Smartphone Filmmaking: Create Professional Videos on iPhone and Android. | Collin Michael Retkowski | Skillshare

Smartphone Filmmaking: Create Professional Videos on iPhone and Android.

Collin Michael Retkowski, YouTuber and Mobile Filmmaker

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7 Lessons (34m) View My Notes
    • 1. Intro

      1:28
    • 2. Setting Up Your Phone For Recording

      7:55
    • 3. How To Light Your Videos

      7:33
    • 4. Audio Options

      2:07
    • 5. Class Project

      1:29
    • 6. How To Edit Your Videos With InShot Video Editor

      12:38
    • 7. Conclusion

      0:22
17 students are watching this class

About This Class

If you're a beginner looking to make videos on your smartphone for fun or for business, this course is for you!

I'll be showing you everything you need to know so you can get started filming yourself on your iPhone or Android device. 

And don't worry, you won't need to spend money on gear and editing software! Just about everything in the course can be done for free or very cheap. 


It's never been easier to start!

20 years ago if you wanted to make videos, the cost and work upfront was a lot.

First, you'd have to invest in a camera which usually was expensive and required a lot of learning up front. 

Then, you'd need to make sure you have a computer that has enough storage for your videos.

Lastly, you would need editing software which requires spending more money and learning how to use it as well.

And that's not even including other gear like microphones, lighting, tripods, ect...

Now with the advancement of technology, you can do all of this from your smartphone.

The cameras on our phones have gotten so good it can be tough to tell the difference between a smartphone and a cinema camera! 

This is what makes creating videos on a smartphone so great. It's convenient, easy, and can be done on a single device. 


What You'll Learn

  • How To Setup Your Phone. In this section, I cover multiple ways you can setup your phone. So many people just pile a bunch of books on a table and have their phone lean back on them. There are much better ways to setup your phone both free and paid.

  • How To Light Your Videos. Lighting is one of the most important skills to learn when it comes to filmmaking. Especially when it comes to smartphones as they only have tiny sensors. Here you'll learn what I believe to be the easiest way to light your videos. And what's easier than just using the lights that are already in your house?

  • Audio Options. For most people who are starting to make videos on their smartphone, the build in microphone will do just fine. But if you really want your audio to be high quality, I share some microphone options that can help you achieve professional grade audio.

  • How To Edit Your Videos. Video editing may seem complicated but it's actually much easier than you think! In this section I walk you through step by step how to use InShot Video Editor to make your videos more professional looking. Things like adding images, adding text, and even some color grading! 


80% of the internets traffic is to video content which means video is most likely not going anywhere for awhile. And that's why businesses and brands are looking to learn the basics of smartphone video. If you're looking to get started creating content on your smartphone, I'm sure this course will be of value to you.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys create with your smartphone. Enjoy the course!

