Creating a polished, professional-looking video doesn’t have to mean spending on expensive filmmaking workshops. You can become a good videographer just by paying attention to a few key details that may not be obvious at first, and practicing your craft.  

This article includes:

  1. Don't shoot vertical video 

  2. Use a tripod

  3. Don't use the iPhone's zoom

  4. Framing

  5. Light your video

  6. Use the exposure lock

  7. Get your microphone as close as possible

  8. B-Roll

  9. Video Content

1. Don't shoot vertical video 

We're living in a widescreen world. Laptops, televisions, your Twitter feed, and your website are all examples of places where a vertical video probably won't look great. So, make sure you shoot horizontally.

2. Use a tripod

No matter how steady your hands are, your iPhone is going to have to work pretty hard to stabilize a handheld shot. If you're editing multiple takes, slight movements can be really distracting, so it's definitely worth the extra effort to stabilize your shots with a tripod.

Don’t have a tripod with an iPhone mount - no problem! Just stack up a few ploy-boxes to prop up your iPhone and you’re good to go.

 

3. Don't use the iPhone's zoom

Avoid the temptation to use the iPhone's built-in camera zoom. Since the lens isn't zooming optically, you're just enlarging the picture digitally, which means you will quickly enter the world of unsightly pixels.

If you want to get a closer shot of your subject, just move your feet closer until you find the perfect shot.

4. Framing

Position yourself slightly off center and have your shoulders pointing towards the center of the frame, rather than the edge of the frame.

This is bad. The subject is facing away from the center of the frame:

 Here is an example of what your frame should look like. The subjects body and eyes are facing towards the center of the image:

5. Light your video

The built-in camera flash on the new iPhone will never compare to using off-camera lights, so don't use it. Lighting is very important when trying to get a good looking video. If you have auxiliary lights, set them up in the following format:

If you can't get your hands on any studio lights (or repurposed office lights), the iPhone looks great in natural light too, so position yourself indoors and place a window (or open roll-up door) where 1. Key Light is in the above diagram.

6. Use the exposure lock

The iPhone will automatically focus and expose your shot. This can be a great function for quick photos, but when you're shooting a video of one person talking to the camera, it can really complicate things. The iPhone tends to keep adjusting and refocusing, which can lead to jittery-looking footage. That's why we recommend using the exposure focus lock. This will help to keep the focus and exposure constant throughout your shot. 

To use exposure lock, simply have someone touch and hold your finger to the screen on your face until the yellow box that reads "AE/AF LOCK" appears under the counter, and you're good to go.

7. Get your microphone as close as possible

Quality audio is one of the most important elements of creating a good video. A general rule for clear audio is to get your microphone as close to your subject as possible.

When shooting video with an iPhone, it's best to position a second iPhone directly above the your head with the bottom of the phone pointing down at your feet, directly in front of your mouth. If you don't have a boom to hold the phone, you can also simply lay the second phone in front of you on a box or chair (just below and out of the shot), pointing the mic (the bottom of the phone) at you, to record the audio. Creating a simple voice memo should do the trick.

You can, of course, use an external microphone if you have one and want to get fancy, but it certainly isn’t necessary.

If you do this, try to start and stop the clips at the same time. Please clap loudly at the start of recording so we can sync the audio together. (This is why you see those chalkboard clappers in movies)

8. B-Roll

Get TEN OR MORE 5-10 second long video clips of the following to spice up your video (remember to shoot only in landscape mode.) The more clips, the better. These clips are used to cut with your to camera interview so the more we have the smoother we can make your sound.

  • Shot of your Gym from across the street

  • Your gym's logo/sign (either the sign on the front of your building or on a wall inside).

  • Your gym, with or without people. Just show a slow sweep of room.

  • Stack of boxes

  • Rowers

  • Barbell Racks

  • Your Rig/Squat Racks

  • Shower (If youre lucky enough to have one)

  • You or a coach talking to a class

  • You or a coach adjusting someones position/form

  • You working (doing a consult, working on your computer, on the phone... you get the point)

  • Members working out and smiling, having a good time (you get bonus points for high fives and sweat angels)

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