Video has fast become a dominating tool used within Content Marketing. From Facebook live to YouTube video blogs, you should be using video to connect with your audience in a visual and engaging way. “But Video is expensive” I hear you cry… well, with the advances in mobile technology, everyone now has access to a top of the range video camera. Shooting video on your phone is easy; you just swipe to video mode and hit record, right? But before you all run off and give it a try and tell me it’s just not that simple, here are some tips to help you shoot better Smartphone videos.
Whenever possible you should plan what you are going to shoot before you pick up the camera. Personally, I like to jot down a couple of bullet points on a bit of piece of paper detailing a basic outline of events and the shots that I am going to use.
Equally, you could put together a basic storyboard. To do this, draw a simple sketch each camera angle you are going to use (you don’t need the skills of Monet -stick men will do!) and make notes of what is going on in the shot. Whichever way you decide is best for you, planning ahead of a shoot helps reduce problems during an event. Then when mishaps, accidents or problems arise, you’ll have everything you need ready to deal with them.
You should always think about how/where your video is primarily going to be viewed. This will help you decided on how you should hold the camera and the framing. In most cases, you will need to hold the camera Horizontally (landscape). This improves the viewing experience of anyone accessing the video through a Desktop, Laptop and most mobile devices, as they will able to view the video full screen.
Situations, where this may not be the case, is if you are shooting a video for applications such as Instagram, where if you are editing clips together in the app, you will be forced to use a square frame. Therefore, you should think about making sure your subject is in the middle of the screen.
One of the best tips for making a better video is to make sure that you make lighting your friend. This means you need to scope out the sources of your available lighting and then use it to your advantage.
When indoors, you should think out about shadows and the daylight coming through windows. Limit contrast by filming with daylight sources behind the camera or by cutting out daylight by closing curtains/blinds.
Outside, think about the direction of the sun. Try and find a position where the sun is evenly lighting the scene you would like to record.
To make your videos more engaging you should think about making your video out of several shorter clips. This will make your videos more interesting to watch and will allow you to highlight smaller details of a wider scene.
Think about shots that will add to the story and compliment the master shot. It is can be as simple as filming your subject from a couple of different angles, or from close up and far away. You could also mix it up by bringing some movement into your shots.
Bad audio can ruin a piece of video. I have no doubt you’ve heard the horrible sound wind noise makes on video clips and how much it affects the viewing experience. To shoot better video, you need to learn how to control it.
The built-in microphone on a smartphone can record a decent voice over in a quiet environment, however, problems start when you take it outside. Unless you are prepared to remove and replace the audio later, I would suggest investing in a plug-in microphone to help you record better audio, such as the Rode Smartlav+.
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