Get smart at shooting video on your smartphone

July 6th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

We like to think we know our eggs when it comes to shooting video. But guess what? You can too.

If you’ve got a decent smartphone or tablet that can shoot at least 1080p you’re well set up to shoot good quality user generated content (UGC) yourself.

Some of our clients like to shoot their own footage for certain projects as well as getting us involved to do the more polished side of production, as it often brings another element to the overall piece. With UGC you get a lovely DIY feel to the content, you can often cover a number of locations quickly, and it’s a great way to drive internal engagement as more people are involved in the creative process.

When it’s done properly, it looks awesome.When it’s not, well, let’s not go there.

So, to make sure your UGC always looks the biz, here are a few golden rules we’d like to share.

Hate the portrait

There’s not a lot of things we don’t like, but video shot portrait style is definitely one of them. Ever been to the movies and watched a film that had thick black bars on either side of the screen? Probably not. That’s because video should be shot landscape. Always. Resist the temptation to shoot portrait. It’s wrong, it doesn’t look good and it goes against the natural way we view the world. Trust us!

Mr (or Mrs) Brightside

Good video is all about being able to see the subject clearly, so lighting is pretty darn important. It is your friend, if used correctly. But not if you plonk your subject right in front of a window. Instead, position them near the window, so the light is shining onto them, rather than behind them. For best results, use natural light, especially if the weather is being kind outside.

Wired for sound

Sound quality is crucial. If your video sounds ‘tinny’, there’s not much hope it your viewers sticking around till the end. Choose a quiet spot away from lawn mowers, air-con units and aeroplanes (they’re the worst culprits!) The microphone on your device will do a decent job as long as you’re close to the subject. Otherwise, invest in an external microphone (decent ones are available from about £10). If you want to go one step further, there are tons of accessories available to boost the quality of sound shot on your device.

Shake it off

Ok, so we just wanted an excuse to get a Taylor Swift reference in here (because we’re secretly huge fans and play her on repeat in the office). When shooting video on a smartphone or tablet, be careful not to shake too much while filming as you’ll get a very ‘Blair Witch’ style feel to the video. And unless your video is about someone running away from an old lady in a forest, we’d suggest avoiding if you can. Hold the device with two hands and try and lock your arms firm. Better still, invest in a tripod mount or grip so you can get a much smoother movement.

These are just a few golden rules for shooting good quality UGC. There’s lots more depending on how advanced you want to get. Have you got any tips to share? Let us know in the comments below.

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