How to Shoot iPhone Video for Pros

As every filmmaker out there, I am on a never-ending quest to find the best filming equipment. Every month, I look online and in shops for the latest cameras, the newest lenses, and the most recent video editing software.

Also, as most filmmakers, I tend to forget that often less is more. If I am in charge of a short film or a promotion on social media, I don’t really need the latest buzz in filmmaking technology. Sometimes, a reliable iPhone will do. That’s why today, I want to share with you a few tricks on shooting iPhone video for pros on a limited budget or who simply want to return to the basics.

Get Proper Lighting

If you already have an iPhone, you can shoot short, simple scenes in well-lit areas, especially during the day. However, if you have to record delicate scenes in poor-lit areas at night, you will have to invest in a few pieces of filming equipment.

One of them is a lighting kit that provides a wide variety of light fixtures and bulbs.

There are many low-cost options out there that will prevent you from shooting a scene under the unpleasant light of fluorescent bulbs.

Get the Right Colours

Filming iPhone video for pros on a smartphone requires fewer camera adjustments than the ones you would make on a professional piece of equipment. Still, you will have to set up a few filming preferences before you start shooting.

Image taken from Filmic Pro - Colour grade Tutorials

One of these preferences regards the white balance feature. It is crucial that you manually adjust the white balance before you press the "Rec” button. This way, you will make sure to get the right colours and make everything seem natural and realistic in your film.

Use the Grid

OK, maybe in a guide on iPhone video for pros I shouldn’t mention the Rule of Thirds. However, you’d be surprised how many professional filmmakers forget about the grid when they reverse from a pro camera to a smartphone one.

So, take it as a kind reminder to always use the grid and make sure that every frame you record abides by the gospel-like Rule of Thirds.

Lock the AF/AE Feature

If you haven’t used an iPhone for filming in a while, you might have forgotten that, on this device, focus and exposure are automatic.

Before you start filming, you should remember to set these features on manual control and lock them. Otherwise, the focus and exposure will change throughout your shot as the iPhone will decide, and you will not have any control over it.

Invest in a High-Quality Stabiliser

Few things are more annoying in a movie than the shaky movement of the camera.

Unless you are filming a scene that suggests unprepared, unrehearsed filming of reality, the final short film you shoot should seem seamless.

The best way to ensure that your video will not suffer from jerky movements is to invest in a high-quality stabiliser for iPhones. Fortunately, this filmmaking accessory is widely available at a low cost. 


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