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How To Make Videos With Your Smartphone – Cheat Sheet

So you want to start making social videos? Great, but how do you get going? Spielberg didn’t just pick up a camera one day and make a blockbuster. No, he had a little help along the way. So that’s what we’re going to give you – a few hacks we’ve learned during our 20 years as video producers to kickstart your directorial debut.

CHEAT #1: You only need one device for filming AND editing, and you probably already own it. Pretty much all smart devices now have HD cameras and the capacity to run and editing app.

CHEAT #2: Use a tripod. No one will thank you for making them feel sea sick. You’ll also need a mount to fix your device to the tripod.

CHEAT #3: Use a microphone. A big differentiator of amateur and high quality video is the sound quality. Get a tie clip mic that plugs into your headphone socket here:

CHEAT #4: Write a script or bullet points so you know what to say. Keep it short, succinct and make every word count.

CHEAT #5: Find a suitable location – somewhere quiet, with a background relevant to the subject of your video and with plenty of natural light.

CHEAT #6: Use windows as light sources, not backdrops. You’ll become a silhouette if you try to film yourself in front of a window.

CHEAT #7: Turn your device to aeroplane mode to avoid distracting alerts whilst filming.

CHEAT #8: Set your device horizontally, not vertically on the tripod, unless you’re filming specifically for Snapchat.

CHEAT #9: Make sure your device is fully charged and has plenty of storage space before you start.

CHEAT #10: Once you’re in position in front of the camera, check the background to make sure there’s nothing ‘growing’ out of your head.

CHEAT #11: Camera height is important – it should be at eye-level, not looking up your nose!

CHEAT #12: When presenting to camera, think about the 5Ps: Preparation, Posture, Pace, Positivity and Practice!

BONUS CHEAT: Invest in some video training – give us a shout!

For a step-by-step guide to making your own videos for web and social media, grab yourself a copy of our book, Make Your Own Videos, available at The book goes into more details about planning, shooting, editing and uploading videos using just one mobile device.


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