10 things you need to know to film with your smartphone like a Pro

  1. Think about the story: Regardless of what you are filming you have to imagine the event as a story: with a beginning, a middle part and an ending. Don't just film what you see, try to break the event into little chunks to identify the shots you need to make that will tell your story and convey your message.
  2. Forget it's a Cell Phone: and do NOT hold your device vertically like you always do because vertical videos do not look so good when you watch them on your horizontal TV screen. Next time you record a film, do not forget to turn your iPhone!
  3. Lighting matters: Although iPhone's camera sensors have come a long way, unless you're outdoor in daylights it still pays to turn on lights before you start rolling, especially when you shoot in slow-motion. Your video will be higher quality, less grainy.
  4. Focus: Auto-focus is great but you can tap on the screen and choose for yourself where you want to focus, also, depending on your iPhone model, you can determine exposure along with the focus.
  5. Keep it short: Try to keep your shots less than a minute long, under 30 seconds is usually sufficient (10-15 secs).
  6. Vary your shots: You don't want your movie to be boring so try to vary the shots when you film. Start by making wider shots to capture the whole scene then if possible shoot medium and close-ups. You'll notice that the background is nicely blurred when taking close-up shots.
  7. Choose the right angle: The Eye-Level angle is a fairly neutral shot and the most common. The High Angle shows the subject from above, it has the effect of diminishing the subject. The Low Angle shows the subject from below, giving them the impression of being more powerful. With the Bird's Eye angle the scene is shown from directly above it can be used for dramatic effect. A Dutch Tilt is a camera shot in which the camera angle is deliberately slanted to one side, a very dramatic effect!
  8. Use the grid: The Rule of Thirds is a basic and powerful compositional technique. You should try to place your key subject elements along those lines and where the lines intersect will be the best place for your subject. You can enable the camera grid lines in the Settings.
  9. Background check: Try to be aware of the entire frame. Apart from close-up and extreme close-up shots, your shots will have some background elements and you have to pay attention to them because they could quickly ruin your film: that trash in the corner, a tall pointed building sticking out of the top of your subject's head, a dog doing his business...
  10. Ready, Steady, Go: Use both hands to hold your iPhone and keep your elbows close to your body this should help you being more stable when you film. Also, we have an app that does the job for you (and incredibly enough it's called Steady)