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How To Video: Make your smartphone movie more visual

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How To Video: Make your smartphone movie more visual

4:05 /

Why not set your smartphone on a skateboard or lazy Susan for a new point of view? Those are just a few of the unique tips offered up by filmmaker Jason Van Genderen in this episode of CNET Australia's Pocket Filmmaker.

Hi. And welcome back to Pocket Filmmaker. This week we're looking at moving pictures, okay? So we're looking at ways in we can utilize our pocket cameras to get a nice fluid shots with a bit of motion to it. So, one of the big challenges with pocket filmmaking is being normally fine people filming with their devices in one or two ways, either staying there rigid like a statue and the shot never moves or they do this. They don't really care how they're holding the camera-- just yellow and vibrating and just crazy pictures all over the place. And once you've blow that up in the biggest screen, you'll find your audience just kinda watch it. A tip one, ban the digital zoom. Do not use it ever. It is terrible. All its doing is it's blowing up the pixels on the resolution of your smartphone camera. It is not actually getting you closer to the picture. In this example, if I'm standing in the garden I'm just zooming in on something using my digital zoom-- look how boring that is. I'm gonna stand there and wait for that camera to go on in and look at the subject, pull back out again that's slow at one steady place and then boring. Whereas in this other example, so I just move straight in on that art-- on that same shot and I bring my camera closer to the subject and then I walk back out again, everything in the frame is changing. It's far more interesting, much more vibrant. Your audience will love you for it. Tip two is to introduce an active frame. And you might say, what's an active frame? In this little example I'm about to show you, I'm filming something quite static so I'm holding the smartphone right in of me and I'm just not moving. Now, if I just move and shift my weight from left leg to right leg just from side to side, you see the background of the full ground proportions changed just a little bit and it just keeps that picture nice and flowing and it looks great. So that's called an active frame. Try it. That's really easy to do and it just helps with your little pictures a lot. Tip three is a really, really basic one but one we all forget and that is to show a fresh perspective, okay? A new point of view, so rather than just putting the camera on eye level where we're all used to looking at the camera. Position it somewhere else in frame, up high, down low, show the audience something different from an angle they're not used to seeing. A very simple way of getting some motions of your shots when you're out and about is to look at things that are moving around you such as lifts, escalators, travelators, they're all great platforms you can just stand on and shoot and get some nice motion happening in your footage. Closer to home, have a look inside your house and see what you got that you can utilize with your camera on to get a bit of motion happening such as a lazy Susan. Most kitchens have got one of these and you can just pop your camera on that and spin it around and get a fantastic point of view. Now, if you wanna get fancy, there's a couple of great devices we can utilize to stabilize and get motion into our shots. We've seen the steady cam braces we can get for our pocket cameras. Well now, there's other thing such as this, a Cam Caddy. These are great because you can now fix your camera to the base plate there and hold this really, really low to the ground for most tracking shots. Another fantastic product is a device called a Slider. You simply attach your smartphone camera and push it from left to right to get a beautiful gliding still shots. Got one of these lying around your garage? A fantastic filmmaking tool. Stick your camera on top, find a nice smooth surface, take it for a spin. You'll be surprised what sorts of shots you can get. However, step it up a notch and look at this. It's called a [unk]. These are really, really cool and this is my [unk] toolbox if you wanna get something for Christmas. These devices are amazing. They got a tripod screw mount on the top there. You'll fix your camera. You can lock the wheels in any one direction or another. Take it for a spin on the smooth surface and you got beautiful [unk] shots wherever you go, super portable. All right. That's it for me. It's time for wrapping things up. The inspirational pocket film we're gonna leave you with this week is called The Fixer. Now it's all shot in an iPhone, believe it or not. It's very dark, gruesome. So if you're a bit squeamish, give it a miss. But if you want to check out some fantastic pocket cinematography, The Fixer is it. Next time we catch up, I'm gonna teach you everything I know about lighting for pocket filmmaking. I think you're gonna enjoy it. See you then, bye-bye.

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