Here are two videos produced by trainees on our new Smart Video course which showed them how to produce videos using their smartphone.
We ran our first course for the Churches Conservation Trust, training nine volunteers and staff to film and edit short videos of the churches under their care. The idea is that these will be shared on social media.
Our trainees ranged from volunteers who had belonged to film clubs – including Peter Noakes who produced this video – and people who had absolutely no experience of video production at all.
However, filming and editing with a smartphone was new to all of them – and they all enjoyed the process.
“Rough House delivered us a perfectly pitched day’s course. The trainers had our volunteers shooting and editing footage on their smart phones by the end of the day.
“Even the technophobes among them gained enough confidence to go out and make digital video content which will be of huge benefit to our organisation.” Sarah Morris, National PR Consultant, Churches Conservation Trust
On the course, we covered both the technical side of the process and shared insider tricks to give your video a professional polish.
How to produce a video on your phone – Do:
- Get a good variety of shot sizes, wide and close up, of both people and details. This makes your video more interesting and easier to edit.
- Put your video in context. The CCT videos will be about churches, so will need enough wide shots and details to show the building is in fact a church.
- Double check your shots. Is there a dirty mug in frame? Does the sign have graffiti on it? Does your subject have a plant sticking out of her head?
- Film at the same level as your subject rather than from above, especially if you are filming children or animals.
- Film sequences of shots. If you are filming an activity, a simple guide is: close up of their hands/the activity taking place, a close up of their face, a shot over their shoulder looking down on the action, and a wide shot.
- If you are filming an interview, provide additional interest to the shot, such as pictures, flowers, a lamp. Show enough so people don’t wonder what it is, as this may distract from what your interviewee’s words.
- Make sure you brand your video. Put your subjects in branded T-shirts, position your subject in front of a poster or outside your offices with the name plate in vision.
- If you are filming moving subjects, let them enter and leave your frame. This enables you to create a passage of time easily and makes your final edit look far more professional.
- If you are planning to add graphics/text , leave clear space in your shot for this.
- Keep your videos short. People’s attention span watching online is generally short, especially if your film is a talking head/a presentation to camera.
- Think about the position of your subject. Placing him in the middle of a room, rather than against a wall, will give your shot some “depth of field”, and make it more interesting.
How to produce a video on your phone – Don’t:
- Wobble. Hold your camera steady as any tiny movement is exaggerated when you are filming. Ideally use a tripod – but if you don’t have one, find techniques, such as resting your elbows on a steady surface, or holding the phone with both hands.
- Move your camera, as it is incredibly difficult to do this smoothly. If you want to do moves, you must use a tripod which helps you pan and tilt smoothly
- Follow the action – leave the camera in one position, as this will make it far easier for you to edit together different shots.
- Film against a window or bright light, as your subject will be “backlit” and overexposed, so they will be difficult to see.
- Film your subject from too far away. Staying physically closer to your subject ensures better picture quality, less digital noise and better focus.
- Film in a place with lots of background noise, particularly music.
Our Smart Video course is perfect for charities with small budgets, who want to engage the help of volunteers and members in providing content for digital marketing. If you’d like to find out more about how to produce a video on your phone, do get in contact.