Undoubtedly one of the most frequent questions asked of video creators is “Can I shoot professional quality video using just my smartphone”?
The short answer is “YES” and the slightly longer answer is that anytime you’re thinking of equipment and logistics and gear before you’ve actually started making videos, you could be using equipment as an excuse. Since you’re here you already know how important it is to add video to your marketing mix. But it’s also important to start with what you have and where you are. Don’t over think this.
In this video I’ll show you how to start filming quality videos with just your smartphone. And I’ll also show you my home video setup so you can see how I levelled up. So let’s get started!
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STEP 1: CRAFT A STORY
First things first. Before we get into all the techie stuff, your filmmaking process starts at the beginning: with a story. That’s the whole point of being on video – to tell a visual story, right? So start storyboarding what you want to say before you think equipment. A good story arc starts with identifying what problems you’ll be addressing, and then magnifying that problem slightly so you add in perspective. You want to help your audience feel the problems from all angles and considerations. Next get into your solution and then finally finish strong with an actionable takeaway of what you want your viewers to do next.
STEP 2: SMARTPHONE + NATURAL LIGHTING
Position your smartphone on or near a window so that the front-facing camera is towards you, while you’re facing the sun. This way the sunlight fill face your face. Notice how your face goes into shadows when you have your back to the light source.
STEP 3: AUDIO
Stay as close to the phone as possible when recording because the audio is being picked up by the built-in microphone. The further away you move, the more the audio quality will suffer. Sacrifice the body shot for a close-up to get good audio. If possible, use the earbuds that came with your cell phone or buy separate ones. Notice the difference in audio quality when the ear buds are plugged in versus when they aren’t.
STEP 4: STABILITY
It’s hard to focus on something if it’s constantly shaking. So make sure you’re not shooting video while holding the camera in your hand. The other benefit to being hands-free is that you can use your hands to be more emotive on camera and to add personality to your videos with your body language and gestures.
STEP 5: FRAMING
When you think about the camera as a person – a friendly person – you learn how to frame your shot in a way that encourages conversation. Make sure the eye of the camera is where the eye of a person who you’re talking to would be – at eye level! Chose a backdrop or location according to the kind of video you want to shoot.
STEP 6: EDITING
Download the free Adobe Premier Clip app to your android or IOS device for a quick and seamless edit. You can drag multiple clips, create a quick title, add transitions, add in music and upload your finished video directly to YouTube.
That’s it, now you’re done. It didn’t cost an arm and a leg and you got a video up using just your phone and some natural light.
Of course as you level up and make more videos, you can add in equipment you’d like to use. To show you how I levelled up gradually, here’s a quick run down of how I set up my home video studio. All the stuff I mention in the video is listed below:
Equipment mentioned/shown in this video:
Smartphone used in this demo: LG V10 http://www.lg.com/us/mobile-phones/v10
Skull Candy Earbuds: http://www.skullcandy.eu/shop/earbuds/ Starting at approx $20)
Gorilla Tripod: http://joby.com/gorillapod/gorillapod-original Starting from $20 (Note: I’m using the head of a selfie stick to hold the camera – you can just screw it on the tripod)
Camera: Canon 550D http://www.canon.co.uk/for_home/product_finder/cameras/digital_slr/eos_550d/
Lens: 50mm prime https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1111454-REG/yongnuo_yn50mm_50mm_ef_for_1_8.html
Softbox Lights: https://www.photogeeks.co.uk/continuous-soft-box-lighting-studio-kit-1200w/
Lavalier Mic: Audio Technici http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wired_mics/29cddd9d16f8a17a/index.html
Audio Recording Device: ZoomH4n https://www.zoom-na.com/products/field-video-recording/field-recording/zoom-h4n-handy-recorder
PVC Pipes DIY Tutorial: http://www.instructables.com/id/Raw-Materials-1/
Chroma (Green) Fabric: http://chroma-key.com/57-chroma-key-green-fabric-only
Adobe Premiere Clip for editing on the phone: http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere-clip.html
Adobe Premiere Pro CC for editing on PC: (professional level only): http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere.html
If you enjoyed watching my behind-the-scenes video setup and my tutorial for how to shoot your own quality vids using just your phone, then go ahead like, comment and share this video with all your entrepreneurial friends!