How To Make Better Videos With Your Phone

Quick Summary 

  • Get your phone at eye level
  • Find or create good quality light
  • Use a separate microphone in a quiet environment


Camera Tips (0:50)

  • Record at 1920x1080 (only use 4k if you have a reason)
  • Do NOT record in a vertical orientation, keep it horizontal
  • Start recording, then wait a couple seconds before you start talking

Lighting Tips (3:24)

  • The easiest way to find good light is to step towards a window.
  • Do NOT have a bright light behind you, as you will be in the shadow.
  • Try not to sit in front of a white wall, as it will feel claustrophobic, and also because there is no depth.
  • Instead, step away from your background towards your light source and that will create visual depth in your scene.
  • Don't point a light directly at you - instead, turn it away and bounce it off a white wall so it turns into a soft light.
  • If filming outside, try filming in the first or last hours of the day.

Audio Tips (7:13)

  • Use an external mic like a lapel and place it close to you.
  • A lapel mic also helps inside which minimizes background noise.
  • No matter what mic you use, it's always good to do a test record so you can listen back to see what is picked up.

Example (9:05)

  • Walk around looking for good light.
  • Find a room and background you know you can clean up.
  • Set your camera up so you know what is in the frame and what isn't.
  • Aim for balance in your background.
  • Focus on what you're going to say more than getting a pretty picture. Content is more important than camera setup!

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Matt Kirk serves as the Supervising Producer of the twentyonehundred Productions video team, continuing to learn how to tell the story of what God is doing on the college campus. Before moving to the National Office in Madison, Wisconsin, he was a student leader with InterVarsity at UC Santa Barbara, and a volunteer staff after graduation.