Transcripts

1. Intro: Hi, my name is Colleen Michael. I've been creating content on YouTube for six years with the last two years focused on mobile filmmaking. In this course, I'll be showing you how to make professional-looking videos on nothing but your smartphone. Whether you are looking to make videos for fun or for your business, I'll be showing you everything you need to do step-by-step. So you can go from videos that looked like this, to videos that looked like this, because this video is shot right on my smart phone. And the best part is it doesn't matter whether you have an iPhone or an Android device. It doesn't matter whether you have money to spend or you have no money to spend. And you're looking for just a freeway to make professional videos. Anyone will be able to watch this course and be able to apply the knowledge and get better results with their smartphone. There's a myth that you need fancy expensive gear in order to get a professional looking video, but it's simply not true. All you need to learn are some basic filmmaking skills. And then once you've learned those, you can apply them to any camera that you have. Things like positioning the camera, lighting, some basic editing, and maybe some audio. And that's all you really need to create professional videos. So if you're ready to start learning, let's begin this course. 2. Setting Up Your Phone For Recording: Hey, thanks for making it to the first main section of this course. Appreciate you watching. And here we are where most people start with recording their videos, which is just lean your phone up against some books, just kinda pointed at you and then they just start recording. And as you can see, this doesn't look professional. The only professional thing is that I have a microphone plugged in, which is giving me this nice sounding audio. But this is where most people start. But even if you're at this stage, do not worry, we're going to get you to that spouse or your recording professional looking videos. I even started in poor spots. I recorded in my basement with a blurry out-of-focus camera. And I've gone to the spot where I am today where I've learned the basics of filmmaking and I've learned how to make my videos professionals. So we're gonna get you there. And let's just start with the basics, which is we need to find a better way to hold up our phone other than just lean it up against some books. So let's cover a few ways where you'll be able to film yourself. Now one of the first options and free options that you can do is to do handheld or in other words, doing it in vlog style where you're holding your phone out away from you and just recording the nice thing about doing a handheld slash vlog style. So you can kinda move the camera around a bit and actually just makes your video's a little more engaging, which can keep the viewer's attention a little bit longer than just a camera setup. It's just a steady, you know, kind of video. Whereas with handheld blogging, I can actually move my camera around a bit. I can walk around and makes it more engaging. The only downside is I have to continually hold my camera up, which could be bothered. So my hand's gonna get tired eventually just holding it up like this. So that's probably the main downside to this. But again, you don't have to set up anything. You can just hold your phone up and start recording. The second option that you guys can use that is also free is to make my legendary cup phone tripods. So as you can see, this is just a Styrofoam cup. You could use a paper cup, styrofoam plastic cup, any kinda disposable cup. And as you can see, my phone is being held up because what I've done, I'm going to take the phone out for a second. Is I've basically taken a scissors and I've cut all the way around and also made it a little bit wider. And then when I'm able to do is slide my phonon. And now I have a phone holder which I can then set on top of books. And it's not this weird webcam look where it's just pointed up at you. Now when I set this down on books, it's straight and it's even. And if I want to raise up the height, I can just stack a few books, set it on top, and then we have a straight forward looking. It's not this pointed upwards at you. It's a straight on look, and it's a very nice tripod. Now the third option that you can choose is to invest in a phone tripod mount, which is what I have here and what I'll be using in this video just because. The easier route, as you can see, actually got this from goodwill for 299, which was a good deal. And basically what this does is it lifts up. You can put your phone in and it'll clamp down on it. And there is a look at that. It's clamped in. And then this piece can go into my tripod. And I have my phone set up on a tripod. You can usually find these tripod phone mounds everywhere. You can find them in big box stores. You can find them online on big retailers and they're usually really cheap. You can get them on selfie sticks. You can get them in kits at stores for filming on your smartphone. Highly recommended. They're very cheap to come by and it makes a world of a difference because then you can use a real tripod. So those are your three main options for setting up your phone to record. And what I'm gonna do is go ahead and put my phone on the tripod. Alright, so now we have my smartphone on the tripod. But as you can see, there's still something off about this video and that is that we aren't level. You're still having to look up at me. So what we want to make sure we do that, have our smartphone level, basically eye to eye with the, with the camera. And that's especially important if you're using the cup tripod as well. If you set this down on a surface, you may need to stack some books up, but then you're gonna want to make sure you have a chair in that you are