If you are going to be filming instead of animating, then it is always good to know how to use the camera equipment that you will be using for filming.

Keep it Steady

You may have mastered controlling your breathing and keep steady for still photos, but filming for video is different. Without stabilization, your video will look shaky and unprofessional. To keep the camera stable consider using a tripod or something flat like a table or chair. Using a tripod can help you with slow, controlled panning.

Tips for Shooting Video with a Phone

You don’t need a very expensive film camera, ff you have a smart phone you can use that camera. If you are going to use the camera on your phone to shoot your short film for engflick then here are some tips:

  1. Shoot Horizontally
  2. Turn the phone horizontally when recording video. If you record video vertically, you’ll notice that there will be black bars on the left and right sides of the video which can be distracting. For best results, tilt your phone horizontally.

  3. Zoom with your Feet
  4. Zooming in on most phones is only a digital zoom, not an optical zoom. This means that pixels are enlarges to make the image bigger, resulting in a pixelated image. To get a closer shot, move your feet closer to the subject to capture the highest quality image.

  5. Get the Phone Close for Good Audio
  6. The iPhone has a solid built-in microphone but it must be close to the subject to be effective. If possible, use on iPhone to record video and another to record audio, placing the audio iPhone close to the subjects. If using two phones isn’t possible, use close-up shots whenever there is dialogue so the mic can be closer. This same technique can be used for other phones.

  7. Use the Exposure/Focus Lock
  8. Hunting for focus and exposure during recording can ruin a great shot. To keep a consistent look and focus throughout the recording, find out how to lock in the focus and exposure. On the iPhone, simply touch on a point on screen and hold. Moments later, a message will say AE/AF LOCK, thus locking the focus and exposure based on where you pressed down at.

Short Films Shot by Phone Cameras

This short film tells the story of a boy who meets and befriends a large cardboard box, and was shot on a Nokia N8.

The Adventures of a Cardboard Box

This short film is about a photographer who walks around the woods to take some pictures, when something unexpected happens. It is entirely shot on an iPhone 4S.

Framed – an iphone 4S short story

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