Beginner Smartphone Movie Tips

Plenty of people do beginner smartphone movie how-to’s, but they often miss the most basic steps a newbie movie maker might need. As films shot on smartphones are a huge part of social media for personal stories and rescues, let us help you with that right now!

As part of Thankful Thursday with Brian and his family we are sharing knowledge we are thankful for. Knowledge we have learned and that we hope will encourage everyone who loves their pets to make a movie. It took us a while to teach ourselves and you can do it too. 

Remember, your movie will  mostly be for your own pleasure when you start, or to share with friends. The pressure is off, you might want to remember a lovely cat or dog when they have crossed the Bridge, or show off your new kitten ad make people laugh. You are not looking for perfection, just the confidence to make loving memories. Ready to take a breath and take those very first steps?

Learning Takes Time

The first and most important thing for your smartphone filmmaking kit is patience. Research has shown that you can learn anything at any age and it takes the same amount of time.

Kid’s aren’t tech wizards. They just apply themselves and work and work at it until they can use the technology. You can do that. Turn your smartphone on, find the movie making app – and go for it.

Get comfortable holding your smartphone.

There should be a printed or downloadable manual, or an online video about holding your phone (its ‘orientation’). Theres a little orientation movie here. If you need a couple of examples, we shot shot our Duckling movie by holding our phone upright (portrait mode), and then turned it horizontally (landscape mode) in this fun Tabcat movie! 

Beginner Smartphone Users Will Wobble

Everyone wobbles, so don’t sweat the small stuff! It happens. TIP Brace yourself against a wall, a doorway, the back of a chair.  A little movement isn’t so bad. Don’t give up.

Make Sure You have Some Light

Smartphones are called smart for a reason BUT they do need some help to do a good job. Try to practice outside in natural light. If it’s an indoor pet movie, try working inside near a window. Make sure your subject is relaxed too!

Cat graphic for Change a Pet's Life day
Make sure your subject is relaxed!

Practice People Practice!!!

No one learns to drive in five minutes, and no-one becomes a good movie maker fast either. Sit down with your smartphone (any type, any price bracket) and play. Take a video of your knee, learn to zoom in on a cat’s whiskers, point your smartphone outside, inside, upside down. Practice = confidence, even for a nervous newbie.

New to #Smartphone #movie making? Check our #powertipsClick To Tweet

OK fearless explorers. Take a breath before you go rushing off! Remember, none of us are Peter Jackson filming Lord of the Rings, but we can appreciate the gift of amazing technology to make our own wonderful pet movies.  We may be using what seems like ‘rocket science’ but confidence will inspire us all to face a fear and fly that rocket to the moon and back.

If you really want to take the next step into the movie making arena, subscribe to our monthly email list and grab your FREE copy of our ‘Make Your Pet an Internet Movie Star’.

See you next time
Silver Kitten
Beginner Smartphone Editor

Thankful Thursday

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  1. Avatar for Dash Kitten


    October 20, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Great tips and very well said about taking a breath and having a go…. after all if it doesn’t work the first one, or even ten times, who’s going to know? Nobody and it’s all good fun, who knows folks may even have a giggle ….
    Toodle pip and purrs


  2. Avatar for Dash Kitten


    October 20, 2017 at 11:35 am

    I will bookmark this for if I ever get a smart phone, mine doesn’t even have a camera.


  3. Avatar for Dash Kitten


    October 20, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    I gotta say, doing the videos are fun, if I could just get the Dad to stand still long enough! Thanks for joining the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!


  4. Avatar for Dash Kitten

    Lola The Rescued Cat

    October 21, 2017 at 4:54 am

    Our mom’s smartphone movie skills could use some improvement, that’s for sure! She’s so NOT techy!


  5. Avatar for Dash Kitten

    The Swiss Cats

    October 21, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Great tips ! Purrs


  6. Avatar for Dash Kitten


    October 21, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    I have a gorillapod tripod but I need to get a phone mount for it. I mostly just use it for the gopro. Although I really need a new phone first!


