Filming on your phone

Here are the things you need to do to get ready to film on your smartphone.

  • Make sure your operating system is up to date.
  • Make sure you have set your phone up to shoot video. Normally this means going to your camera settings and — if you’re using an iPhone — using these settings:
  • Download Adobe Rush — or if that isn’t available — try another video editing app. There are lots available, including the free version of the VIDEOSHOP — available for all phone types.
  • Charge the battery.
  • Free up space.
  • Get the settings right. JT’s film will show you how to do that:

Once your phone is ready to use, experiment with setting focus and exposure. Pick a spot on the frame and press and hold. A yellow box will appear with the message AE/AF LOCK. This is telling you that the camera is setting the focus and exposure of the shot at the point in the frame you’ve selected.

Focus simply means sharpness. You want your shots to be sharp and in focus. Let to its own devices the camera will autofocus on what it thinks is most important in a shot. Most of the time this will be fine. Sometimes it won’t and you will want to control what’s sharp. Look at the two examples below. In the first shot the cup is in focus and in the second it’s the headphones. Experiment with doing something similar.

Now fiddle with the sunshine symbol next to the box. Slide it up and you let more light into the shot. Slide it down and you make the shot darker. This is called “altering the exposure.”

If possible, film somebody’s face in front of a window. Notice that you can either have the right exposure for the face, in which case the window might be very bright and you will lose detail. Or you can have the right exposure for what’s outside the window. In which cases the face might be silhouetted.

Don’t panic about these things. Most of the time the camera will do it all for you. I just want you to get used to focus and exposure as ideas.