How To Create A Video With A Phone Like A Pro

Lauren Trucksess
on May 26, 2016

The next time you scroll through your Facebook feed, take a count of how many videos you see (cat or otherwise). It’s hard to deny just how important video has become. In about six months, the amount of average daily video views on Facebook doubled from 4 billion video views per day to 8 billion and in one month alone, users on the new live streaming app Periscope watched 40 years’ worth of videos a day. 

How To Create A Video With A Phone Like A Pro

Creating video content is a great way to share your stories, but you may not be interested in investing in expensive camera or editing equipment. Luckily, it’s easy to make a great video using only a smartphone.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Storage Wars

The most frustrating thing that can happen when you’re mid-shoot is that annoying little notification that you’ve run out of storage. Seriously, it’s the worst. If you have an Android, like me, the solution is to pick up an extra microSD card.

iOS phones don’t have the extra slot for a microSD, but you can use a wireless flash drive like the SanDisk Connect stick, which lets you connect wirelessly and move files on and off of your device. Then, you can transfer your photos or music files off and create more space for video clips, until you’ve edited your footage.

2. Settings Check

Don’t fall into the habit of just hitting record without checking your settings. The higher the resolution and frame rate, the most space the footage will take on your phone. If you need to save space, shooting 1280×720 is fine. If you plan to mix your footage with shots from a DSLR, consider bumping up to 1920×1080.

3. Consider a Tripod

Small movements, bumps or changes in the shot may not be noticeable when you’re shooting but become a big distraction once you’re trying to edit. Consider getting a tripod or stabilizer to keep your shots steady. You don’t have to go nuts on the accessories, as there are great, inexpensive tripods for any and every kind of smartphone.

4. Go Horizontal or Go Home

It should go without saying, but don’t shoot vertically (holding the phone right side up as if you were using it to talk) The video will look best if you turn the phone on its side before hitting record.

5. Think About Lighting

If possible, keep your light bright, natural, and consistent, otherwise, your footage might look grainy. Also, never point your smartphone toward bright light sources as it will create shadows, lead to lens flares and interrupt the white balance of your phone. Also, try locking your exposure to avoid the camera readjusting itself throughout the shoot, especially if it is focusing on one subject for a while.

6. Say No to Zoom

If you want to focus closely on your subject, physically move yourself closer to it. Never swipe to zoom in at what you’re shooting as the video quality will decline. And if you need a wider shot, add a fixed lens like the Olloclip to add more depth and capture more of the scene.

7. Sound it Out

The sound can make or break a video. If you’re doing some serious shooting, consider an external microphone, but otherwise, be conscious of the wind and other background noise that may interrupt your shot. Stay as close to the audio source as you can and if it’s really windy, try using your hand to cover part of the phone’s internal microphone.

8. Time to Splice

When it comes to turning your footage into a story, editing on your laptop or desktop is generally going to be easier and enable you to do much more than an app. But since we’re talking about making a video on your phone, here are some free apps that also work well.

Free Video Editing Apps

iMovie – (iOS) Very simple and easy to drag clips into order and add basic effects.

Adobe Premier Clip (iOS, Android) – A stripped down version of Premier Pro, this is the

best free option for Android users.

PowerDirector (Android) – This has more than 40 video effects and transitions

Pinnacle Studio (iOS) – Also allows you to record voiceovers for your movies

What other tips do you have for creating great smartphone videos? Share them in the comments below!

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