level with your cup tripod because otherwise it just looks weird. It's just a weird angle. So let's fix this on right now that's fixed. We can see that we are pretty level eye to eye right now. And this over here looks much better from where we started with the webcam type look with the camera pointed up at us. And now we have a bit of a new issue, which is, you guys can all see my messy house and that is that. Okay. So the next thing you have to worry about is your background and knows a lot of times people just set up and record and don't pay attention to the background. But actually your background can really affect the quality of your video. So you have two options. One is the clean option, which is just making sure your background looks nice and it's pretty clean. And then the second option is to go a little more strategically. So let's say if you are talking about cameras in your videos, maybe you should have, you know, a shelf behind you where you're showing off all your cameras. So put some thought into your background, make sure it's either themed or makes sure it doesn't look messy and that it looks nice. So what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna move my tripod around here and see if I can find somewhere that looks nice for my background. Alright, so I think I found a nice background. And just to show you what I'm doing, I actually have setup on my phone. I went to the settings for my camera app and turned on the grid option. And I'll write now show you what I'm seeing on my camera, which is this three by three grid. And there's actually a rule in video called the rule of thirds, which is basically that you're subject should be touching one of the four intersecting points on the three by three grid. So any of those four points. So as you can see, I am currently lined up with two of those points, and the window in the background is lined up with the other two. If you can follow the rule of thirds when lining up you with your background, it can make it look a lot better in this can be helpful if you're filming, you know, a business or a news report or just anything in general, is to either follow the rule of thirds or in center yourself in the middle of your video. Now, you're probably already thinking as I'm talking here, that this is not a very well lit video shirts lined up, but we need some lighting. And in the next course, part of this video, we're gonna be taking a look at lighting. 3. How To Light Your Videos: Alright, so now let's talk a bit about lighting. And you may have noticed from the last video clip. Now I've brought some lights over just so that way I'm just not talking to you in the pitch black. But let's talk about lighting cues. Lighting this probably one of the most important parts of getting professional looking video with your smartphone, which there's two types of lighting we that we have at our disposal, which is going to be natural light like the Sun. And then there's going to be artificial light like lamps or special video lighting that we can use in our videos. Now if we are going to be using artificial light, it's really nice because we can move our lamps or lights around and be evil to affect how we look and get a very professional looking video. Now I'm not gonna get super deep into lighting your videos as there are entire courses on skill share, just dedicated to lighting because that's how deep of a topic lighting her videos is. There's entire courses for it. So if you're interested in that, I encourage you to go watch those skill share courses on lighting. But we're gonna be talking about some basics here. So simply put, there are three main aspects of lighting. There is the lighting of your face in your body. There is the light that shines on you that separates you from your background, and then there is background lighting. So those are the three main lighting areas. So obviously priority number one is to light your face and your body from the front. And then it's kind of a debate between which you should light next, whether you should have a light shining behind you to separate you from your background, or whether you should just light your background. If that sounds a little confusing, don't worry. I hopefully we'll be able to explain it a little more as we go on and I demonstrate a lighting this situation. Now, what I could do, I could just use my expensive $350 LED lights to light this situation. But that's not going to help you. You need to know how to use things around your house to light yourself. So what I've got going, I have let me demonstrate. We've got this slate, which is just a regular living room late. I'm just going to keep spinning my tripod around you so I can show you everything in the room. I've got here this three armed light, which they all can turn on individually. I can bend these arms around. And that is a very nice light for videos, so I have access to that. And then finally, I have one more living room light over here, kind of by the kitchen. So I've basically three lights to work with for my videos. So the first thing I'm gonna do is get all these lights and bring them around the camera. So that way I am well-lit. And then we'll move on from there. Alright, so now I have all the lights on in the room kind of surrounding my camera. And the next step, what we're going to do is we need to experiment with our lights. Because here's the thing I, we could go over all these lighting techniques, but the most important part is to experiment, move lights around, put them in different positions. See what looks best. Obviously, we wanna make sure our face and body is well-lit. But then we can also move light surround in the background as well to see what looks nice back there. And that's probably been the most helpful for me in learning what I like and how I like my