Smart Phone Videography–Look Your Best

Smart Phone Videography

 ©2020 Stuart Sweetow

Prop your smartphone on books at eye-level

Camera Positioning

  • If you don’t have a tripod, position the camera-phone on books so it is eye-level. Use the top book to lean the phone on (see photo below). Look at the lens as much as possible.
  • Record with the phone horizontal and with the record button to your right.
  • You can place the script above or below the camera.
  • Try to face a window or use soft lights for good, even lighting.
  • Use earbuds or microphone if possible. Otherwise, position yourself close enough to your phone so audio is optimal.

Video Files

  • Clear some files on your phone for the video recording. Your phone may have cloud storage for that.
  • Make sure you are recording in video rather than taking a still photo. The recordings should be MOV or MP4 files–not JPG files. Play back the scenes to confirm they are good.

Plan for Video Editing

  • If you make a mistake, please go back one or two sentences. Don’t repeat only a part of a sentence.
  • Leave “handles” which means to record a second or two at the beginning and end of each scene and continue to look at the lens.
  • To send the recordings, email may not accommodate video file sizes. Use a free file sharing program like Dropbox, Google Drive or WeTransfer.com, which is our favorite.
  • It is good practice to save video recordings to your computer and then upload from the computer.

Working with a Script

  • The script should have a way to delineate which is audio and which is video. Use two columns or indent the audio sections.
  • Give numbers to the scenes. As you near the end of a page, avoid scenes getting divided and continuing onto the following pages; it causes the reader to make noise flipping pages.
  • Slate each scene and take. For example, say “scene 3 take 2.”
  • Note which are the good takes, and send the editor a list of scene numbers with the good takes indicated.

For more information visit these website links:

Stu’s Tips for Zoom Video Calling

A Good Script = A Great Video

Top Ten Camcorder Tips

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