  7. Avatar for Dash Kitten

    Jana Rade

    October 21, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    I use my phone for photos or movies all the time. Since I always have it with me anyway it makes perfect sense to use it rather than having to carry a camera around as well.


  8. Avatar for Dash Kitten


    October 21, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Great tips! Using natural light is a key for me! I like to take photos in early morning and early evening. The softer light is great and I don’t have to worry about harsh shadows! Love your encouraging and supportive tone!


  9. Avatar for Dash Kitten


    October 21, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    I don’t have a smartphone. The longer and longer I blog, the more I realize how much I’m missing out on because I don’t. But the expense doesn’t seem justified just for my blog! I love these posts about movie-making tips – I save them all!


  10. Avatar for Dash Kitten

    Karen Harrison (@KarenHarrisonKC)

    October 22, 2017 at 9:34 am

    For some reason, I forget a lot of the time to turn my phone to landscape. It comes to mind as I’m watching the video I filmed 🙁 Just got a new phone, and it has stabilization functionality and does better with low light, both of which help a LOT. Thanks for these tips. I’m working to integrate more video and any tips to improve are greatly appreciated!


    • Avatar for Dash Kitten

      Dash Kitten

      October 22, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      We did too. Horizontal does not seen natural!!


  11. Avatar for Dash Kitten

    Pets Naturally (@dogtrainer4ever)

    October 22, 2017 at 10:32 am

    These are really great tips. I use a tiny phone tripod to hold my phone, helps me keep my phone a bit steadier and I don’t accidentally turn it off or put my finger in front of the lens


  12. Avatar for Dash Kitten

    Ruth Epstein

    October 22, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Confession here and that is I don’t have a smart phone but use my little camera for videos and at the moment looking into getting a new camera 🙂 But those tips for those that have the phone are amazing


    • Avatar for Dash Kitten

      Dash Kitten

      October 22, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      The same applies for a little video/camera as a smart phone. Slow and steady, find your feet.


  13. Avatar for Dash Kitten


    October 22, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Thanks for the great tips!
    Have a super Saturday…

    Noodle and crew


  14. Avatar for Dash Kitten

    Kamira Gayle

    October 22, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Thanks for these tips. I definitely need this. I’m making it a goal to incorporate more video posts in my blog so I value all your tips.


  15. Avatar for Dash Kitten

    Debra Bailey

    October 23, 2017 at 1:51 am

    I love your movie making tips! As someone who just made their first movie, I find them super helpful. Also, the tip about leaning on something is great. I often squat and put my elbow on my knee for a bit of extra stabilization


  16. Avatar for Dash Kitten


    October 23, 2017 at 3:44 am

    Great tips for any beginning videographer. I’m working more on that part of things myself, and these will be quite useful. I’ve still got a lot of practice before I’m proficient!


  17. Avatar for Dash Kitten

    Irene McHugh

    October 23, 2017 at 11:14 am

    I truly appreciate your growth mindset. So many activities require practice, practice, practice, and people forget that. I love how you remind and encourage people to just give it a go.


  18. Avatar for Dash Kitten


    October 23, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Thanks for sharing these basic nuggets, it is the type of stuff I need. I am going to start trying to take some video footage of my pets this week!


  19. Avatar for Dash Kitten

    Sweet Purrfections

    October 23, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Everyone forgets about hints and tips for beginners! It took me a couple of years before I realized I had to turn the phone horizontally.


  20. Avatar for Dash Kitten

    Beagles and Bargains

    October 24, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Wonderful tips! I think horizontal is the big one since MOST people naturally hold their phone vertically. Though if you want to do live streams on social media sometimes vertical is better. It’s all about knowing where people will view your video for the most part.


  21. Avatar for Dash Kitten


    October 25, 2017 at 1:34 am

    Pawesome tips Dash Kitten Crew, we found the P.A. a small tripod fur her phone and a remote so she can set up the camera and start videoing at the touch of a button but mew know half the time she furgets these wunderpurr tools we got her and still takes wobbly shaky videos …. PFFFTTTTTT!!!!

    Big hugs

    Basil and co xox


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