Mobile phone videos are everywhere at the moment.
Simple to capture and easy to digest, footage captured on iPhone or Android devices provides significant extra depth to online content.
But for all the obvious benefits, there are challenges too. Sara Wilmot, H3’s Head of Video Production, gives her tips on making your smartphone content shine.
With today’s phone cameras being so small, they can hard to hold steady even on a tripod.
The Filmic Pro App has a great stabilisation function that can help make a real difference to the footage.
Alternatively, I would recommend keeping the camera moving and embrace the instability. Make it part of your style.
Your body will absorb a lot more movement than you think, so just tuck your elbows in, move your body and not the phone and become the ‘human tripod’.
In-built microphones on phones are usually insufficient to pick up quality audio. A lapel mic can improve proceedings but they often plug directly into the headphone socket, making it impossible to monitor the sound.
When this happens, it is imperative to pay attention to the nearby environment. Don’t put yourself at risk by filming in a noisy space and, if that isn’t possible, make sure you are facing the noise so the audience understands where the noise is coming from.
The brain accepts noise more readily if you can see where it is coming from.
Battery and storage are a consideration. After filming a couple of interviews, you will find battery power is low and your phone is full. So invest in an external battery charger and always allow time to recharge your phone and offload footage onto a laptop. Suddenly a small phone camera turns into a whole rucksack of kit – and therefore not so compact and mobile – but what use is a dead phone?
Whatever way you chose to film and the equipment you use, know your kit.
Make sure you have prepped, everything is charged and all accessories are packed including your release forms.
Once filming, the kit should be the very last thing on your mind – it should be the story that takes over.