Could I make an entire video using only my Smartphone?

Most modern smartphones today will video in 1080p Full HD Recording which means you can make high quality movies to highlight various products and services for your business.

Using video for your business is a great way to spread the news about what you provide. With over 200 public video sites there is a huge potential to get your message out.

You can create your video 100% using your smartphone — including filming, editing, and everything. Of course you can also upload to your main computer for even more diversity when editing.

So, how do I make that video?

There are a few things all people who make movies use to make their life easier.

I use:
– iMovie (for editing), $4.99
WeVideo – Video Editor & Maker (android)
– Motion Pictures (to create the time lapses), free
Lapseit for android
– lavalier or wireless mic or telescopic mic

Other materials you may need or want:

– a tripod or stand for your phone — strongly recommended when making timelapses (I use the iStabilizer, but there are lots of options)

–  for smooth videoing while walking etc use a camera stabilizer.

– music you wish to use as a soundtrack

–  some lighting if you are filming in darker areas – there are some great led lighting solutions around


Storyboarding the idea and making sure you have the right footage to edit and come up with for the final film. Pre-planning means you know what shots to take once you start shooting. Writing them on a board or paper will help you a lot and also save a lot of time.

Getting the shots

The first step, of course, is to get your video clips. Always shoot in landscape mode as this will present better on modern TV’s and computer screens.

Depending on what kind of movie you’re making, the types of clips you want will vary. Whatever you do, try to get different types of shots — experiment with far-away shots to set the scene, close-ups, and shots of people talking. Make sure you get a good variety, and don’t be afraid to get lots of short clips with different angles, as opposed to a few long videos.

Still photos are good too! Editors make it easy to use still photos in your movie, for those moments you captured but didn’t film. A compilation of still shots is a great way to give a general sense of an event or vacation, or to tell a story quickly, without needing tons of video footage.


I use the free app Motion Pictures – (Android Lapse It).

All you need is a stand or tripod where you can leave your phone for a while without it moving. I have a tripod with flexible legs, which is great because I can bend it around the arm of a bench or around a lamp to hold my phone steady. The app is extremely clear — you set certain factors such as amount of time between frames, and how long you want it to go, and it helpfully shows you how long your finished video will be.

Then hit Start, sit back, and once it’s done it automatically saves to your camera roll — try it on sunsets, when setting up a big stage, when taking down decorations in a big room, or anywhere with lots of movement and people walking around! It’s a great way to get a “wow-factor” in your video without a lot of work.

Putting it all together

I’m not going to try to explain how to use iMovie in this blog post — there are a lot of fun features to discover! — but here are a few good free online resources for learning the app if you need some help:

Apple support FAQs (official; text)
YouTube link (unofficial tutorial video)
YouTube link 2 (another one)

Youtube WeVideo

Basically, just start throwing the good parts of your clips into your project.

Tap on things to get options: transitions, audio levels, titles, etc.

Don’t be afraid of the themes. Yes, they can be a little cheesy sometimes, but they can also make your video look put-together and professional.

Want narration? iMovie makes it super easy to make a voiceover recording on all or part of your movie. Simply choose the point where you want your recording to start and hit the microphone icon. You’ll have a chance to preview your recording before either re-taking it or accepting it into the project.

Once you’re happy with your video, tap the share button to export it to your camera roll or iTunes, or directly to a number of websites such as YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo. It’s as simple as that!

Some additional tips

1. Homework: Watch and study some videos captured using mobile phones. Once you have finalised the location, see which time of the day offers the best light for your shoot. showcases some of the best videos shot by amateurs and professionals. Study how the subject has been placed for the best effect.

The short movie Apple of My Eye on Vimeo is a perfect example of how professional videos can be captured using a smartphone. This video has been captured using the Apple iPhone 4.

2. Storyboard: All great filmmakers think of a storyboard first. There is no thumb rule here, but shooting with a phone has its limitations and one should stick to the work at hand and not get carried away by the surroundings.

 3. Airplane Mode: Make sure you either remove the SIM card or turn on the airplane mode of your phone. You do not want an incoming call in the middle of a shoot.

4. Orientation: Never use a smartphone in portrait mode. Always shoot in the horizontal mode as it not only gives you a better grip on the device but also aligns the video orientation for viewing on the PC or TV. In vertical mode, the video has to be rotated while editing, which leaves some black bars on the side, popularly known as pillar boxing.

5. Ambience and lighting: Proper lighting is vital for any video shoot. That is why experts say you should always shoot in bright light. But this doesn’t mean you can only shooting around noon when the contrast can be harsh. If this is unavoidable, shoot from an elevated angle so that the sky is mostly out of the frame.

Alternatively, you can choose to shoot on a cloudy day; under shade; or even during early morning or evening hours. The sensors used in camera phones are not able to capture drastic variations in light in a single frame. While you can manage good shots outdoors, shooting indoors is trickier, as both low light and high light can be a bit of a spoiler.

