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.