videos. Let, I think probably I'm going to have these flexible lights coming out over here, some where by my face. But again, we're going to be completely experimenting and just moving these around. So I'm gonna do that right now. And we'll see what I come up with. All right, now we are back. And as you can see, this looks so much better from where we started previously. And all I'm using are some household lamps. And all I had to do was experiment a little, move them around. What I'm now going to do is actually take you off and just show you briefly what I've got it all set up here. So we have the this is what's surrounding the camera. I actually had to in the middle get this a bit higher, so it was more above my head. So I actually put a Pampers day per box on the bottom to lift up my stand. So that way the lights were up higher towards my very tall head. And then I have just on the other side, the regular living room light event here in the background, I just have another living room light just to light up this window, which is basically our background. And now that our lights are set up, all we really have to do is add a filter, apply some color correction in our video editing app, which I'm going to show you guys how to do later in this course. And then I can't snap. There we go. There we go. Now we have a really nice looking video. And like I said, I'll show you how to make your videos look like this later on in the video. Something you'll also wanna do is make sure that you lock your settings into place. So you're gonna want to lock your focus. You don't want to lock your exposure. And also you want to lock your white balance. So those are some bigger words. So let's talk about them. Focuses, obviously, focus makes sense. Your exposure is basically your brightness. You don't want your, the brightness of your video changing throughout the whole video. And then your white balance is basically the color temperature of your video. So whether it looks warmer or whether it looks a more blue, colder color. Now if you don't lock your white balance, the colors are going to dramatically change throughout your video, or they might, so might switch from a warm look to a blue look to a warm look to a blue look. It's basically your phone trying to figure out what looks best on your smart phone, which once we set up our video, we just want it locked. We don't want it to start trying to figure out how to make the colors look. If your phone does not let you lock those settings, you can download an app called Adobe rush, which is a video editor slash pro camera. And what you can do is you can go into the settings and you can actually, in their video camera mode, you can actually lock all those settings. So that way they're not changing on, you know, so if your phone doesn't automatically do it, which a lot of times phones, if you just hold down on the screen, it will lock your focus and exposure and white balance. If it doesn't do that, I just recommend downloading that free app so you can lock those settings. 4. Audio Options: Now I want to take a few minutes and talk about audio. On most smartphones. Just a built-in microphone on your smartphone is totally fine when you're just starting to record videos. But eventually you might get some money and you might be able to invest in a nice microphone. So I just want to throw out a few options. The microphone I'm using right now is the IRIG. Each D It is for iPhones, but it plugs right into my iPhone, hooks right up. I can control the settings on here. Great audio, absolutely love it, highly recommended. I use it in almost every single one of my videos. Other than having to hold a microphone, you could get something like the IRIG Mike Love, which is a lavalier microphone. And basically what that does is it clips onto your shirt like that. And then you can plug it in via a headphone jack into your smartphone. So that's also an option. That way you don't have to hold a microphone. I just know this gives me better audio than the lavalier microphone. And then last but not least, you could get a wireless microphone set up. This is the comma because CBM WAS 50. So this hooks up right to your smartphone. Then it can wirelessly transmit to this receiver, which has a lavalier microphone plugged into it. And you can actually go 50 to a 100 meters away from your device and still get audio. It's pretty crazy. This is on the high-end expensive side, but it is an option if you want to have wireless audio for your smartphone. And like I said, Audio is super important for video. So it's definitely worth upgrading to any audio solution. Because if you have poor audio, people may have a hard time paying attention to what you're saying. So if you can upgrade and get a professional audio solution, I highly recommend it. 5. Class Project: Now before I show you guys how to edit your smart phone videos, we're going to need a video to edit, which brings us into our class project. And seriously guys, if you want to improve your smartphone filmmaking skills, you need to apply the knowledge you've learned and there's no better place to do it than here on skill share, where I can see what you guys post and be able to coach you along the way. So for your class project, what I want you to do is to make a video no longer than 60 seconds. And I want you to talk about either your favorite movie, your favorite song, or your favorite game, and tell us why you find it interesting. What makes it special? Why it's your favorite? And that's exactly what I'm gonna do right now. I'm going to film my project and then we're gonna go into editing that footage. And I'll be showing you guys how you can edit your videos. Hi, my name is Colleen, and one of my favorite games is Minecraft. The reason why I enjoy this game so much is there's a lot of exploration to it. You can do a lot of exploring and just, it's always a different game. I love the aspect of having an open world game. I also really enjoyed being able to play with my siblings. And we just have a lot of fun adventures running around exploring the world and building things that we enjoy. 