As smartphones have advanced, more and more people are reaching for their phones to record and share video content — even in the business world. From capturing some trade show footage to an impromptu interview with a product expert, there can be a variety of use cases that might prompt something to be captured from a smartphone for enterprise use.
But is it possible to create quality videos using just your iPhone or Android device? We’ll cover some tips to help you shoot better enterprise video with your phone. As a result, this will set up you or others in your company to be better prepared to capture something that looks high quality right from your phone. If you are planning to use your phone to do a live broadcast, also be sure to download our 5 Pro Tips for Live Video Production datasheet as a guide.
- Light it up
- Frame it up
- Adjust the exposure
- Make it sound good
- Remember, content is still king
For many broadcasts, location is the first consideration toward improving the final result. For a better end user experience, shoot your video in a quiet, controlled environment that offers appealing visuals and minimum distraction. This doesn’t necessarily mean no activity, though. For example, capturing an interview with someone at a trade show while there is booth activity in the background could make for a compelling location. However, filming someone directly in a crowd at a show, where others will be turning around and looking directly at the camera, isn’t advised as it will divert the viewer’s attention.
A good practice here is to scout the location first and get a sense of how it will look on camera. Another key part of this, if your plan is to do a live broadcast, can also includes checking signal strength as needed. You’ll want an adequate connection to broadcast from, for stability. If possible, do a speedtest from your phone. You’ll be aiming for roughly twice the upload speed as you plan to live stream at. So a stream that’s around 2mbps (video plus audio bitrates) should have around a 4mbps upload speed available for it.
#2: Light it up
For the best possible presentation, studio lights are the way to go. Of course, the more expensive lighting gear will yield better results, durability and ease of use, but you can actually get good results from a soft-box kit that costs $300 or less. A few tips to remember:
- Light the presenter from both the left and the right to prevent unflattering shadows.
- Use a third light to illuminate the background and to provide depth.
- If studio lighting isn’t available in your location, position the available lighting sources towards your subject, and avoid pointing the camera towards large lighting sources such as windows.
#3: Frame it up
To ensure a steady shot, place your phone on a stand or tripod at eye-level with the presenter. Also make sure to position the phone horizontally, giving a more appealing “widescreen” presentation. Then decide how you want to frame the shot; for most purposes, a mid-shot (from the mid-torso up) works well.
A good practice here can be filming a test run of the presenter. After recording a few seconds of footage, review it, potentially with the speaker for their input. This will allow you to gauge if the setup should be changed and if so what elements should be altered before you actually start the broadcast.
#4: Adjust the exposure
There are several apps that allow you to manually adjust the exposure of your video shot, which is highly recommended. This will give you more control over exposure, color temperature and focus while preventing your camera’s automatic features from changing the look mid-shoot if unexpected changes in lighting occur.
#5: Make it sound good
You’ll want to use an external microphone that works with smartphones and tablets, as your onboard mic will pick up too much outside noise. Select a lavalier microphone made specifically for use with mobile devices. These can be clipped onto the presenter’s collar and pick up his or her voice more clearly.
The above image is an example of this, although keep in mind that a wired lavalier microphone can be more restrictive depending on how the smartphone is positioned. Thankfully, wireless lavalier mics are another option, and can provide better flexibility in positioning. Regardless, though, if your setup involves a device that requires batteries, make sure to carry a spare and possibly even swap them out before broadcasting as well.
#6: Remember, content is still king
Even the most advanced technical setup will do you little good if you don’t have quality content to share. Focus on a topic that matters to your audience and take the time to develop your overall messaging. Then script out what you can, do a few rehearsals, and let the magic begin!
If you are targeting employees, or looking for more use cases on internal video, download this Using Video for Internal Corporate Communications, Training & Compliance white paper as well. It covers topics like how to reach larger audiences while reducing network strain, methods to keep assets secure while accessible, improving per asset ROI and how to gauge the success of an internal video strategy. If you would prefer a video examination into internal strategies, though, watch this Video Best Practices for Your Internal Communication Strategy webinar.