The Golden Rule
The most common mistake people make when shooting video on their phone is shooting vertically. This limits what you can fit in the frame and doesn’t work well on most traditional viewing platforms (connected Vs, YouTube, etc.). When you go to shoot, turn your phone horizontally.
Stabilize Your Shot (or don’t)
Different types of videos require a different style. For a more produced and polished look, try to prop your phone up on a solid surface to avoid any shakes or distracting movements from the camera. If you are going for a more personal vibe, feel free to hold the phone yourself, but still be mindful of too much movement as that can be overwhelming to the viewer in excess.
Framing Your Subject
It you are filming your team members, frame your subject from the waist up or shoulder up, making sure to leave a bit of head room at the top. Having your subject slightly angled and your camera at eye level will be more flattering but you should be able to see their full face. Avoid shooting directly from the side or too low. If you want to adjust a shot during an interview, it’s best to do slow movements to get to the shot you need in case they say something great while you’re moving around.
Use Your Windows
Natural lighting will always look best when shooting cellphone video, but you have to know how to use it. Try to have natural light facing you or whomever you are filming. Never shoot with windows behind you. That will darken the frame and cause your phone to continuously change the settings to adapt (which is very distracting). If the lighting is too harsh/overexposed, try defusing the light by pulling your blinds or moving farther away from the window.
Making Sure Your Message is Clearly Heard
Producing a high-quality video goes hand in hand with ensuring high-quality audio. Achieving clarity in your message involves more than just visual excellence; it requires spotless audio quality without distraction to captivate your audience effectively.
Here are some tips for recording high-quality audio:
- Airplane Mode: Put your phone on Airplane Mode to avoid alerts or notifications.
- Use an External Microphone: When possible, consider using an external microphone to enhance audio quality.
- If the phone’s built-in microphone is your only option, ensure the subject is close to the audio source for clear and sharp sound capture.
- Alternatively, if your audio is too quiet or your camera is positioned at a distance from the speaker, consider using a second phone as a microphone. Position it near the subject on a vibration-free surface just out of the shot.
- Chose a Quiet Location: Select a quiet setting for recording.
- Avoid areas with background noise is present like AC units, fans, or other people.
- If you must record outside, be mindful of potential distraction such as wind or traffic. Protect the microphone from wind noise by using a windscreen or other forms of shielding.
- Make a test recording: Before proceeding, record a 30-second segment of “room noice without anyone speaking. This allows you to identify and address any background noise present.
- Record multiple takes: Capture several takes and select the best one for your final submission. This approach ensures you have options and can pick the recording with the best delivery.
Proposed Script in 6 Easy Steps
- Hello everyone, I’m your first name, followed by your major (e.g. I’m Jason, majoring in Physics, I’m Chloe, majoring in Computer Science, I’m Alicia, majoring in humanities, etc.)
- We are the name of your team (e.g. Team Name) and we have identified the following problem in our community the name/title of the problem you have identified (e.g. Traffic Collisions at
Intersections are a Significant Strain on Modesto’s Emergency Resources) followed by a short description of the problem.
- We interviewed X, Y, Z (the individuals you have interviewed) at school and/or in the community to better understand and define the scope of the problem.
- We applied for SolveCC because …
- Optional: We imagine the next step(s) …
- So far, we have learned how to … (e.g. best work in a team environment, how to prepare for interviewing concerned individuals, to engage the community members, to better define a real problem that needs attention in our community).
*Please note that the average person speaks about 120-150 words per minute.