Six tips to creating great video with a smartphone 

Creating video is a great way to capture the attention of your staff and improve communication amongst colleagues. Niki Hobson shares her tips for creating good quality video.

Empowering your employees to capture videos demonstrating a process or reflecting on an experience can increase collaboration and enhance social learning. User generated videos can also:

  • Identify training needs
  •  Create a collaborative learning culture
  • Break down silos
  • Identify internal champions

Creating videos no longer requires specific or costly equipment, they can be captured by anyone and anywhere using a smartphone. Loss of control and poor quality videos are, commonly, the main concerns when considering a user generated video approach. Follow these 6 simple tips and start by creating short videos to see how video can impact your organisation.

Shoot in Landscape mode, 2 black vertical lines will instantly make your footage look amateurish. Your TV and PC is landscape so it makes sense to shoot your video in this orientation. It is unlikely that all of your audience will view your videos on a smartphone and holding your phone horizontally will make your footage look professional on any device.

Although the phone has a camera which allows you to zoom, I would not recommend using it. If you want to zoom in, either walk closer to your subject or start from a close up position. If you desperately want a zoom feature on your smartphone you could buy additional accessories or use a phone with more than one lens.

Pay attention to the audio, this matters as much as the video itself and is difficult to fixin Post-Production (editing). Built in Smartphone microphones often pick up wind and lots of background noise making it difficult to focus on the subject. Where possible shoot indoors, in a location with limited ambient noise. If sound is essential you could invest in an external microphone which plugs into the headphone socket

Use a tripod or smartphone rig to de-shake footage where possible. If this isnt an option hold the camera close to your body using two hands, this can get quite tiring if capturing long shots and using items such as desks, books and shelves could be used as a support.

Turn on the grid settings on your camera. The composition of your shots will have an impact on how professional your video appears. Its worth considering the rule of thirdsand experimenting with where you place your subject.

Your camera app will use more power and so it’s essential that you fully charge your phone, you could invest in a power bank so you have additional battery life should you need it. Make sure you have enough storage space on your device before you capture any footage and remember the highest resolution video will take up more memory.  One last tip for your device is to clean the lens. As our phones are used all day it is easy for the camera to pick up dirt and anything on the lens will reduce the quality of your images.

Sarah Burrell

About Niki Hobson

My passion is to promote the use of video within organisations and support individuals develop skills in video production by delivering practical Smartphone Video Training courses. Focus ’n Develop can support your organisation introduce high quality user generated videos, if you want to find out more about these tips or learn others please get in touch @FocusnDevelop

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