Smartphone Video Tips for Rescues

Smartphone Video Tips for Rescues

Join the Crew as we explore our three top cat video tips for bloggers and rescues or shelters. How to shoot great video is a skill you can all acquire. If we can so can then you to dive right into this inspiring tips post.

You may feel confident enough to pick up your smartphone or DSLR and even have tried editing. Now you want to use your growing skills to enhance your rescue’s adoption chances, increase a blog’s reach, or work with a sponsor. What do you create a video about?

Close to Home Top Cat Video Tips

A popular suggestion, and one that will resonate with your readers is a ‘behind the scenes’ peek into your world, or the world of your rescues. Using things you learned in our video shooting basics you can step out there and be a rescue voice.

You don’t need fancy videography equipment for beginners, or an expensive DSLR video setup, just grab your smartphone. Be fearless, get out there.

How to shoot great video? We have extra smartphone filming tips for beginners here if you need them, but our best advice is just get out there and film stuff!

Pet Lovers Smartphone Movie Tips

Marjorie says “I have been placed in two BlogPaws® Nose to Nose Finals using an iPhone to shoot movies. If I can achieve this so can you. I created those videos on my own with no extra help, so keep trying“.

  • You may be a blogger with close links to a rescue – use those links
  • or you may be a Planning Queen like our colleague Kol’s Notes tips on taking time control help lots of people.
  • Use your unique selling point to brainstorm a short video to introduce yourself and your cat(s), a brand, or your rescue family to your readers and use that selling point. Need some ideas? Give five rescue top planning tips, introduce a local volunteer, or show how to cope with finding an ‘abandoned’ kitten. Marjorie at Dash Kitten is learning how to use a DSLR camera. A short tutorial ‘How to Shoot Video with a DSLR’ would pique her interest.
  • A mini video on things like blogging time management tips, coping with a deadline, improving a single dark image, bottle feeding a kitten. Can all be important short how-to’s that make a reader’s life easier.
  • Make It Useful, Short and Sweet so your readers say ‘Oh this is brilliant, I can do this now!’

Create an Inspirational Cat Video

This can spotlight your own cat, or a rescue cat of courage, or an event that inspired you like BlogPaws® inspired us:

You can be shooting video indoors or outdoors, at home or a rescue. Just remember, have confidence. With a few video camera skills you can focus on telling an inspiring story.

We make this sound easy don’t we? Let’s say it’s easier when you have a few intentions in place to guide your progress. Try these:

  • Focus on your inspirational subject. What is it? Who is it?
  • Plan a simple story (use our US or EU/UK Printable A4 StoryBoard Blue pdf US Letter Size StoryBoard Blue pdf)
  • Shoot your movie. Remember to shoot a little more than you need so you have wiggle room and a ‘B reel’ of extra shots to insert into your story.
  • Edit your movie
  • Review your work. Are you happy? Yes or no? Do you need to walk away for a few hours then review again? Do so.
  • Remember: Your videography techniques will improve with every movie you make – keep shooting. This is the perfect small movie project. If it inspires you it will inspire others!
Harvey Self Portrait
The ‘raised eyebrow’ as demonstrated by Harvey

Inspiring Cat Video – A Story Concept

Here at the Dash Kitten Crew we love our senior cats. We have been fospice carers to Nemo, and tended Peanut who lived to be 19 years old. Our senior rescue Harvey is a cat of courage with a story perfect for a blog video.

Harvey’s story might be told as a series of achievements on the journey from his arrival as an abandoned hoarder victim suffering from nervous eczema: his rehabilitation, and his first steps out into the garden. The drama of Harvey’s ear tips removal surgery and his current status as confident senior cat raising his ‘eyebrows’ at the renal food offered at mealtimes. Finishing with his love of a warm cuddle last thing at night as the uplifting warm positive glow.

The story could be told with a combination of movie footage, digital still images and a written story. Use either a voice over or carefully composed ‘lower thirds’. [This is the text that slips in at the bottom of the screen.] With the addition of an inspirational soundtrack (AudioJungle has a range of prices, each has an official licence) your video will inspire and uplift.

NOTE: A video can also include images of a cat from a long time ago. If you have printed images, these can be scanned into a computer. If you use the ‘Ken Burns’ effect an older image still maintains the continuity your movie demands.