6. How To Edit Your Videos With InShot Video Editor: All right, now that I have filmed my video is now time to edit my footage. In probably the best app that I would recommend for beginners is in shot video editor. It is available on both iPhone and Android and has a lot of awesome features and it's just really easy to use. So we're going to jump right in to this app and start showing you how to edit your footage. Alright, so here I am within the Incheon video editing app. I'm going to be editing this on my iPad. So that way I can have a cursor on the screen, so that way you can see where I'm clicking. So to start, we're going to do is click on video. And then we're going to select what footage we want. I'm just going to click on this clip because that is when we just filmed. And then I'll clover here to the arrow and click check mark. And it's going to import it into our timeline. If you want to add more footage to your timeline, you can just scroll over to the plus button, click here, click Add video and photo, and you can then add more video clips to your timeline. But for now I just want this one clip so I can click the X mark down here. Now you'll notice off the bat that there's these weird bagel blurry lines on our screen. And that's because as right now in Instagram, I'm format. So to fix this, we can scroll over to Canvas, click on that. And then we can click on 16 by nine, which is the YouTube standard and also just a standard for video. So we're gonna go with 16 by nine. You'll also notice there's some other options in here like nine by 16, which is cell phone video, which is normally used for Tic-Tacs and some other ones here, but we're just gonna stick with 16 by nine. And we're gonna go with that. Now, if I did have multiple clips in my timeline, I could hold down on the one video and then I'd be able to slide my clips around if I wanted to move them from place to place. But since we only have one clip in here, I don't need to rearrange my clips are good so I can just click off. And that's that. If you want to trim your videos, you just have to click on that video. And you can just grab either side of the clip and trim it to the point you want, which I'm just going to trim it up to where I'm about to talk, which is about there. Let go. And there we go. Now we are trimmed all the way up. If I want to scroll through my video, I can just use my finger and scroll alone. I can see where I'm talking. And what we're actually going to do is cut off the last bit here, right when I finish. So I'm just gonna click play and listen for the part where I finish running around exploring the world and building things that we enjoy. Alright, that's where I ended. And then what I'm gonna do is just click the Split button, which will actually cut the clip in half and make two separate clips. And since that's the end of my video, I can just delete this last part by clicking the delete button because that's just the ending of my videos. Now I've got my full clip all trimmed up just where I want it. Now, if I wanted to add music to my video, I could go over here to music. Click on that. I can click on tracks and actually have some built-in tracks within, in shan't. Otherwise, it could go to iTunes and import music. Or if I wanted, I could extract audio from videos, or I could even get music from my files. I could AirDrop it, get it from other apps, et cetera. For this video, I will not be using music, so I can just click off. You can also do voiceovers by clicking record. And if you want to add sound effects, you could click on effects and add those. But we're not gonna do any of that in this video. If you want to add a sticker or an image over your video, you can click on sticker here. And you actually have access to a bunch of fun little stickers that you could put in your video. For example, if I were to do the bunny ears, I could like increase some. I could put them on my head and do something fun like that, but it's not what we're doing in this video. What we are going to do is we are going to add a image of the game I'm talking about in my project here, which is going to be Minecraft. It's one of my favorite games. So we're going to actually put up an image of Minecraft as I talk about it. So I actually ready, went on line and saved it to my Images. So we're just going to click choose from camera roll. There we go. I added the image and as you can see, it's over the top of our video. I'm just gonna resize it. And I'm gonna put it over to the side right here. And now what I'm going to do next is I'm going to first click Play real quick just to find out the part where I say Minecraft because that's where I want it to start. Hi, my name is Colin and one of my favorite games is migrate there. So I'm gonna do is drag this over for the, let me, I'm just gonna extend it to the point where I say Minecraft. Right there. Minecraft, there we go. So Minecraft, The reason why I enjoy this game so much, I think that looks good. And then what I'm going to do is on this, we're going to click edit. And what we're gonna do is apply a transition to this. So we're gonna click on this arrow transition. So as you can see, it slides over like that. And we've actually increased the duration of this transition. So it's going to slide over when I say Minecraft and also slide out, maybe I'll make it a little shorter. There we go. I like that. And then I'm also gonna click on out transition. And the transition, I don't want it to go towards my face. I wanted to go back from where it came from. So