7 Tips to Take Better Videos on Your Phone

Entertainment Blog

Even pretty run of the mill smartphones now have unbelievable video capability.  Here are seven simple tips to help you turn the thing in your bag or pocket into your route to video excellence.

Step 1: Know how your phone works. Seems pretty obvious but getting to grips with how your smartphone acts as a video camera can really increase the chances that you'll be proud of what you produce.

Think about how it handles light; a strong source of light behind whatever you're filming will render everything as a silhouette—you want see people's faces and expressions.

Also think about orientation. Smartphones will film upright or side on, but most playback will be in landscape mode, so turn your smartphone on it's side. By selecting the 1080 option, you'll also record in High Definition (HD) which dramatically improves picture output.

Step 2: Get the sound right. A smartphone will record sound right out of the box, but the chances are it'll be pretty poor quality and nothing turns off  viewers more than poor sound. Invest in an external microphone. Even the simple ones which plug into your headphone socket will make a huge difference. 

Step 3: Stabilise your device. Unless you want your viewers to suffer from sea sickness, make sure the camera is steady. You should always activate the stabilisation mode on your device (if available). However, handheld devices are lightweight. This means they create wobbly video however sophisticated the software on your phone or tablet, so invest in a tripod or similar.

There are small lightweight brackets which fit on your key ring and foldaway tripods plus phone holders which fit a multitude of devices. Some stabiliser accessories allow you to mount the camera on a wall or table or carry it around.  They help to improve your grip and with practice you can shoot smooth pictures while holding the device.

Step 4: Framing. Assuming you have the luxury of being able to set up the shot you're going for, frame the image carefully.  As with still photography, a tree apparently growing out of someone's head looks weird and distracts your viewer. If you have a person in shot, line up the lens with their eyes and try to position your subject so that they fill as much of the screen as possible.

Step 5: Post-production. This is the technical name for editing your video.  It makes sense to always edit your video on your PC or Mac. Most computers now come with video editing software included: iMovies for Mac and Windows Movie Maker for PCs for example.

These programs will certainly help you to learn how to cut your footage down to something compelling and will help you insert simple graphics, captions and titles. Get used to how these work before you think abut investing in more specialist software.

Step 6: Planning. Once you get used to the technical side of producing and editing a video you might want to make less spontaneous videos. At this stage, you need to plan what you want to film, usually in the form of a storyboard.

Think about the story you want to tell and the sequence of events which will help you tell that story. This enables you to use the same flexibility as the pros and shoot out of sequence. This is much more efficient than filming everything in the order in which you are going to use it.

Step 7: Get feedback. Your friends and family are terrific sources of advice and guidance. They'll be able to give you advice on what works and what doesn't.

Getting a free channel on various video uploading platforms online can allow you to post you work. You can select the private setting you can choose the people who you want to see the results. They can enter their feedback in the comments area.

For more tips and suggestions, get a professional second opinion by talking to companies like Tim Rowlands Productions.

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30 December 2014

How to Have a Great Time

Hello, my name is Chris and this is my entertainment blog. Have you ever been to a party and had no fun? It can be a real drag. It can be even worse if you are the host of a party which doesn't make the guest feel happy or entertained. When I had to organise my wife's birthday party, I knew I had to get it right so that she would have the best evening ever. I was really worried. Thankfully, I found a great entertainment and party organiser who booked a band, organised games for the kids and made sure everyone had a fantastic time. I decided to start this blog to pass on some top advice.