When my husband got nominated for the ice bucket challenge last week, we had an “oh no” moment – not about the prospect of throwing a bucket of iced water over him (my daughter was particularly eager to do that!) but we were all heartily sick of watching ice bucket videos. Yes, it’s all in aid of a great cause but there’s only so much water throwing you can take before it becomes, dare I say it, boring!
So we pondered how we could make his video different. Then I had a bright idea, and here’s the result. My Facebook friends have loved it, but the reason I’m sharing it here is to demonstrate that you can make a film that’s fun and professional looking using just your smartphone. This one was mostly shot and edited on my iPhone 4S – and the few bits that weren’t could easily have been.
If you’ve been nominated, here are my top tips for making a great ice bucket challenge video (and they apply to making other types of video too)
- Hold your phone horizontally, not vertically. If you record videos vertically, there will be big black lines on either side when you upload it to YouTube or watch it on your TV screen.
- Get a video editing app on your phone so you can edit out the bits that didn’t work. You can also quickly stitch together different clips and even add stills or text. It doesn’t take long to do but it can dramatically improve the impact of your video.There are lots of apps out there, but if you’re struggling to pick one, “Capture” by YouTube/Google is free and simple to use. I use iMovie for iOS which includes templates like the one I used for this video so all we had to do was work out what clips to film and what words to use and iMovie did the rest.
- Plan what you’re going to film – Your video will have more impact if you shoot from different viewpoints and use a mix of close-ups and wide shots to tell your story. But that’s hard to work out on the fly, so investing a few minutes thought beforehand will help. It will make editing it all together afterwards much easier though.
Let me know how you get on and if you’d like to learn more about making your own videos, I run videography training courses in Warwick or I can do customised courses for individuals or for your organisation – get in touch to discuss your requirements.
Can you recommend any editing software for iOS and Android?
Thanks Kara. There seem to be fewer video editing apps on Android compared with iOS, and I’ve not come across one that is available on both systems – if you find one do let me know. For Android, Video Maker Pro looks to be worth a try. On iOS, I like Capture, because it’s from Google and you can use the YouTube audio library so there’s no risk of your video being flagged for copyright violation, which can mistakenly happen even when you do have the correct licence for your soundtrack. I love Apple’s iMovie too but you need to be avoid using the music tracks for commercial videos as my reading of the Apple licence is that the audio content is licensed for personal use only.
Ha! This was definitely more interesting than the usual ones!
Love the video, Linda – definitely one that stands out in the crowd :-) And the tips are good too. I think if people only rememebered one, to hold phones horizontally, that on its own would make a big difference.
Thanks Angela. I see so many videos shot vertically, not just ice bucket ones. It’s such a shame but it’s the natural way to hold your phone until someone points out the problem.
Fabulous. I love the concept of making it like a movie trailer with the build up. How do you rate iPads for taking video and editing it, are they as good as iPhones?
Thanks Judy. It depends which iPad and which iPhone you’re comparing. The camera in the iPad Air is not as good as the camera in the iPhone 5S or even the 4S, for instance. Personally, I find the iPad difficult to hold as a camera so I tend not to use it as one – though I appreciate that lots of people do use it. I’m amazed at how many wedding guests use an iPad as their camera of choice now :-) Do you use an iPad for video or photography?
Wonderful video and great tips!
Great video Linda, definitely more interesting than the other Ice Bucket ones out there, your tip about holding camera sideways is a great one.
Great video and tips Linda. These can be applied not only for people who would like to do videos personally but for business videos too. Didn’t know about the benefits of holding phone horizontally.
Thanks Nicky. You’re right – the iPhone is a great tool for creating business videos. I’ve trained a lot of clients in how to use theirs for just that :-)
Great tip about holding your camera sideways. Thank you.
Loved your video!
Thanks Sherry :-)