they'll shoot right back off the screen and I like that. So click the check mark, checkmark again. And now when we click play here, let's just go to the beginning. Hi, my name is colon, and one of my favorite games is Minecraft. The reason why I enjoyed this game so much is there's a lot of exploration to it. You can do a lot of exploring. Just as you can see, that looks really professional. Having the photo slide on and slide off. And you can do that for any photo you find the internet, your own photos, et cetera. Now we also have the option to add text to our videos, which I'm thinking, right? I say hi, my name is Colin. I could have Collin come up on the screen as tax. Hi, my name is Enrico. Click Text. And then I'm going to type my text in here real quick. So there we go. I've got my text and I can actually grab this and move it around the screen anywhere I want, which I'll actually just put it in the corner here, like so. And then what we can do is we can click edit. We can go to colors, and we can actually change the color of our text if we want. Since we are going for more of a professional look, we'll stick with white, will keep the border black. The shadow we can have on there as well. Actually, we'll remove the border, but we'll keep the shadow and will increase it here if we can like that. And we're gonna go to font. And I'm going to choose a more serious font here. Let's go through some of these here, what we've got here like that, and we will go with that and put it down there and go over here. And if we want, we can increase the size. Can also make it spaced out a bit, which actually if you space out your letters, it looks a little more professional. And then we can go to animation as well. So what we could do is a Up animation. So it'll slide up and will extend. That, will go to the ouch, and we'll make it slide down. So now when we play our video here, Hi, my name is Colleen, and one of my favorite games is Minecraft. The reason why I enjoy this game so much is there's a line that looks good. Now, let's go into the next Settings, which is going to be filter. So if we click on Filter and go to filter, we can actually apply different filters to our video if we so choose. I don't like a lot of these, so I'm just going to stick with the original. But if we wanted as well, if we can actually click on this and choose how much of that filter we want to actually apply to our video. But like I said, I'm just gonna stick with the original. I'm actually gonna go over to adjust because in here we can really get down detailed and control a lot of our settings. So we can choose the lightness. So we're gonna effect that. We can control the contrast and really just go through these and play with them a bit and see what you like. I like my videos a little bit warmer. I think I might do a little bit more saturation, which is gonna make it a little more colorful and apply a little bit of fade. That's what faith does imply a little bit of that. The highlights that around a bit, decrease that a bit. Right up the shadows a little. I'm going to add a vignette, which is the black around the video, which I really like vignettes. So we're gonna do quite a big vignette and sharpen. I'm going to just do a little bit of sharpness. And I think that looks pretty good. So we'll click the check mark, checkmark again. And now it's applied that filter to my whole video. And I think that looks really, really good for the last option here we have this picture in picture button that we're not going to use today. But if we wanted to put a video over the top of another video, We could you do that within picture and picture and the same Edit Settings is going to be for the, what we did with photos. We can make the transition in and out and do all that kinda stuff. Now this is a little thing for people editing on their smartphones, on Apple devices, there is a back button here. Currently, Android doesn't support this reverse button. But if you click on this, you can actually reverse mistakes that you make. So if you accidentally delete a, a clip, you could click the back button and it will delete it. So that's a very useful button. Unfortunately, Android does not support this, but Apple does support this, and that's pretty much it to editing is being able to trim clips, split them, delete them. There's some other settings here like volume or duplicate, or crop which are very self-explanatory crop will crop your videos volume, we'll adjust the volume, delete will delete. That's pretty much the basics that you need to edit your videos. And then when you're done, what you can do, you'll notice in this corner this in shot logo, because it's a free app in shot does put their watermark on it. But what you can do, you could click the X. You can remove it permanently for to 99. Otherwise, you can also remove it for free. Says remove this once for free. A lot of times in shot will let you remove it multiple times, which is really nice to them. But if they ever remove this feature of allowing you to remove it for free, you can permanently remove it for 299. So we're just going to click Remove this once. Now there's no longer that watermark in the corner. We can click export. We can choose our resolution, which if you just leave it at ten ADP, that's totally fine. Click export and save, and your videos saved to your camera roll and you are ready to upload it wherever you want. And that is the basics of editing. 7. Conclusion: All right, you've made it to the end of this course. Thank you so much for watching it through. I look forward to seeing you guys apply these skills. In the project section. I'll be looking forward to seeing all those videos you guys produce. Thank you so much for taking the time to watch this course. And I'll see you guys shortly in upcoming videos on skill share.