cinema, is it vertical or horizontal? Aha… well, just never, ever, ever, ever, EVER shoot vertical video. Just don’t. You’ll end up with those awful black strips down the sides! Incidentally, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp  have been putting us through our paces with their Stories only being available in vertical mode. It really puts us off.

4. Don’t stand too far away: Try to position the camera close-ish to your subject, about 1 meter away should do the trick, and remember the camera is to one side of the phone ;)

5. Sound is hugely important: This is a biggie. Spot-on sound is crucial, so unless you’re planning to overlay a music track or voiceover on top of your video, try your best to keep environmental noise to the absolute minimum. Also, your phone's built-in mic is not great so maybe consider investing in an external recording device or a directional microphone.

6. Lighting is Critical: If possible, try to shoot in natural light, mornings are usually best. Avoid pointing the camera directly at the window though or you’ll end up with just silhouettes. Play around with the focus and exposure… which takes us to the next point...
  
7. Apps: The iPhone camera can be hugely improved by using third-party apps. There are a few good free ones but consider investing in paid for apps as well for better results.

Check out this event highlights video we made a while ago - it was shot and edited exclusively on iPad using the apps we showcase during our filmmaking workshops, so it was all done and ready to deliver a couple of hours after the event.

Have fun shooting!
 

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