Let’s face it – everyone has a smart phone. For the first time in history, digital video is available to everyone at the touch of a button. Now that you have a phone that records 1080p, you don’t need anything else to make a high quality video right?
Well, you aren’t quite there yet. Poor audio, shaky video, bad lighting, all of these factors prevent your video from really looking like the pros. With so many people uploading clips and videos, viewers are becoming experts at recognizing smart phone video. So how do you make yours look like the real deal?
The good news is that there is hope! There several ways you can take a simple video and make it look like a high quality shoot. Boiled down, there are four things that will make your video look great: clean sound, steady shots, professional look, and attention to detail.
The video looks great but… what the heck is everyone saying? Sound is 51% of your video and will give your video the professional look that you want. Don’t film in heavy wind or around traffic and noise. Keep the dialogue clear and loud and think about dropping a music track on top. All else fails, you can get some cheap microphones that hook right into your phone at sites like Sweetwater.
Shaking not only makes your video look amateur… it can actually make people sick! Unless you have super human steadiness, your hands are too shaky to get good video. Prop your camera on a solid surface or use a table to rest your arms. You can also find steady cam rigs for your phone online. General Law of video: If it shakes, throw it out!
There are a lot of things that add production to a video that don’t cost a cent. Try getting the action from different spots, or play with creative angles to give your video a fun look. You can also get lenses that attach directly to your phone online. Be creative and have a strategy for how your video will look before you shoot it.
Attention to Detail
Camera, Action! Wait, we forgot about lights! Be vigilant about how your video looks as you are shooting it. Is there enough light? Does the shot look too purple? Are you sure your subject is in focus? Pay attention as you shoot. If possible, have a friend direct the action so you can focus on what is showing up on your screen.
Just because you are shooting with your phone doesn’t mean your video can’t look great! Think about your video before you shoot, and take a few minutes to make sure it looks great! Follow all these tips and you will soon be taking smart phone video like a pro! Happy shooting!