5 iPhone SE camera tricks that anyone can try at home to shoot awesome videos

A low-budget phone with a solid camera calls for some low-budget cinematography.

Nic Henry Senior Video Producer

It's hard to feel creative when we're all stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic and no one knows when the world will go back to normal. So when the new iPhone SE arrived at my house along with the direction to "just do something creative with it," it felt a little daunting.

I dressed up like a burglar and shot this in my bathroom. I'm dubbing it the "Pterodactyl Swoop."

Nic Henry/CNET

But after a few hours of staring not-so-pensively at my wall, I figured something out. This is the "low-budget" iPhone and, well, the internet is overflowing with low-budget, DIY, "cinematic" camera hacks. So why not use the new iPhone to see what I can pull off from my apartment building?

After scouring Instagram, YouTube and Reddit (and coming up with a few ideas of my own), I got to work. Armed with a Swiffer, a tape measure and a lot of tape, I actually got some pretty cool stuff. And with nothing but a simple camera move, I was able to emulate Edgar Wright's famous "whip pan" and made it look like I threw a knife to myself.

Not quite Shaun of the Dead just yet, but getting there.

Nic Henry/CNET

Watch all the techniques I was able to pull off and learn how to do them yourself in the video above.

And, yeah, I used Apple's newest iPhone. But you should be able to make do with whatever phone or camera you got, as long as it has slow-motion video.

Hopefully these little tricks can relieve some of the pressure to be creative. Have fun!

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