THE DO'S & DON'TS OF FILMING WITH YOUR MOBILE DEVICE

More and more businesses are using video testimonials as a convincing way to encourage more clients into their business. Video testimonials or case studies are seen as more convincing than written testimonials on websites or social media pages, as people can see they are genuine and from real people. The use of video testimonials does present other challenges. It can be challenging to get them right, as a video with too low quality can represent the brand in a negative way. We have come up with the following tips and guidelines to getting your video testimonials right.

–GOOD LIGHTING IS KEY

Making sure your lighting is correct will make a real difference to the quality of your smartphone cameras as they have much smaller image sensors and lenses. Try as much as possible to shoot your video in brightly lit areas with your subject facing
natural light if possible. This will avoid shadows and blurry areas in your final video. DO NOT point the camera directly at bright light sources e.g. windows; this will overexpose the video and create a flaring effect. Lighting should be stable and steady; If natural light isn’t available, make use of floor or table lamps.

 
 Use natural light where possible and avoid pointing the camera directly at the light source.

Use natural light where possible and avoid pointing the camera directly at the light source.

 
 

–STABLE AND STEADY

If you don’t want your video footage to look like you are standing on a bobbing boat, you need to keep your phone as steady as possible, preferably not holding it. This then will avoid blurred, and unfocused footage during recording. Support your phone by doing the following:

•Tripods are available from eBay for around £5 and under. Look for one that has a smart phone attachment.

•If a smartphone tripod is not possible, rest your phone on other supports like table tops, stack of books, shelves, etc.

 
 
 

–WE CAN’T HEAR YOU!

A good video with poor audio quality is pretty much useless. Unfortunately built-in microphones in most smartphones are low quality and
catch wind noise etc that can drown out the audio you require or not even pick up the audio
you need to hear. When picking a location make sure it’s a quiet place, indoors (remember lighting rules too) avoiding ambient noise. Multi-directional plug in microphones that work

with your smartphone are very cheap to buy (again eBay for under £5). If using a microphone isn’t possible then position yourself as close to the audio source as possible.

 

–CLOSE AND INTIMATE

Don’t be embarrassed to get close. This will help to capture better image quality, less noise and improved focus on your subject. Avoid capturing full body footage, it can be distracting to watch. Close up video makes the viewer attentive to what the subject is saying. Don’t forget to use the touch focus available on most smartphones. Make sure you choose a plain background that’s not too busy, or that might be plugging other people’s businesses i.e posters on walls.

Here is a good example of how to frame your video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q34eZHEdvqk

 

 
 
 

–LANDSCAPE NOT PORTRAIT!

This is also another MUST HAVE. Portrait video on social media platforms looks amateurish as most platforms black out the sides to make it fit into a landscape view. So, no filming with your phones vertical, spin your phone around to horizontal and capture landscape footage! If you are conducting an interview style video, make sure the subject is not talking directly to the camera, get the subject to talk to someone who is slightly off camera.

 

 

–VIDEO LENGTH

If your video is going to be hosted on a social Media Platform, then the video should ideally be around 1-2 minutes long. If you are uploading to Instagram, then the video has to be less then 1 minute ong. You need to make it clear in the first 5 seconds what your video is about. People decide in the first 3-5 seconds if they are going to continue to watch it.

–WHAT DO YOU WANT THEM TO SAY?

Think about what the objectives of the video are. Many people are nervous about being in front of the camera so you may need to guide them by asking questions which can be later edited out. By doing this you will ensure you get the information you need for the end result. Sample questions could be:

Who are you? Where are you from?
Tell us about your journey; 
What are your hopes for the future?

If it’s a more structured video and you want the structure to come across in the finished film, think about the following:

Have you created a script? Have an introduction prepared, Cover your main points in the middle, and makes sure you conclude giving a summary of everything discussed.

– ENHANCE WITH MOBILE APPS

There are some brilliant apps available out there that allows you to edit your video in an easy to understand format. For example, you can add your company logo to the beginning and end of your video to brand it, add text over your video or cut footage that you do not need. There are amazing free apps, however you envisage using these heavily, we recommend investing in a paid editing app. Do your research!

–PREPARATION, PREPARATION, PREPARATION!

Before your shoot, make you sure you have followed the above advice and have all the equipment needed.

Is your phone charged?
Do people around know you are filming and not to disturb you?

Make sure your subject is appropriately dressed; if the subject is wearing something distracting such as a low cut top or bright patterns then the focus will no longer be on the words being said.

Remember to ask anyone that is being filmed or photographed to sign an image release form to protect yourself and your business.