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How to shoot a video on an iPhone- top tips

08JanHow to shoot a video on an iPhone- top tips

Making a corporate video with an iPhone

So, you’re thinking of making a video for your company with your iPhone (or other phone)?  Firstly, congratulations- you are clearly smart, video is THE most powerful tool to help you build your business in 2019.  But don't do it unless you've read some top tips and techniques to make it the best it can be.  All video is useful for marketing and in 2019, if you’re not using video regularly then you’re going to be left behind. 

Working with the phone in your pocket is great but you can also make some mistakes.  This isn't the answer to everything but it’s a good start and if you want some more advice, just message me or respond to this article and I'll take a look.   

First off, you will likely want to get a couple of inexpensive bits and pieces to make everything work better. 

1: Get the camera working for you

Buy A cheap selfie stick- you’re not going to use it to take a selfie video (although you could), you’re going to use it to grip the phone and turn it into a much better camera.  Your hands are, well, handy but they move the phone in ways that a professional camera would not and this causes unusual looks- it make it look amateur!  A selfie stick can be bought at a pound store or somewhere similar online.  If you want to go a step further then buy a grip that allows you to attach your phone to a cheap tripod- this will be around £10 ($12) and the tripod a further £20 ($25). This one from Amazon is somewhere in between and not bad.

2: Sound is VERY important

If you plan to interview or even present yourself, buy a mic, please buy a mic!  Online (again amazon), these can cost around £10-£15 ($12-20) but will make an incredible difference to the sound you capture. If you are in an extremely noisy place, work out if you really need to be there.  Walking to a quieter spot will make a huge difference and even if the factory, machine or noisy thing is important to what your video is about, it doesn’t have to be in shot as you interview or present (see point 6).

3: Shoot it right

Next is how you film it- as in, how you position the camera.  ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS film with the phone held in the landscape position.  I'm sorry, this is one of my absolute hates about self-generated video. The phone is designed to be held that way for speaking but not for filming. Yes, instagram can take vertical/square video but all other platforms are set for 16:9 ration videos.  You can always alter this to suit instagram but not the other way around.  Please do this, for me.

4: Plan, Plan, Plan

The most important thing to consider when making video with your phone is planning- seriously, all of the tips in here comes into the planning but also you need to think about content, format and ultimately, what do you want to get from your efforts.  If you plan what you want to achieve, highlight, explain, you will make a much better video. You also need to think about how much time it is going to take you to shoot, edit and upload your video.  Even with an iPhone, you need to make time to get it right. 

5: Keep it SHORT! 

If you are making a video with your phone then there will inevitably be some quality issues- it’s cheap and simple and therefore, keep it short and simple.  How short? Well we know that videos longer than around 40s are just way too long for most audiences.  20-30 is good.  If you know what you’re going to say, nail it down and take it from there.  This will also help when it comes to editing- the longer your video, the longer the edit. 

6: Get visual

Visuals complement your messaging. Whatever you are providing in video, make sure you make it a video- by this, I mean help your audience see what you are talking about.  If it is a new product, don’t just hold it- get some shots of It in close up, looking nice and show off the detail.  The same if it’s a garden or a construction project or some industrial kit- show the audience the product. We call these shots b-roll/cutaways/General Visuals. They are essential not only to help you cut things together but also to help people see what you are talking about.   

7: Get the lighting right 

If you can’t see the subject then it’s not really worth making a video is it? Get the light on and don’t stand in front of a big, bright window. Think about light- mug shots look like mug shots because of the big, nasty, white flash...and those passport pics? Who has a decent passport pic? That's due to lighting. If you can think about light- daylight, office lights and ensure the subject (be that a person, thing, dog etc) is lit well.   

8: Editing

Even just cutting out that little awkward bit at the beginning where you turn on the camera or walk into shot…use the tools you have to make the video better.  Your phone comes with the ability to do this right away so there's no excuse to have them anymore!  If you want to get a bit more done then there are lots of editing apps out there.  Obvious choices include iMovie and now there’s a more capable version of Adobe’s Premier available.  Use editing to help you cut together your visuals with your narrative- it doesn’t need music or fancy graphics, just subtitles.  (See 10). Honestly, if you plan well, the content is good and you've used some of these tips, you don't need music or graphics (albeit they do add some production value).   

9:  Keep making videos

Don’t do this once- invest time and get better at it.  There is almost no point in making one, single video. The more video you do the more your audience will come to you for it.  It works- you will see it work and you will start to get better at it.  Always look at your comments, your analytics and speak to your audience- what do they like? What do they not like? How long do they stick around.  Make more videos and learn what works for your company. 

10: Subtitle, subtitle, subtitle

If you plan to share your video online then quite simply don’t bother if you’re not going to subtitle.  So many videos are consumed without sound that you will miss a huge percentage of your audience without them.  Yes, it’s a pain but youtube, Vimeo and other platforms all help when it comes to subtitling.  Google a guide and get it done, you won’t regret it. I'm bordering on obsessed with this tip. It should probably be number 1.   

A cheeky 11: Get the professionals in

Not everything suits a homemade, iPhone video. It's more of a "behind the scenes" format and style. It's rough around the edges, personal but it does work- I'm convinced of it. But, see how long it takes to make your first video and then think about what you want to get from video.  It can be cheap to do it yourself but it can cost you a lot of time and you might get more from a bit of professional help.  So, what are you waiting for.  We don’t just make video, we make video that works. 

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