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Smart Phone Videography
©2020 Stuart Sweetow
- 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.
- 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.
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