How to shoot cinematic footage with your smartphone without buying a whole bunch of accessories

Nov 19, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

How to shoot cinematic footage with your smartphone without buying a whole bunch of accessories

Nov 19, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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We’ve all seen the “Shot on iPhone” campaigns. Apple takes some Hollywood filmmaker, shoves some iPhones in their hand and lets them go create something epic. But as we’ve seen from the behind the scenes footage, they’re often using an entire production crew to help them make it, along with a lot of the same tools they use with “real cameras”.

But there’s a lot that you can do without having a couple of dozen people helping (handy, given the pandemic n’ all) and without having to buy a whole bunch of extra toys and tools to bolt onto your phone. In this video, Steve Write from Learn Online Video looks at using just a naked iPhone without any other devices to shoot your smartphone videos.

Steve’s goal is to just shoot a 30-second sequence using his phone, and because this isn’t just another promotional video for the iPhone 12, Steve’s actually using an iPhone 11 and states that these techniques will work with just about any phone you might happen to own.

Steve shoots everything in 1080p. This way he can maintain constant resolution between both cameras in the iPhone 11 and also between real-time and slow-motion footage and everything is consistent when he comes to his edit. Whether you should stick with 1080p or go with 4K really depends on the capabilities of whatever phone you’re using.

As you’ll see in the video, in which Steve provides a lot of tips, most of how your footage looks ultimately boils down to technique. And it’s possible to create make of the looks you want to create by simply practising and perfecting those techniques. Sure, you might have to do the same shot several times before you get it just right, but it’s not impossible!

[via Fstoppers]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “How to shoot cinematic footage with your smartphone without buying a whole bunch of accessories”

  1. Il Pope Avatar
    Il Pope

    This is a much better video on the same subject – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdoHP33Cui4