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Old March 13th, 2015, 11:01 AM   #1
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Filming on smartphones

I have only just caught up with this but here is a demonstration of how far video technology has come in the last few years. I know that whole weddings have been shot on iPhones as a demo but the BBC technology show 'Click' showed an edition last week from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona filmed entirely on smartphones & edited on tablets.
BBC News - Technology TV programme Click made on mobiles

Here's a link to the show itself on the BBC iPlayer although I am not sure whether those outside the UK can view it
BBC iPlayer - Click - 07/03/2015

The quality is exceptional & most of the hassle seems to be with the editing on tablets rather than filming on the smartphones.
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Old March 13th, 2015, 12:28 PM   #2
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Re: Filming on smartphones

Quite an amazing episode to be fair.

However the workflow is a nightmare by the looks of it. You clearly still have to use external video lights, stabilizers, correct audio equipment and the right softwares to achieve the end result.

So simply put it's down to the camera man to make it all work ! Isn't that what customers pay us for. Our skills (capturing / editing etc), not the camera we bring to the party? :-)
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Old March 13th, 2015, 01:42 PM   #3
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Re: Filming on smartphones

I've often wanted to shoot a wedding on a phone, so: (a) you can show off your skills and demonstrate to potential clients that, as James says, it's not the camera that matters, but the person behind it; (b) you can generate a bit of marketing buzz, though now that it's been done a few times, maybe it's not going to get all that many extra hits.

Never organised myself enough to do it, though; always buried under editing. Maybe next year...

Untitled Films was one of the first to film a wedding on a phone, and Abraham Joffe is really smart about generating hype -- possibly first wedding shot on 3D when Panasonic's AG-3DA1 came out; possibly first wedding shot on 4K; viral novelty clips like "bridesmaid gets eaten by elephant".

Logistics of shooting a wedding on an iPhone:

-- You might have to offer it as a freebie, for a time period when you know it's unlikely you'd have a job. You'd need a pretty laidback bride to not look askance at the idea otherwise.
-- Phones are rentable. I think I'd rather rent a couple of phones with lots of free space than reset my personal phone and restore it from backup later.
-- Which phone? I don't know about shooting in 4K, for storage reasons, but a phone with crazy slow motion capture would be nice for one or two shots...
-- There's so many more devices targeted at mobile filmmaking now that if you're willing to spend the money you can easily find solutions for anything -- gimbals, mounts, even adapters that allow you to stick Canon EF lenses on them! But seeing that the basic problem is simply how to hold it upright, perpendicular to the top of your monopod/tripod/slider, two crass solutions are this: (1) buy one of those holders that have a grip for the phone at one end and a suction mount for a car window at the other; then add gaffer tape; (2) easier still, and even more absurd, mount a phone to the hot shoe of your camera (there's products for this), and then just do everything as you normally would all day, but simply using the phone instead of the camera.
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Old March 13th, 2015, 02:58 PM   #4
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Re: Filming on smartphones

Click aren't exactly popular within the BBC camera fraternity. They consider the programme the visible evidence of why you need proper cameras and crew. Focus, framing, and zoom all lacking - horrendous workflow, extended editing time - apparently it's a nightmare to collect and edit the stuff on the pads, tablets and surfaces, so they have to transfer everything and it takes longer, as most phones don't make this kind of thing easy.
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Old March 13th, 2015, 03:29 PM   #5
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Re: Filming on smartphones

At NAB last year one of the streaming vendors had an exhibit where instead of renting a switcher and 5 cameras, you'd get a switcher and one lockdown cam and then have everyone with phones install an app where their camera would link to the switcher. You could walk up, install the app, and then the guy at the switcher could choose your camera. Was never less than 20 nerdy broadcast guys squeezed in around this RC car track providing 20 camera coverage.

I understand the gee-whiz factor of shooting a wedding on a phone, but to me, the more real-world approach would be getting 20 camera coverage of the first dance, the cake cutting, the toast, whatever. This, from the 20 people who would have their phone out getting in your shot anyhow.
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Old March 13th, 2015, 05:23 PM   #6
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Re: Filming on smartphones

When there is good light, I've used mine like a GoPro. Nothing critical, just a 'take a chance' kind of camera angle. For example, a B&G first look that I really wanted a certain angle (from behind the bride), but anything bigger would have stuck out, so I did a little GorillaPod style mount to a railing.

Add in Dropbox as an easy way to transfer the file and it was a simple workflow
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Old May 13th, 2015, 04:32 AM   #7
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Re: Filming on smartphones

This is a year old so I am not sure how I missed it but here is an ad for Bentley shot on iPhone & edited on iPad (inside the Bentley).

This New Ad for Bentley Was Shot on the iPhone 5S & Edited on an iPad Air Right Inside the Car
Behind the scenes of Bentley's iPhone-filmed, iPad Air-edited ad

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Old May 13th, 2015, 08:49 AM   #8
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Re: Filming on smartphones

Here's a little video I did ages ago on my Sony Xperia Z smartphone. Shot and edited on the phone in less than an hour.
The video has no meaning and no ending, just a sample.

password is major
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Old December 19th, 2015, 12:37 PM   #9
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Re: Filming on smartphones

I've been doing a fair bit on an iPhone 5S recently, sometimes just with the basic phone and other times pimped up on a rig.
I find the stabilisation quite effective as I like to move the 'camera' a bit to make up for the limited lens options.
The videos are all private as that is what is requested, and only my anorak stuff is publicly accessible.