Gaurav Sabharwal, Executive Director, Prem Studio, suggests that without burning too much money, you can use black cutters (sheet or piece of cloth) to avoid reflections off an object. Similarly, while shooting outdoors, especially in bright light, these white sheets/cloth can be used as diffusers to control the lighting. They are an easy option for home moviemakers.

6. Distance to the object: Zooming in on your subject using the digital zoom on the phone is a big NO if you want to shoot quality video. Though we have video stabilisation in smartphones, they are not that effective when you are zooming in on an object. Even a slight vibration can leave the video all shaky and blurred. Instead, you should move closer to the subject, but slowly.

7. Basic editing: Once the footage has been captured, edit it using iMovies if you have a Mac OS. Else you can use the Windows Live Movie Maker. There are also some professional software that can be used-like FCP or Adobe Premier, which may set you back by a few thousand bucks. If you still feel like something’s missing, there are a few accessories that will ensure professional quality videos.

Additional Accessories
You will need more than your phone cover to shoot high-end video

1. TRIPOD AND SLIDERS: Holding a small and lightweight smartphone still can be tricky. To avoid blurs and shaky videos, place the phone on a tripod. You can easily find tripods in the market that are specially designed for phones.

Mobislyder: Meant for both Android and iPhones, this is the among the world’s first portable sliders. This ultraportable compact slider holds the phone tightly and allows one to create captivating cinematic videos. $135

Grif by Studio Neat: Those who have a tripod and still can’t mount the iPhone 4 should consider getting a Grif. This is a simple tripod mount made of rubberised plastic that can also be used as a tablet top stand for the phone. $20

Gorilla Mobile from Joby:
 Gorillapods from Joby are among the most flexible tripods available in the market. The company has introduced a wide range of Gorilla Mobile tripods for iPhone and regular handheld devices that allow you to attach a camera phone almost anywhere. $14.95

2. AUDIO: Unless you are a The Artist fan and want to shoot a silent film, embedded microphones in the smartphones will do you no good. “Using a clip-on microphone that can be attached to the actors’ clothes will mostly do the trick,” says Aneesh Bhasin, an independent photographer who used his iPhone 4 to create some time-lapse videos.

3. BATTERY: Another issue that crops up while shooting videos is the battery. Always ensure that the phone has a full charge or carry a portable charger that you can plug in on the go to power-up your smartphone.

4. STORAGE: HD videos consume a lot of space. So ensure you have enough memory in your smartphone. If short on memory, stop shooting and transfer the videos to the laptop.

5. SD CARD READER: We all have struggled a little while transferring data from the iPhone. Now, the camera connector kit for iOS takes away this pain, as you can simply plug and connect the iPhone to the card reader and your iPhone is a tamed animal, transferring data at simple commands.

6. FLASH LIGHT: An additional flash for the phone is easily available in the market. Priced between $10 and $50, you can choose the flash light suited to your requirements. iFlash LED flash can be either attached at the bottom of the iPhone or individually used in a torch mode. Price: $13

7. APPS: If your are unhappy with the limited features and video options in your smartphone, consider downloading movie making apps. iPhone users can download FiLMic Pro from Cinegenix for just $3.99. It will offer three separate shooting modes, four selectable resolutions, 26 different variable frame rates, audio monitoring levels, stereo recording support and much more.

8. ADDITIONAL LENSES: Looking to capture videos beyond the boundaries of the digital zoom in your camera? Don’t worry; here are a few options for detachable lenses for your smartphones.

OWLE Bubo: This is a solid aluminium iPhone camera mount that not only stabilises the grip but also adds an interchangeable 37mm wide angle macro lens, four tripod mount points, a microphone and an accessory mount. Available for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPod Touch, prices start $160.

Kogeto Dot: A snap-on accessory that can be used for capturing 360 degree panoramic video from iPhone 4/4S. This accessory is accompanied by a free application downloadable from iTunes App Store. The Dot also comes in black, green, pink and red colour. Price: $79

Photojojo lens: Available for iPhone, Android and other phones, Photojojo offers three special lenses including a fisheye, macro/wide angle and a 2x telephoto lens. These use magnetic rings to match with the camera’s built-in lens but has to be handled with care. Price: $49

9. Photo Booth

The Foldio is a pop-up studio, shrunken for your convenience. White walls and built-in LEDs give just the right amount of light under any conditions. It pulls together in a snap, stays in place with sturdy magnets and when your work is done, folds flat as a pancake.

It is easy to switch out the included black, white and gray backdrops for impeccable pics of food, craft projects, or your pet hamster, Carl.

Make your own backdrops with any paper or fabric, like a green screen to do stop motion videos of Carl flying through space. $49.00

10 Drones

Drones are becoming a lot more common in the video sphere mainly using a go pro. They can be controlled and videoed with smartphones also. APTURE

Amazing footage streamed and recorded directly to your smartphone using the inbuilt 720p HD camera. Parrot is one of the best

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