Expert filming tips when using your smartphone

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Here are some quick tips when you are required to film your own video content with your smartphone. A smartphone would be preferable over a webcam as latest models have typically higher quality video camera

  • Use the back camera if possible, it’s usually a higher quality camera, but it will require someone to help you with framing.
  • Use an external microphone attached to the smartphone for cleaner audio, whether that’s a directional mic, wireless mic or a lavalier mic connected with a long cable – do a Google search to find the best option for you.
  • Avoid environments that have a lot of ambient noise such as nearby busy road, loud air conditioner, office chatter etc. But if there is no other option, ensure you show the source of the noise in the background of your shot.
  • Be aware of lighting – don’t film with a bright background such as a window or bright lights. Also try to film in a room with nice even light. Avoid fluoro light flicker and downlights directly above your head.
  • Use natural light from a window – position phone in between yourself and the window as you face towards the window. You don’t want direct sunlight streaming onto your face or a day where the sun goes in and out behind clouds altering the brightness of the scene.
  • Position the smartphone to your eyeline – perhaps find a tripod or even a bookshelf to get the right height.
  • If you are using the front facing camera – look at the camera lens and not at yourself on the screen as this will cause your eyeline to look away, not great for viewer engagement.
  • Press record, smile at the camera, wait a few seconds, relax and then start talking.
  • Likewise, at the end of your recording, ensure you finish, smile and wait a few seconds before reaching out to press stop. This will give your editor more flexibility.
  • Get your framing right – not too much head room where you are positioned halfway down the screen and also avoid cutting your head off in shot.
  • Position yourself not too far or too close – generally anywhere from the waist or torso up.
  • Work out if you need to record landscape or portrait mode.
  • Ideally film in 4K, so change your camera settings.
  • Make a small investment into an Autocue/teleprompter App. You can upload your script and have it scroll through as you record your presentation.
  • Finally, don’t always try to get it right in one take – practice the content an record a few variations – gives you plenty more flexibility when editing and the last few takes you will become much more relaxed.
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