When we talk about engaging video content we always say that content is king but context is key. Start planning your video on the premise that the content you’re shooting must absolutely offer value to prospective clients. Ask yourself why will they want to watch (and share) the video you’ve made? Once you’ve decided what you want to film, have a look at these killer tips to ensure you produce top quality video regardless of the camera you’re using:
1- WIPE that lens: This may sound silly but loads of times a blurry iPhone video is due to a dirty lens. Make it a habit to clean your camera lens with a standard glass cleaning cloth and you’ll see the difference.
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. The Manfrotto mini tripod is not expensive at all at £30 (including the must-have clamp to fix our phone). We’ve been using ours for over 3 years and it’s never let us down. It’s not bulky, it takes 1 second to mount your phone on it and having a big name brand behind it makes it super reliable.
3- Consider the LIGHTING set up: Most places have warm lighting which tends to have a yellow tint to it. You want to film under ‘daylight’ light which has a more blue-ish tint and on film looks closer to natural light. You can achieve a natural light look artificially by swapping the bulb in your desk lamp or you can get an LED panel that can be adjusted to lots of different scenarios.
4- Most users don’t know this mega tip, but it is possible to FILM IN 4K quality using just an iPhone. Indeed if you have an iPhone 6 or newer your device is capable of filming videos in 4K. It’s not quite as simple as just opening up your camera and pressing record. You will need to tweak some settings, but don’t worry, it’s not too complicated. Just go to Settings > Camera, tap either Record Video or Record Slow-mo, and select your preferred resolution from the listed options. Choose from various options from HD to 4K and even change the frames per second to give you the smoothest video with the highest number of pixels.
5- Invest in a few 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. We use and recommend iMovie for editing on the go, Hype Type to add animated texts to your videos and Stop Motion Studio for well… doing those clever stop-motion clips where inanimate objects seem to have a life of their own.
6 – SOUND: 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 environment noise to the minimum. In reality, the phone’s built-in mic is not great, so maybe consider investing in an external recording device or a directional microphone. For iPhones, we use and recommend the Rode SmartLav. Just search online for it, it shouldn’t break the bank at roughly £50.
7 – VERTICAL vs HORIZONTAL: Up until a year ago horizontal filming was a must since output channels had either a square or 16:9 ratio. Filming a video whilst holding your phone in a vertical position always meant ending up with those awful black square to either side of the video when watching on a bigger screen or after uploading to youtube. Nowadays with Instagram and FB stories huge relevance, we’d say it will ultimately depend on where the video is going to be published: If you’re filming for YouTube or Facebook, stick to holding your phone horizontally, if you’re creating an Instagram story, play around with vertical videos. Maybe you’re wanting to make a square video. In this case, you may want to shoot horizontally but leave some room on either side to allow for the cropping that will ensue.
As you can see we’ve gone back to point number 1: Planning is key! Before pressing that record button, think exactly what you want to get out of your video and where and how and then go from there. If you’re stuck, give us a ring, we’re always happy to help.
Have fun making videos!