Everyone likes filming cats for the internet, learn how to do it like a pro. Illustration: Samantha Bullis/The Dialog
During the 76th national conference in Edmonton held by Canadian University Press (CUP), the Edmonton Journal’s photojournalist Ryan Jackson showed us how to enhance our video skills without having to go through an entire school program.
Do you have an iPhone in your pocket? Then you are now only eight steps away from making some purchasable shots.
1. Make sure you double-tap the screen
For iPhone 4G users, be aware that by default your mobile phone only shows a 4:3 video image even though it is recording 16:9. All you have to do is just double-tap the screen to see the full 16:9 video image. Many people are not aware that their phones have this option. This tool can surely be essential for the success of your video.
2. Go for a Dropbox if you don’t have one yet
Recommended by Jackson during his workshop at the conference, the Dropbox App is nothing but a cloud storage free service that lets you put together your photos, documents, and videos and share them easily. You don’t have to keep all your pictures, videos and files in a pen-drive or in your phone, as you will get to the point of not being able to take more photos or record a moment because you are out of memory! Make your life easier by downloading this free App and getting rid of old stuff.
3. Choose Precorder App if you want to record the past
Precorder is a very useful video recording App that records the past. Whenever you need to record something that just happened, you hit the “Record” button on the App and it will start saving the video from 10 seconds ago. This can definitely save your time.
4. Get a microphone, lens adapters and a tripod for your Interviews
To have a better and more professional audio in your videos you can get a microphone and an adaptor in one of these e-commerce websites, such as Ebay, Amazon or Best Buy. They are cheap and can bring you better results. And remember, the closer the mic, the better.
To stabilize your phone and make sure your videos are not shaking, you can help yourself by acquiring a tripod for mobile phones. Then, you can record your videos with no disruptions. No tripod? A good trick is to hold your device horizontally using the palm of the hand while you support your elbow with the other arm. Trust me, that really can change the game!
Moreover, if you go to a press conference and lack of good lens to zoom in the image you are capturing or recording, you can just grab a lens adapter and connect to your cell phone. All this can help you feel more comfortable in case you suddenly need to record a moment and you don’t have enough time to prepare yourself.
5. Keep it steady
According to Jackson, to produce a good video you have to keep the camera steady. No matter how steady you think you are holding the camera, it will look shaky because of the shutter speed and CMOS sensor. To make sure you are doing it properly, record dozens of varying angles and sequences to keep the visual content of your video high. Another crucial tip is while editing use the fast-paced editing to make the video interesting.
6. Think before you shoot
Jackson claims that mindlessly shooting random video of everything that happens around is not that smart. Plan yourself in advance for a big occasion or scene. Go over different possibilities on your assignment. “Think before you hit record button, Is this boring? How can I make it not boring?”
7. Get multiple angles from the object
Only grandma shoots at 45 degree angles, so no lazy 45’s if you really want people to like your video. Choose multiple close-ups and as much perspectives as you can. Three seconds per clip and around 20 shots within 60 seconds is considered good.
8. Shh! I’m taping that!
The sensitivity of your iPhone works as a bubble, and you need your subject to be inside that bubble. To do that with your built-in mic (which are terrible, but can save you in hard times) remember to stand as close as possible. Tie-clip mics or shotgun mics are incredibly handy and you will be surprised by how the quality of audio gives a fine detail to your production.