Cell phone video cameras just keep getting better and better, and there is no question that they are able to produce stunning images. For instance, Bentley recently filmed a commercial that was shot entirely on an iPhone 5s! You can see the video here: (iPhone 5s commercial). However, getting this level of quality does not come without some effort. Here are five tips on how to get the best performance from the video camera on your cell phone to create you own iPhone video.
Cameras love light. Getting the lighting right for your video shoot will have a massive impact on the overall quality of your final product. However, the problem is that most people don’t have access to fancy studio lights. Thankfully, everybody has access to the sun, and if you know how to take advantage of this natural light source your videos can look incredible, achieving a high quality aesthetic. When filming, make sure that you turn off any artificial lighting, as mixing natural daylight with artificial light will make your skin tones look unnatural. Find a window and position your subject so that the light coming through the window fills their face. If you want more tips on how to light an interview using a window click here (this blog coming soon).
Most cellphones will have some sort of built-in microphone to capture sound, however, they are not the greatest quality. The built-in microphone isn’t noticeably lacking when you are able to speak into them from a few inches away, but if you are trying to record an interview with your phone, it will have to be placed far enough away for the camera to capture the subject well. At this distance the built-in audio will lose presence and start to sound echoey. However, for under $20 the Miracle Sound Deluxe Lavalier can solve all of your audio problems. This little microphone can clip on to your subject’s shirt and then plug right into your iPhone. Another consideration is the physical location. You are going to want to find a room that is quiet — if you try to film an interview in a busy office with phones ringing, or with other such distractions, your final product is going to sound sloppy no matter how good your microphone is.
This should be obvious but, unless you are going for The Blair Witch Project look, you want to make sure that you have a nice stable shot. No matter how stable you claim to be, holding your phone with your hands will result in an amateur product. You must have some sort of rig to stabilize your phone. The free and simple solution is to merely prop your phone up on some books, or else tape it to something. However, this can be annoying if you need to make height adjustments. Thankfully the alternate and more advanced solution is not expensive. For $20-$30 you can get a nice little tripod that will work with your phone and give you a perfectly stable and clear shot. Oh, and make sure you have your phone set up to sideways (horizontally), vertical video screams non-professional.
Finding a good location to film your project is crucial. As we mentioned in step one, you want to find a nice quiet space that has lots of natural light. A good little tip is to find a room that has lots of depth, as opposed to shooting up against a flat wall. When you have lots of space behind your interview subject, it creates a sense of space that translates well to the camera screen.
Before you press record, it is important to spend some time thinking about what it is that you want to say and the message you desire to portray. It is a good idea to actually write out what you plan on saying and then try reading it out loud. Once you write your message effectively the way you want it, try practicing it a few times (without your notes) — you should be able to deliver your message without needing a cheat sheet, as you don’t want to be a slave to your notes.
Remember, you’re iPhone has an amazing camera, but just clicking record may not produce a high-quality image. Follow these 5 tips on making your own iPhone video you are off to the races.