Behind The Scenes Smartmoviemakers, , , , , , , , , — May 23, 2011 23:13 — 2 Comments

How to film on an iPhone 4: a beginner’s guide

Michael Koerbel filming Apple of My Eye. Photo: Majek Pictures

This article is based on few tips I picked up when I was a journalist at The Guardian and is a very basic guide for reporters shooting footage on an iPhone 4 and uploading to the newsdesk.

If you are inspired by some of the films being shown on the iPhone Film Festival and have just got your hands on an iPhone and have had no film experience, by following these easy steps you should be able to record and edit your movie and upload to an account such as YouTube, or email to friends.

It’s purely for fun, but I hope it helps in some way. Please let me know your thoughts.

How to Shoot Video on the iPhone 4

OK, let’s start with the basics first. Tap the camera app on the top right of the screen and once the camera has loaded switch to video mode by sliding the switch in the bottom right corner to the right.

Before you start shooting video, it’s best to keep the camera horizontal (or landscape) for a more ‘TV friendly’ movie, and make sure your image is well lit.

One excellent tip is to switch the iPhone to flight mode, or else this may happen while you are shooting!

If you are in a dark space or filming at night, the camera’s flash will also double up as a lamp. In video-mode you will see a lightning bolt icon in the upper left corner with the three settings: Auto/on/off.

Pretty self-explanatory although experts suggest using the on button sparingly, especially when filming people as you may find their retinas will turn into something out of a horror flick!

Next is to focus on your subject, if it’s a sharp background with blurred foreground tap the screen in the background area, and vice-versa for foreground. For close-up interview-style footage you will need to keep on tapping until the person or object comes into focus.

Once you have your shot beautifully framed and adequately lit, press the RED record button. To stop tap the Red record button again.

To check the footage touch the video thumbnail in the corner and press play. Press the blue DONE button and either continue filming, edit your footage or publish.

How to Edit Video on the iPhone 4

The iPhone 4 also allows you to do a basic edit by dragging the slider on the filmstrip at the top of your video and selecting start and end points.

There is an iMovie app available that will allow you to carry out a more complete edit — Michael Koerbel used the app to edit Apple of My Eye.

To upload or share your video touch the send button in the bottom left corner and you will see a menu in the Camera Roll that invites you to email video or send via MMS. If you have a MobileMe account or YouTube account you can publish immediately — if you are happy with your handiwork.

Many of the serious smart moviemakers upload their work to Vimeo, so it is worth registering an account.

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About the author

Tony Myers has written 866 articles for Smart Movie Making

Fooling around with the iPhone since 2010. Taking it to the next web by writing about new media, new technology, new wave cinema and the digital revolution.

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