How To Make A Movie With A Smartphone

How To Make A Movie With A Smartphone

Smartphone cameras have gotten really good over the last few years. They don’t just capture great photos, they now also capture amazing videos in super high resolution. There is also stuff like optical image stabilization that helps to capture steady handheld footage. Now, there are multi-camera systems that can give the flexibility to use a normal, wide-angle & Telephoto lens in the same device.  Even the aperture of the lenses are getting bigger. So, making movies & short films on smartphones is not a dream anymore. Many creators are already making amazing content using their smartphones & it’s your turn to join them. But, how to make a movie with a smartphone in real-life situations? If you want to know, stick with the rest of the article as we explain it all in detail.

Equipment For Making A Movie With A Smartphone

  1. A Smartphone That Captures Great Video: Smartphones often do a great job while capturing photos but, fall short when it comes to video. So, when you’re trying to shoot a movie with a smartphone, you have to make sure that a good smartphone shoots excellent video. iPhones always have great video shooting capabilities so, if you have a new-gen iPhone, you’re good to go. If you have an Android phone, however, you’re better off with flagships that come with OIS & shoot great videos. All of the recent flagships shoot 4K so, that’s not an issue. Some flagships even come with manual video controls which can come quite handy.
    • Best Smartphone Choices:
      • iPhone XS, XS Max & XR, Samsung Galaxy S10 Series, Google Pixel 3 XL, Sony Xperia 1, OnePlus 7 Pro, ASUS Zenfone 6 (6Z), LG V50, Redmi K20 Pro (Mi 9T Pro), ZTE Blade 10 Prime
  2. A Good Smartphone Gimble: Even if you have OIS on your smartphone, it’s still not possible to shoot everything handheld & keep the footage steady. So, if you’re shooting with your android device, you need to get a good smartphone gimble. The DJI ones will be the best option but, if you want something cheaper, you can look up on Amazon for other options.
    • Best Gimble Choices:
      • DJI Osmo Mobile 2, LanParte HHG-01, Hohem Isteady Mobile Plus, Zhiyun Smooth 4
  3. Great Microphone: The next thing you need to focus on is the microphone on microphones (in case you’re shooting with multiple smartphones). In this case, you’re better off with lavalier microphones as they can stay hidden & at the same time very close to the subject’s mouth. You have some really good options available for pretty less money so, you can try those or get something better & more expensive if you have the budget.
  4. Good Lighting Equipment: If you’re shooting your entire movie in daylight then, you can skip this part. But, if you have to shoot some or most or all of the scenes indoors or in challenging lighting conditions, you need good lighting equipment. It doesn’t matter how great your camera (in this case your phone) is, at video recording, if you don’t have good lighting, you’ll get bad video. You can start with one or two soft-boxes. That should be enough.
  5.  Reflectors: These are required when you need to shoot outdoors under the bright sun. These can reflect the sunlight & put it to better light your subject’s face so, they can stand back-facing the sun & the footage doesn’t get super overexposed. You’ll need both White & Silver reflectors. You can either buy some on Amazon or make a few at home. To know how to do it, check out the article linked here.
  6. A Good Video Editor: Now when you’ve completed the shooting process, you’ll need a good video editor. Unless you have Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro X, go with a free video editor. There are plenty of great video editors that you can use & many of them are free. You can check here for the options.
  7. The Extras: The rest of the gear are extras. If don’t have to have anything else other than the above-mentioned items unless you have very specific needs. These extras include external lenses (we prefer the ones from Moment), ND filters for those lenses, more fancy lighting equipment, better microphones, a complete rig to set your phone, mics at the same place, etc.

The Creative Process

Equipment is just a part of the movie. The most important thing is the creative process. This includes how you execute the shoot with creative ideas, to the point script, properly timed & angled shots. After you’ve finished shooting, proper cuts, good color grading & perfect details at the perfect timing. That’s the thing that makes or brakes your movie. So, if you’re good at the creative process, you’ll have a good movie. If you’re smart enough, people will not even notice that’s not shot with a professional camera. That’s possible but, totally up to your entire execution process.

That’s all you need to make a movie with a smartphone. If you have any questions on the same, let us know in the comments. Also, share this with anyone who wants to make movies on their smartphone.


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