Live Blog: Taking Your Smartphone Video to the Next Level

Live Session enthusiastically brought to you by @RunningJoeInJax. I’m not a blogger, but I might as well be by the amount I post on Daily Mile – Jax Joe. Go Gator Bait!

 Andre Smith

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million! You don’t want to skip over this discussion led by master video journalist, Andre Smith. Dre is sharing some of his professional tips and tricks to produce the most effective video using just your smartphone.


Check out this Summary PDF of the session.

Live Blogger June 27, 201412:00 pm

That’s it for today. I learned a lot. Usually, we just try to work with the phone. I didn’t realize a few small purchases can really enhance the quality of smartphone video. Great tips. Thanks, Dre!

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:59 am

*Clap clap clap clap*

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:59 am

Giveaway Time! See what you missed by not being here? First up, spring mount. Next, wireless remote for starting/stopping video.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:56 am

Question – How do you deal with licensing and audio? Answer – Use an audio library (YouTube, AudioJungle).

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:54 am

Question – Better to edit using a desktop? Answer – Yes. Easier to work with than on smartphone.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:53 am

Question – Can you edit in stills using b-roll or does it have to be video. Answer – I have found iMovie will not allow adding stills without making a video of them. Make a project of your stills, then integrate with the main project. You can also use iPhoto which integrates well with iMovie.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:52 am

Wrap up – Make the time to plan your video. It’s worth it. Pay attention to the times you post. Early morning does well on mobile. Night posts do well on tablets.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:50 am

Tip #5 – Content is King. You can have great quality. If the content is “doo doo” (Dre’s expression)… Make sure you have something to offer your audience. Content rules over everything. Ad hoc video of something interesting will go viral regardless of quality. You can say something in the dark. If it’s worthwhile, it doesn’t matter.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:48 am

Wireless mics are expensive and convenient.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:47 am

Minimize ambient noise in the room. Kids playing in the background. Minimize movement while using a wired mic. Recommend a boom mic if you can afford it.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:44 am

Demonstrating a wired mic. Put the wire under your shirt. Mount the mic at chest level.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:42 am

Tip #4 – Rock the mic! Quality sound is important. How many times do you hear Charlie Brown’s freakin’ teacher on video? Onboard microphone sucks. You can use a headset with a mic built in. That mic is not bad. Problem is you look like a fool. If you use it, prop the mic out.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:35 am

If you want to make the investment, get a second light. Investment might be $80 with stands. You need stands. Lights won’t float. Main point is you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to get quality video from your smartphone.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:33 am

Andre demonstrating an LED light that can be had for cheap ($25) on Amazon. Mount the light on a tripod. Put it above you, 45 degrees off center.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:30 am

Question – How do I get rid of the shadow behind me? Answer – side light yourself. Never backlight. Do not put light directly in front of you.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:28 am

Light Light Light – Natural light is best. Don’t shoot into direct sunlight. You end up squinting, making funny faces. Also get nasty shadows.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:26 am

Question – Is there a way to control the still picture when you post a video?. Answer – Do a screen grab of your video in full HD mode and upload that to YouTube. Wait 5 minutes. Then share on social media.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:23 am

Tripodless Technique – Elbows in. You don’t want to “eat” your phone when someone bumps into you. Deep breath and hold if you can to keep the camera steady.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:22 am

Side discussion about Gorilla-pods. Nice because they can be mounted anywhere. Andre talking about doing video in the gym – picture him benching with a camera mounted on the bar HA!

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:18 am

iMovie Question – Is learning it simple? Answer: Hard to say “yes, it’s easy. However, digital-aged people should be able to pick it up with no problems.”

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:16 am

Tip #3 – Pay attention to your backgrounds. They can make or break your video. Make sure your camera does not focus on the background. Plain walls are not great. If you’re talking to your readers, position yourself in the center. Give yourself some headroom. Don’t chop your head off. Kootek provides a wireless/bluetooth switch that allows you to start/stop your video remotely.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:11 am

Tip #2 – Hold steady. Use a tripod for your main discussion clip. You’re after high quality video. Shaky video can be really annoying. On Amazon, there are many smartphone clips that will attach to your tripod.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:06 am

Andre’s Fab 5 Tips
1) Use B-roll to enhance your production. B-Roll is supplemental video that enhances your clip. More than just you talking to the camera.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:04 am

iPhone recommmendation – download the iMovie app

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:04 am

All about engaging your readers. People spend more time on your site when you have video. An additional 2 minutes on average.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:03 am

Youtube – 1 Billion unique users each month.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:02 am

Dre introducing himself. He teaches people to use Smartphone Video for reporting. Blogs at

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:01 am

Packed House. Greetings from Dre.

Live Blogger June 27, 201411:00 am

Dre asked how many people have iPhones. Just about everyone. I think there was 1 or 2 that use Android.

Live Blogger June 27, 201410:58 am

Welcome! We’re just getting off of a break. People are trickling in. We should get started in a few minutes.

Live Blogger June 27, 201410:02 am

Hi Everyone! I’m here at FitBloggin’ 2014 in Savannah, GA. Lots of energy here. Live Bloggin’ will start around 10:45am EDT. Group discussion starts at 11am. Some good information coming our way.