My clients love video and I'm a big believer in it's power. We all know that video is an amazing communication tool - it engages an audience like no other and really personalises a business. But, video can easily eat a huge hole into the quarterly budget. Even a simple piece to camera video, done well, can set you back $4-5K. And, whilst I'm not saying that it's not a good investment, sometimes the return just doesn't justify this expense.
With the right planning in place, there's absolutely no reason why you can't shoot a great video yourself using your iPhone. Now, I'm primarily talking about the new iPhone 7 plus, as it's got an AMAZING camera function. So these two hacks are really focused on this device. For users of other phones, the general rules apply, but you may not be able to get the same exact results.
Hack 1: The key to great visuals is control. If you can control the exposure, focus and quality of your shots, you're half way to a great set of shots. Luckily for us, there's an amazing app called 'Filmic Pro'. It's cheap - $14.99 on the App Store, and it's unbelievable. With a bit of practice you'll soon learn how to set and lock your exposure, do beautiful focus pulls between objects and film at the video standard right for your video. Set you iPhone up on a solid surface, set your controls and hit record. Stable, well controlled shots are the result. If you want to get a bit artistic, you can grab a hand held gyro from eBay, something like this: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/JJ-1-2-Axis-Handheld-Stabilizer-Video-Steadicam-For-Smart-Phone-iphone-6S-6-puls-/231972648492?hash=item3602a5b62c:g:UZgAAOSwvg9XV-7G
Check out this amazing comparison, where a $50,000 cinema camera is pitted against an iPhone running this app. It just goes to show that it's planning, good creative and the right approach that gets results, not just the quality of your equipment.
Hack 2: Sound is 50% of the production. iPhones and most other cameras have built in microphones. Trouble is, they're multi directional, meaning you'll be picking up tinny audio from every part of the room. The first hint that a video has been done on the cheap is poor audio, and it's never befitting for your brand to be seen as cutting corners. But the solution is really simple. You can pick up a battery powered lapel microphone from JB Hi-Fi or online for around $100. Simply plug it in to your phone, attach it to your or the person your filming's shirt, lapel or jacket and you've got clear, crisp, professional sounding audio. Of course it's not going to be quite as clear as audio gained from a professional, but it's damn close and good enough for your simple videos.
But I don't know how to edit!? Yes you do, you just don't know it yet. Editing at a professional level is a real skill that takes many hundreds of hours to master. But, if you take the time to watch a few tutorials and use the right software you'll be able to create very simple videos in just a few hours. For those running Apple products you can try iMovie. It's simple, easy to use and there are numerous tutorials available. And if you're on PC, try something like Adobe Premiere. There are light versions available and, whilst a little more complex than iMovie, they're easily navigable after a few tutorials. Of course you can always use a pro to edit your footage - it's all about what you want to achieve and how much time you have available.
So, the next time you need a video but don't necessarily want to bring in the pros, consider the above to tips and give it a shot. But whatever you do, don't begin before you've got a plan in place!