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Film a Good Quality Video on Your Smartphone

Why make a good quality video on your smartphone?

  • Improving the quality of the videos that you make on your smartphone increases your opportunity to be creative in the classroom setting and beyond.
  • The better the quality of your video, the more professional it will be.

How do I get started?

  • Make sure that your phone is charged.
  • Check that you have enough space on your phone to film. 16G is not enough to film all day. If there is not enough, delete apps or photos from your phone.
  • Clean your lens! Smudges and/or blurriness will seriously affect the quality of your video.
  •  Put your phone into airplane mode so that you won’t receive any notifications that could ruin the shot. 
  • Lock down focus & exposure and other camera settings. If it is on auto it could change mid shot. 
  •  Use a tripod (if you have one). Tripods can be purchased for a low cost or a makeshift one can be made out of books, etc.. This will keep your shot steady. 
  • When setting your shooting level, try to keep it very slightly below your subject’s eye level.
  • Check the camera settings to see what quality of image your camera is taking. 1080 mps is the best quality, while 720 mps is the minimum needed for Youtube. If your storage space is limited, use 720.

Lighting Tips

  • Be aware of where the light is and arrange yourself so that shadows are minimized. If you’re using natural light, have it positioned in front of the subject for the best quality results.
  • If there is light that will change over time (i.e., if you are outside or by a window) accommodate for that accordingly.

Audio Tips

  • Carefully choose where you are filming so that background noise will be minimal. Film indoors if possible, as wind makes recording good audio extremely difficult.
  • Make sure that you are close enough to your subject to pick up their voice.
  • If you want background music/audio, add that in later through editing. 
  • Keep your hands steady so that any fumbling is not picked up by the microphone.
  • If possible, use an external microphone for the best sound. An external lavalier mic can be bought for approximately $25.

What should I keep in mind while filming?

  • Be aware of how you are framing your shot – close up, midway, or far away will all put the emphasis on a different part of the shot. Closer shots will emphasize emotion while further away shots will emphasize the surroundings. Be intentional with your frame.
  • Do not move your camera or change the frame while taking your shot. Panning the camera or zooming in will distort the image quality and lower the professionalism of the shot.
  • Avoid vertical videos. These are harder to edit afterwards.
  • Do a test shot before jumping into your video. Do this to check the audio, frame, focus, etc.

Resources to Help Plan Your Video

Link to Guide: Create a Script for Your Digital ProjectLink to Video: What is a Storyboard?Link to Guide: Find audio and images for remixing

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