7 Ways For Better Smartphone Filmmaking

For many aspiring filmmakers, the smartphone is often their first video camera. There are even some filmmakers who make it a point to shoot exclusively with their smartphones. Some of them turn out bad while others manage to create amazing films and videos that it’s hard to believe it was shot from something that fits inside the pocket.

To get the most out of your smartphone, here are some clever ways that you can do to make your smartphone filmmaking extra fun and special.

Tip 1: Use a timer to create a neat (and cheap) panning short or time lapse.

An egg timer is an excellent tool. It’s small, portable and super cheap to have. Sure, you might not be able to control how fast or slow your panning timelapse will go but it still beats spending more money on a specialized tool that does the same thing.

Tip 2: Fidget spinners work great as panning tools as well.

Ever since fidget spinners became a thing, many people have been finding extra ways to use them aside from entertainment. Turns out, they work as panning tools as well. So give it a shot and see how you can use it to improve your smartphone filmmaking.

Tip 3: Go for closeups to mimic the bokeh look.

Adding a neat bokeh effect on your smartphone is as simple as zooming in or doing a closeup shot. Of course, some smartphones are more sophisticated and can mimic the bokeh effect using its internal software. Some of these look great but others are horrible so make sure you fiddle with it first to know if it achieves the look you want.

Tip 4: Know your phone camera settings and capacity.

This might be a no brainer since most smartphones today are easy to use, but it would be best to still spend time experimenting with your smartphone. This will help you with getting the best possible shot with the right settings for it. Once you know your phone pretty well including its settings then using it would be easier.  

Tip 5: Make sure you have plenty of lighting.

True for all types of video and photography shots. You need to have good lighting in order to improve your shots. This is especially true with smartphone filmmaking because most phones don’t have a great sensor that allows for excellent lighting. You need to compensate or at least plot out your shots to make use of the lighting you have.

Tip 6: Use an external microphone to capture sound.

Just like it’s a no-no when it comes to using your video cameras built in microphone, you also shouldn’t use your smartphone microphone and expect it to have the best quality sound for your film. It’s best to use a specialized mic to make it easier and to ensure the sound you have is amazing.

Tip 7: Use a handheld phone gimbal for smooth shots.

If you can afford it, use a gimbal when filming. You can also opt for a solid tripod as well. These are the most basic tools you’ll need and if you can spare even just several dollars, it’ll be worth investing in these items especially if you’re serious about filmmaking.