“The Ken Burns effect is a type of panning and zooming effect used in video production from still imagery. The name derives from extensive use of the technique by American documentarian Ken Burns.”

Pet Movie Post at Dash Kitten

A Kitty Cat How To Video for Pet Parents

A short video How To on a cat related topic.

  • An easy step-by-step for creating a raw food meal for your pet. Use static ingredients shots, cooking tips and a printable ‘how-to’ to support your video.
  • Boost your readership further by making this a real budget conscious cat meal within the means of low income families.
  • Make a simple greetings card. A condolence card is always useful, or a card with a fun meme.
  • How to plan your rescue week. Use a printable and, in one minute provide valuable tips to allow your reader to focus on achievements, and have a little bit of fun too.
  • Do a short promo for a favourite sponsor. Keep it short and sweet. If you do, it will fit ‘under the wire’ on a lot of social media channels. See our video timing tips here.

NOTE Our Movie Help section is packed with tips and advice if you need extra help. You can also purchase our ‘How to Make Your Pet an Internet Movie Star’ book here. Both help fast track your movie making confidence.

FINAL TIP: When You Are Limited for Video Creation Time

Use every weapon in your videography armoury. This includes our favourite secret weapon iMovie’s Trailer template function.

Dash Kitten’s major post on probiotics left us short on time to create a full launch movie. Our full Humarian movie has been deferred to a later promotion slot and an iMovie trailer template brought into play.

The template consists of a pre-assembled sequence of place holders for video and still shots. There is space for text inserts and an uplifting track perfectly timed for the template.


A movie is something you can plan, and incorporate into your blogging schedule when time allows, or when you have an event to spotlight. For us this includes the upcoming #RememberMeThursday with the Helen Woodward Animal Centre due September 2018. Our brief video came to the attention of the Centre and was much appreciated. It was done using an iPhone, an App called Super 8, and then edited on a computer.

Your video is not Gone with the Wind (3hrs 58mins) it is a message to your readers. Something short meaningful message you can share on all of your social media channels. Give it a try. Create a few short videos. Until you make one you are happy with, you do not need to share!

When you do, let us know! So, what kind of blog video are you going to create today?

Marjorie and the
Dash Kitten Crew
Team Dash Kitten Graphic






  1. I’m dying to do a video on agility. None of my creatures will willingly participate properly (in public) and it is hard to get a good set of footage. I’m getting bits and pieces at a lot of shows. Eventually, hopefully, I’ll get enough to do something with it.

  2. Making more videos (effective) is one of our goals this year. We’ve done simple videos, but we’re ready to tackle something a little more involved. We couldn’t find the Super 8 app on our iPhone. Is it under another name?

  3. Wow, this was super informative. I really know so little about video, but it’s something I would love to learn. Thank you for sharing your expertise and giving me lots of food for thought!

  4. Many great tips here. I am still struggling with photographing The Tribe of Five. They have the uncanny ability to sit still in a perfect position and move, just when I’m ready to take the shot. Perhaps I need to take a class on how to be stealthier! These video tips were very helpful and encouraged me to do more videos. Thanks!

  5. I use a camera for all and still trying to understand everything, like I can put a water mark through my camera onto all pics and video and have tried like 10 times and still cannot do it LOL. I would love to be able to do better pics and movies like you, maybe by the end of the year I might have managed something – I need to learn more from you

  6. I love seeing how far you have come with video. It’s truly inspiring and your videos are always so professionally done. Love Harvey’s video endorsement of Humarian!

    When I take video I kind of just do it on the spot – I need to take your advice and do a storyboard or at least have some kind of plan.

  7. I have raw video that I’m REALLY excited about sharing … but having never edited a video before – the task feels gargantuan. I don’t have a smart phone either – so I don’t have access to many of the apps available to everyone else.

  8. Problem with these smart phone thingies is, the phones are smarter than my peep!


    But seriously, my friends, you’ve given everyone some REALLY GREAT pointers here on makin’ videos. Excellent points, for sure. PURRS.

  9. I am planning on starting with videos in the future but it always seems so overwhelming. You make it sound doable and easy 🙂 I’ll really have to just get out there and film stuff 😀

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