You’ve executed the perfect video. With a clever script, a beautifully staged scene, and a foolproof idea, you eagerly press the play button and watch as your masterpiece unfolds. But something’s gone wrong in the playback, and your prized video is now a blurry, muffled mess.
We know video marketing is here to stay, but producing a high-quality commercial certainly comes with its challenges. Thankfully, with the help of your smartphone and a couple of handy tricks, you too can have the same confidence and skills as an adept videographer.
The Dreaded Black Bars
Whether shown on a television, computer, or professional IMAX theater screen, video has always played horizontally. Simply put, while your phone may flip, your television does not. With vertical videos, image pieces are cut off, distracting black bars are fixed on each side of the screen, and your movie is difficult to watch. Avoid this elementary mistake and hold your phone the proper way.
Talk Fusion’s own Video Email player is specifically designed for widescreen filming because of horizontal video’s unquestionable advantage. Giving you more room to make an impression, widescreen video adapts to the way we naturally perceive the world, bringing life to your recordings, regardless of your audience’s chosen device.
How’s My Lighting?
Bright lighting makes all the difference when it comes to capturing crystal images. If you’re indoors, face a window and use the sun to your advantage. When outdoors, restrict filming to the early morning or evening hours; the sun will be lower in the sky during these times, giving you an even light source with smoother shadows. No matter where you are, remember to adjust your angle and keep an eye out for dark spots within the frame, as this will help you to avoid a fuzzy or grainy picture.
If you must film at night, understand that your phone’s flash is an LED light, which is known for distorting a production’s color quality. To counteract these effects, find alternative light sources to balance out the darkness. Try using softer lights, such as neon signs, to add a subtle glow that doesn’t contrast with the night sky too starkly.
The biggest takeaway to remember is to keep your lighting even. Your smartphone has a small lens, so it lacks the capability to adapt to sudden changes. If you’re panning over a scene (particularly when you’re in a room with exposed windows), be sure to activate the AE (Auto Exposure Lock) function. Most smartphones now include this feature, and it’s easy to set up: simply find an area with great lighting and momentarily press your finger on your screen until the featured is triggered. Continue filming normally with this function on, and you’ll later see how the lighting remained consistent as the camera turned.
Stop Shaky Hands
Unless you’re creating a horror flick, you’ll want to keep that phone steady. Maintain the proper positioning by using both hands, keeping your arms by your sides, locking your elbows, and holding your phone as close to your body as possible. To pan over a scene, plant your feet, and slowly turn your upper body, as this will help to avoid any sudden jumps or ripples in the film.
For a higher quality production, it may also be worth investing in a stabilizer. Numerous models are available, ranging from tripods to iOgrapher media cases, and each will help to guarantee that you end up with hyper-balanced images.
Just Say “No” to Zoom
You may have noticed that the more you zoom, the fuzzier your image appears. Unlike professional cameras that have optical zoom, smartphones use digital zoom, which significantly reduces the quality of an image. A much better option is to move closer to your subject before you press record.
Sound Check: One, Two, Three
If you’ve ever tried to watch a video with muffled sound, then you already know the frustration that comes with poor audio quality. Regardless of your content, you’re guaranteed to see a significant bounce in viewership if your audio is off.
It’s common to hear distracting background noises and wind on smartphone recordings because of where the microphone is placed. To lessen these effects, limit as much noise as possible ahead of time and stay close to the speaker. If you need to record outdoors, try cupping your hand around the phone’s microphone (with your palm facing the intended audio source), as this will help to block out any unnecessary noise pollution.
To take your audio to the next level, also consider purchasing an external recording device or microphone, as these products will aid in localizing your intended audio source and providing you with a more professional final product.
Loading – Please Wait
You’ve learned the skills and now you’re ready for the final and most important step: releasing your video to the world. Whether you’re uploading to social media, a Talk Fusion Video Email or Video Newsletter, or a YouTube account, you’ll need to make certain that your Internet connection is strong enough to avoid pixilation. To achieve the highest quality results, be patient and avoid compressing your file for the sake of a quicker loading time, as this process may end up distorting the image quality.
Once uploaded, also don’t forget to change the default thumbnail image. This picture can make the difference between a thousand clicks and one click, so you’ll need to choose wisely. Tease your audience with an eye-catching image from the video that pulls them in, but doesn’t reveal any major details. Emotional images with people or animals always tend to promote curiously, as do vibrant scenes with contrasting colors.
Whether you’re promoting your business, recording a commercial, or documenting your baby’s first steps, knowing your way around a smartphone’s camera definitely has its advantages. As smartphone owners, we have this wonderful, cost-effective filming tool available right in our pockets. Follow these tips, create your own brilliant videos, and sit back; your film is about to start.