Tips for Shooting the Perfect Video


Be Prepared for the Shoot 

Before you begin recording your videos, make sure that you have all your gear, scripts, actors and shooting locations ready to go. Additionally, make sure your phone an excellent and that you have enough storage space (available memory) to store the footage. 

Take Off with Airplane Mode 

You’re moving in for the perfect shot, the actors embrace, and you’re capturing a priceless moment — and then your perfect shot is interrupted by your phone ringing — your camera is ringing! “Cut! Hello? Hi mom, I’m busy, shooting my movie.” It’s happened to me. 

Go into your phone settings and put your phone on airplane mode. All the functions of your phone will work except your shoot won’t be interrupted by another phone call or annoying text. You want your smartphone to be a 100-percent dedicated camera for your shoot, not a communications device. 

Charged and Ready 

Always make sure your phone is charged and ready to go. Shooting video on your phone drains the battery faster than talking or listening to music on your phone. 

An Easy but Important Tip: Clean Your Lens  

I recall how a friend was shooting video one day, but his friend’s lens was dirty, which produced blurry video. “Make sure your lens is clear. If it’s not, carefully clean it with a microfiber cloth.” 

Shooting in Landscape 

The first thing you have to remember is you’re shooting a movie, not a photo, not a selfie, and not something you’re just going to post to Facebook or Instagram. So, you now have to remember to turn your smartphone sideways. This is called landscape mode. The normal way you’re use to holding your phone is profile mode. Note that landscape mode resembles the dimensions of your 16×9 TV. Note also that when you watch YouTube videos or feature films on your smartphone, you turn it sideways for the image to fill the whole screen. If you don’t shoot your movie in landscape mode, you’ll have black bars on each side of the image, and your movie will not fill the entire screen. So, landscape, don’t profile! 

Shooting Format and Resolution 

Before you start shooting with your smartphone, you need to go into your camera video settings. You will have a choice of resolution quality. Usually the options are 720, 1080 (2K) and 4K. I’m sure that 6K and up will soon be available for your phone. I recommend shooting on 720 or 2K because the quality is awesome and both resolutions are broadcast quality. If you shoot in 4K, you will very quickly eat up a lot of storage space on your phone. In the video settings, you should also have the choice of shooting at 30 frames per second or 24 frames per second. Choose 24fps for a more film-like look. 


There’s something else you should keep in mind when thinking about flash and lighting in general: avoiding backlit settings. 

You may be able to see people and their faces when they’re backlit, but your smartphone camera usually can’t and will output footage with a bright light haloing a dark figure. That figure will also have no visible features, meaning you just missed whatever it was you were trying to capture. Unless your phone has some advanced HDR (High Dynamic Range) capabilities, that’s something you definitely need to keep an eye on.  

To avoid this situation, try configuring a basic light setup. Those of you who are recording on the fly can also improve a backlit situation by moving to one side or another or moving your subject so that they’re facing the light. Although some stock camera apps try to reduce the effects of backlighting, you should try reducing the effects on your end as well. 


The Audio Matters as Much as the Video 

A good video with poor audio quality is junk unless you plan to add a completely new audio track “in post” (while editing your video). While you want your video to look good, the quality of your audio is more important than the video – so it should matter as much, if not more. Unfortunately, the built-in microphone in most smartphones (if not all of them) is both low quality and improperly placed. It’s very common to catch wind and unnecessary environmental noise that will compete with or drown out any important audio while shooting video outside. This is almost impossible to edit out later. It is advisable to shoot your video in a quiet place, preferably indoors when possible with less ambient noise. 

Double Check Your Video While You Are STILL AT SHOOT 

Play back your video clips to make sure that you can hear them clearly and that you’re happy with how all your shots look. If you find that you are missing a clip or aren’t happy with a take, then reshoot while you’re still set up. This will be much easier than having to organize a reshoot later. 

Point of view:  

Ask yourself “Where am I pointing my camera lens and from what angle?” Consider point of view figuratively, as well: “How will the video’s point of view help me tell the story?” Some videos are like selfies and use a very subjective point of view to connect viewers to the story. For other videos you might want a more detached, less personal point of view. And when shooting small children or babies, get right down on the floor to shoot. 

Scope out the Joint Before Shooting 

Make sure that you are aware of your surroundings and the items in the business before you shoot your video.  If you are shooting the preparation of a meal…make sure it is flattering to the business.  Do not get a close up of the grease on the wall or a dirty rag etc.   


In conclusion, video is an indispensable tool for you. By harnessing the power of video interviews, you can become the voice of your community and make a lasting impact. As you embark on this journey, remember to keep a few key aspects in mind: be prepared, maintain a professional demeanor, ask engaging questions, actively listen to your interviewees, and showcase your authentic self. With confidence and dedication, you can create compelling content that resonates with your audience, establishes your presence in the community, and propels you towards your goal of becoming a local influencer. So go out there, have fun, and let’s make it happen!