“HOW CAN I MAKE A CHARITY FILM ON MY PHONE?” – OUR TOP TIPS

Now, more than ever, it is essential that charities continue to connect with their supporters. The people who support your charity want to hear stories, meet the team and have the personal touch that will build long-term relationships. There is no reason why small charities can’t produce short films, just do it on your smartphone! Authentic, unpolished videos are great but they still need to be watchable, engaging and have clear sound. “How do I make a charity film on my phone?” Our co-founder Pete has put together his top tips.

THE TECHNICAL STUFF

1.MAKE SURE THAT YOUR PHONE IS SET TO RECORD IN THE HIGHEST QUALITY POSSIBLE

Ideally this will be in 4k 30fps or at least 1080p HD at 30fps

2. THE BRIGHTER, THE BETTER
If you can, outdoors is the best for filming. If you have to be indoors, choose the room with the most natural source of light.

3. SHOW OFF
Pick a location that feels relevant to your group and your cause. Or somewhere that is bright and looks good on camera.

4. STAND IN SPACE
Don’t have the person/people you are filming sit in front of a wall. Space behind them makes them stand out from the background and usually makes everything look and sound nicer. If you are filming yourself, set up the camera and then check the background before you film.

5. HAVE THE SUN BEHIND THE PERSON/PEOPLE YOU ARE FILMING AND NOT IN FRONT
This stops people from squinting and gives a more even light to make it brighter.

A person smiling for the camera

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6. CLEAN YOUR PHONE LENS
Make sure that you lens is free of fingerprints and smudges. A reading glasses cleaning cloth is perfect for this job.

7. HOLD IT STEADY
Hold your phone as stable as possible, or even put it in a cradle or on a tripod if that feels better. Also decide beforehand where it is going to be shared. This will dictate whether you should be filming horizontally or vertically. Smartphone tripods are easy to buy from places like Amazon and cost less than £20.

8. SOUND
Speak clearly, concisely and stay out of the wind.

9. WATCH IT BACK AS YOU ARE GOING
After a couple of goes watch the video back with your headphones on. Check the sound, check the content and tweak as you go. Get multiple options so that you have lots of options to choose from when you are editing.

THE INTERVIEW

1. MAKE THEM COMFORTABLE
Being interviewed can be nerve-wracking, help the person you are filming feel at ease by having a chat before you start asking questions. Ask them what they had for breakfast, where they like to go on holiday – and then you can check the sound and lighting before you start the interview questions.

2. BE IN THE EYE LINE
Stand as close to the camera as you can, ideally behind, so that when they are answering your questions, they are looking towards the camera.

3. REPEAT AFTER ME
Brief the person being interviewed to repeat the end of your question into their answer. For example, “what is your favourite colour?” “my favourite colour is green.”

4. ASK OPEN QUESTIONS
Ask questions that encourage a long answer and always leave space at the end for them to add extra piece of information. People will fill the silence.

5. BE FLEXIBLE
Have your questions, but don’t be worried about sticking to them strictly, let the story tell itself and go in the natural direction.

THE EDITING

There are lots of easy to use, free video editing apps that can be used straight from your phone. Try out a few different ones and see which you prefer. We like FilmoraGo for a quick and inclusive editing app. If you need a more experienced editor and/or have a significant amount of footage, you can hire an editor by the day. Contact us for more details.

  1. SAY IT
    You want to grab attention quickly. Make sure the start of the video either gets to the point or at least grabs people’s attention and wants them to carry on watching.

2. MUSIC
Most video editing apps will come with free music that you can place under your video. This can really help establish the mood of the video and get attention.

3. SUBTITLES
If you can, you should always subtitle your videos before you upload them. It is worth bearing in mind that most people watch social media videos without sound on.

4. THINK ABOUT THE PLATFORM
Different social media platforms work better for different video lengths. Here’s a useful guide.

PlatformVideo Length
Instagram30 seconds – 1 minute 3-5 minutes IGTV
YouTube3-10 minutes
Facebook1-3 minutes
TikTok15 seconds
Twitter15 seconds – 2 minutes
Weibo15 seconds – 2 minutes

5. GET SOME FEEDBACK
Share it around, tweak it and when you are happy, upload.

Video content is great for charities, so don’t be afraid to take the plunge and get started on your smartphone. Be creative, clear and engaging.
Pete.


Tag us in your videos, we would love to see them.

For a free, informal chat about your next video project and how we can help to maximise results, email emma@thesaltways.com



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