Consumer PREvent PRHow toLifestyle PRSocial Media 31.07.2018

Smartphone video – a game changer?

You’d be forgiven for thinking that top-notch video can only be the result of cameras the size of people and multi-million-pound editing crews, but the continuous development of smartphones has bridged the gap in quality considerably. Hollywood Director, Steven Soderbergh, recorded one of his latest films entirely on an iPhone 7 Plus – yes, you read that correctly, a feature-length Hollywood film all recorded on a phone! If that’s not enough to convince you, then read on and find out what else we learnt on our smartphone filmmaking training day.

A recent survey found that video has about 1.2 seconds to catch the attention of the tech-savvy Generation-Z (read more about how to market to Gen-Z here), and stagnant video of someone standing still and talking to a camera is much less likely to grab someone’s attention – even if what they’re talking about is fascinating! With this information in mind, one of the most useful points we took away from the day is to utilise something called ‘B-roll’ to maximise the impact of your smartphone filmmaking. B-roll is essentially relevant video footage that can be played over the top of an audio interview, showcasing what the interviewee is talking about and generally improving the visual appeal of the content, while still allowing your client to verbally get their key messages across.

National news outlets such as the BBC are now arming journalists with smartphones such as the iPhone X, making it possible for every journalist to travel and record their own material without relying on a bulky camera crew and the expense that comes with it, just for a short five-minute interview. For video montages and basic editing needs, free smartphone applications such as iMovie or Kinemaster are incredibly accessible and easy to use – within a couple of hours we had all planned, recorded and edited our own 90 second, fully produced news-style interviews, featuring pre-recorded B-roll and a range of video effects, entirely on one device. The stark difference between a video clip produced with smartphone filmmaking compared to a static camera pointed at someone’s face for three minutes is night and day.

From an agency point of view, the emergence of smartphone video as a low-cost, high quality method of creating engaging content on a range of topics is potentially game-changing and means that we can now confidently offer another service to our clients which we weren’t able to do before. We would like to say thank you to John Whyte-Venables, our smartphone video trainer for the day, for an engaging, interesting and enjoyable session – we are excited to put our new skills to the test!

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