Here's the reject version :-) of the latest, a Christmas Special. The version which was chosen has different music:


Password: December (this will expire eventually)

It was edited using iMovie on the iPhone 5S. Unfortunately I couldn't really cut it to the music properly as the tracks were only chosen after most of the editing decisions had been made.
Other gear used for some shots included a PAGlight C6 with 10W and 30W halogens and a Sennheiser G2 wireless kit connected via an iRig Pre. Very little audio was used in the end.

Last edited by Colin McDonald; December 19th, 2015 at 01:36 PM.
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Old January 14th, 2016, 04:50 PM   #10
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Re: Filming on smartphones

Sorry, the video disappeared for a while there. Fixed now, same P/W.
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Old January 14th, 2016, 08:14 PM   #11
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Re: Filming on smartphones

It's actually getting quite scary for us now ... "Why would I need a wedding videographer ..I have an iPhone 6S" Technology is advancing so rapidly the average person will soon have cameras intelligent enough to correct framing and basic operator faults so where does that leave us when the bride has gear that produces a better image than ours???

I bought my Sony EA-50's in 2013 and they set me back $4000 each and I figured I had an awesome setup. Come 2015 and I had changed to Panasonic FZ1000 bridge cameras ...a quarter of the size and a quarter of the price and 4 times better image quality ... mounted on an XLR adapter I get 4K footage now that puts my old cameras to shame so imagine what we are likely to see in a few years time ??
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Old January 14th, 2016, 08:31 PM   #12
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Re: Filming on smartphones

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
It's actually getting quite scary for us now ... "Why would I need a wedding videographer ..I have an iPhone 6S" Technology is advancing so rapidly the average person will soon have cameras intelligent enough to correct framing and basic operator faults so where does that leave us when the bride has gear that produces a better image than ours???
It sounds crazy, but it really will become something to think about in the next 10 years. The low is rapidly squishing into the high end, with the laws of diminishing returns. The next couple of generations of phones will absolutely be able to capture some great stuff.

Heck, Movi is putting out a live streaming service done through phones that can make "intelligent editing decisions" based on certain criteria, completely live and on the fly.

Being hired for style and creativity will become more of a thing than professional gear. As it should be.
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Old January 15th, 2016, 03:41 AM   #13
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Re: Filming on smartphones

When iPhones have progressed to the point where it can hold back people's innate stupidity, then you should worry. Ideas for further developments:

An alarm for when shooting on the phone veritcally - "warning, you are shooting a video that will look crap on your horizontal TV",
warnings to combat poor audio "have you considered placing a mic on the groom",
warnings to combat excessive movement "whilst this phone has been fitted with an internal stabiliser, it doesn't perform miracles, please walk more gingerly",
warnings to combat poor framing "are you planning to include the Groom's head in shot or do you feel his involvement is superfluous",
warnings about missing key moments "you do realise the cake cutting is about to start, do you wish to film it or finish your drink"

No matter how good an iphone is, it will never replicate my 12-14 hour day, from Bridal Preps to late night dancing where most guests are too pissed to hold a camera let alone use one, negotiating with the Vicar and Photographer for key spots to film, multiple audio capture, being on constant alert for moments to capture and of course 20-30 hours editing various videos from Trailers, to Highlights to longform to shortform.

Iphones maybe getting smarter, but they'd have to be on the level of Stephen Hawking to combat some guests stupidity when it comes to filming with them.
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Old January 15th, 2016, 04:41 AM   #14
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Re: Filming on smartphones

Quote:
No matter how good an iphone is, it will never replicate my 12-14 hour day, from Bridal Preps to late night dancing where most guests are too pissed to hold a camera let alone use one, negotiating with the Vicar and Photographer for key spots to film, multiple audio capture, being on constant alert for moments to capture and of course 20-30 hours editing various videos from Trailers, to Highlights to longform to shortform.
Spot on...Give me a soft looking moire and aliasing filled canon t2i and I will still produce a weddingvideo that will put anything a guest shot with his Iphone6 to shame. I never understood why videographers fear 4K Iphones from guests, they will never ever be able to do what I do at a wedding and come close to providing the same experience. If you give me that Iphone otoh, that's another story :)
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Old January 15th, 2016, 04:41 AM   #15
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Re: Filming on smartphones

Now that is a sensible post Steve!

I doubt whether we will see a pocket sized phone in our working life that can do all that ...imagine walking into bridal prep and when the bride asks where you camera is you can say "In my top pocket" and then at the ceremony you clip a pin head sized lav onto everyone and start recording.

Besides, it wouldn't be fun any more... I don't want my phone to tell me when to shoot the cake cutting!

It was hard enough to migrate from shoulder mount cameras to mirrorless ones!!
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