Many smartphone users would love to make a short film but worry. Not about starting, but about what to do next.
Once they have a selection of clips on their ‘phone. Filming with a phone is one thing but, then what?
I created this sample movie to show you that an idea does not need to be elaborate or long to tell a fun story.
Your smartphone can record clips and you can edit a basic story with a phone editing app, or (recommended for beginners) by downloading clips to your computer or tablet.
With the still image of the software you can see how a few simple shots can tell a story. Software on every device looks a bit different but let’s see what they do that is similar.
NOTE I am keeping the smartphone tips general. The tips apply across every device.
Introducing the iMovie Program
Users with Android or Windows mobile devices will be thinking I don’t have this software or device. I use Android or Windows, help!
Windows/Mac programs may look different, but they do the same things. What you see allows you to look for and focus on the specific tools you need to find as a beginner.
Your program will have:
- An window options to edit your clips;
- a timeline to work in;
- options like text, filters.
Every device from the most simple to the high end editing suite has these same element to start with. Use the internet to search and find them if your program ‘Help’ page doesn’t give you enough detail.
TIP: Lots of popular movie programs have YouTube video tutorials that can be a big help in guiding new users to their goals.
Why Use a Computer?
I recommend using a computer for beginners rather that edit on a smartphone. This might sound crazy, but there are reasons so stay with me.
It’s much easier to see everything on a computer. Computer screens are a lot larger, and the range of features for you to use is wider too. Downloading is not complicated so you can get editing fast and have fun.
The screenshot shows you what a Mac user sees when they open the iMovie program. All apps and programs will have a similar set up so don’t get stresse
- Look for the options in your own program/app when you have time.
What An Editing Program Looks Like
Let’s see what iMovie looks like from the inside. This is the kind of set up you will look for on your own app or program. It’s not complicated, maybe unfamiliar!
- Your Media options. This includes your video clips (My Media), Audio, Titles (for text on the screen). Backgrounds, and Transitions.
- Your editing screen. This is where you adjust and edit individual clips.
- A Timeline. This is where you drag clips then add transitions, music, and text.
- The Audio soundtrack. You can adjust the music and sound effects volume by dragging the middle horizontal line up and down. (See the sound waves?) The music title is on the left, and on the right a triangle that indicates an early fade out of the music.
- A Titles (words) option. The text that appears on the screen is small blue blocks in this picture. These can be edited by clicking on the individual markers and typing on the the editing screen (2).
If you are using an Android smartphone. Here is where your camera should be.
Anatomy Of A Short Film
If you watch the movie you see the story unfolding in motion as a finished sequence.
The photograph shows the movie as a moment of frozen time. All the shots used are lined up as Sparkle’s story occurs. The picture shows the movie as a work in progress.
- There is a story. It’s lightweight but keep the movie focused.
Sparkle the tortie had not used the recently installed cat cafe walkway. She was leaving the cafe to go to her forever in a short while and her dad wanted her to enjoy the walkway.
The movie documents her hesitation, and then her success is crossing the walkway.
The final movie contains:
- A brief introduction
- Setting the scene
- Sydney showing off
- Sparkle achieves success
Four shots of varying length tell a fun cat story. I have added some relaxed music for those who do have the sound turned on and also credited the composer at the end.
There are only four shots here. Can you make a short movie like this? Do it and link to us in the comments! We will show you off in another post!
Happy Smartphone Movie Making
Marjorie and the Crew