I’m proud to be able to call myself a video production professional. It’s not an easy industry to break into. It took a lot of hard work, persistence, and time to get to a point where I’m doing this full time. I’m delighted to say that I finally have a sizable portfolio of my work and some credits to my name.
That said, I don’t want to make myself or others in the industry obsolete by giving away all the secrets to creating a great video. However, I would like to see less sh*tty videos on my facebook and instagram feed. So, I put together these few very basic tips to help you step up your cell phone video game.
- Hold your phone horizontally. Take a look at your TV or computer screen. Unless it’s a million years old, the screen is wider than it is tall. Now look straight ahead. Without moving your eyeballs at all, you should notice that you can see more on your left and right than above or below. That’s right we see in “widescreen”. Meaning it’s psychologically more comfortable for humans to watch moving images in our native seeing format. Of course your phone allows you to take a video in portrait mode aka vertically- that doesn’t mean you should. Portrait mode is great for photography not video.
- I don’t want to see up your nostrils. The camera lens should be level with the eyes. No higher. No lower. In films there are reasons why you would point the camera up at someone and reasons why you point down. I’m assuming most of you are not trying to win an Oscar for your iPhone videos, so let’s not focus on this. Too often I’m watching a video where the camera is on a table or something looking up at the person speaking. I can count every nose hair. Sometimes I’m like “Did I just see a glimpse of their brain?” It’s gross. Many people will hold the camera up very high and point down to appear “skinnier”. That kind of works in photography. In video, it just focuses too much on your forehead wrinkles. Again, eye level is the best level.
- Don’t stand up against a wall. I could really go into detail about all the science behind this. But I won’t bore you. If you’re truly interested, go to film or photography school. But just test it out. Stand against a wall and take a quick video. Then stand several feet away (the further away the better) from the same wall and take another video. Which looks better? It should be hands down the second one. If it’s not, then you’re doing something wrong.
- Wear Solid Colors. Tight patterns don’t look good on camera. This sort of optical illusion starts to happen where the shirt looks like it’s “dancing” or moving independently. Solid colors look best on camera.
There you have it! Now go out there and take some better than sh*t videos!