How to shoot and edit powerful, professional-quality videos on your mobile phone or tablet: Explore new opportunities with mobile video

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In February of 2014, professional photographer Drew Keller was in northern France, retracing the route his soldier father followed pursuing the Germans near the end of World War II.

The only camera he took to Europe was the video camera in his iPhone.

He hoped to take some footage back with him to show his family the reality of what until then, in his words, “had just been a story we were told as children.”  

The sequences he came back with convinced him that his clients and seminar students would benefit from seeing “the incredible potential of these [mobile-phone and tablet] cameras.”

The minute-and-a-half’ of evidence in his new 90-minute interactive video bears him out: It is impossible to tell that the lovely French countryside, skies, and charming villages were shot with an iPhone videocam.

It makes the viewer irresistibly curious about the progress of Drew’s father towards the battleground at Saint Hubert. The scenery, the atmosphere, the villages are gorgeous.

The star of the video is Keller’s iPhone. The astonishing richness of the video imagery stirs up to a high pitch the viewer’s appetite to know the rest of the story.

And that’s the point: The power of that little phone in your purse or pocket to arouse unstoppable emotions of intense curiosity to know what happened next.

You can learn to use your own iPhone video to stoke intense emotions and provoke consumers, employees, and others to take real actions in your organization’s interest.

The first step is to buy and study Keller’s 90-minutes interactive video, How to shoot and edit powerful, professional-quality videos on your mobile phone or tablet: Explore new opportunities with mobile video.”

Drew knows you don’t have the budget for professional-grade video cameras, for a $5,000 soft-light, for costly pro mics and reflectors and tripods and all the rest of it.

But for $200-$500 you can turn your iPhone or tablet into a killer video-making machine that’ll convince viewers the footage they’re looking at was shot on a pro-grade DSLR.

Here’s just a sample of the money-saving ideas Keller unleashes:

Low-cost mics, amplifiers and adapters:

  • The one mic you’ll be using the most often for your videos
  • What mic to buy for interviewing to defeat ambient noise
  • The one compelling reason for using an external mike with your smartphone
  • Cheap reliable adapters for smartphone external mics for $25-$35
  • Two good ways to defeat environmental noise when you do a video interview
  • Why that mic that looks like it should plug right in to your iPhone doesn’t work
  • The external mic adapter that lets you monitor your sound as you shoot
  • Spend only $5 to make your own lavaliere mic for your smartphone interviews
  • The right low-cost pre-amplifier for your pro-grade mic
  • The mic to capture a wide range of ambient noise for b-roll footage to enrich your story

Money-saving lights and light filters:

  • How to get good 3-point available light without a professional lighting kit.
  • How to improvise the 3 types of lighting for an interview subject
  • How to fill in shadows created by back light and overhead light
  • How to make a cheap $20 “soft light” kit that saves you thousands of dollars
  • Why you should never let window light sneak into your video frame
  • What you should carry in your do-it-yourself
  • Why a Luxo lamp + parchment paper = good available light for an interview

Cheap image-stabilizers—tripods and clamps:

  • Tripods that let you shoot anywhere in the great outdoors
  • The 6-inch-high desktop tripod that’s perfect for interviews
  • The $10 L-clamp that Keller relies on most to steady his iPhone video images
  • The $3 spring-clamp that turns Keller’s iPhone into a professional video camera
  • Why you should carry a standard-size tripod everywhere your mobile device goes
  • How to steady your light-weight standard tripod in a stiff wind

Get the idea? These tips are just the “tip” of the iceberg. Keller wants to share the practices and secrets that have made him a nationally-recognized master of organizational video.

This is a man who believes in iPhone video-making with a real passion. This is a master-craftsman who sees no need to wreck your personal budget or your company’s budget in a misguided attempt to buy professional competence by buying expensive pro equipment.

Keller explains why he loves his iPhone video cam:

“Quite often, I shoot video with my iPhone lit by a sparkle lamp while I capture audio with my ZoomH4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder. Yes, this gets a bit complicated, and I’m often asked ‘Why not just shoot your footage with a better camera?’ Well, there are times when I just don’t have a better camera on me. And shooting with an iPhone isn’t as big a deal, as daunting to my subject as shooting with a lot of expensive, time-consuming-to-set-up equipment. So I get footage that’s more natural; the person is more relaxed; I get something that’s more spontaneous and in the moment.”

This is exactly what you want in your job as video news reporter and feature writer and product demo videographer in your organization. You don’t want to make your subject uncomfortable by taking 45 minutes to set up the shoot.

Learn how to shoot expert-grade mobile-device videos cheap and on short notice with Drew Keller. You won’t find this instruction anywhere else.

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Updated: 
February 2015
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Presenter bio: 

Drew Keller is an award-winning television producer, editor, Web developer and educator. His production experience ranges from international documentaries to prime-time specials; community events to national advertising; multimedia and children's programming to home movies of his kids. Drew recently developed an internal media portal for Microsoft, and is the developer and host of StoryGuide.