Written by Marjorie Dawson

How to Make Smartphone Movies Super Easy

How to Make Smartphone Movies Super Easy

Like this post? Please share.

This weeks post will make sure that if you love to blog or post on social media, you can have a short movie made and uploaded in no time at all, and if you don’t have time to read everything online there is even a printable at the bottom of the post.

No Edit Smartphone Movie

Making a Simple Smartphone Movie with No Edits

As a blogger or user of social media, you know the power video can have on a post you see on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. You see a cute kitten’s crazy antics, laughing as you watch and you keep watching.

These videos are not ‘perfect’ but they have a genuine and spontaneous quality. Immediacy and excitement are a key part of their success. People are intrigued and want to know more, they watch to see ‘what happens next’. These videos are usually unedited and capture a ‘moment’.

The ability to stop people in their tracks to watch your work is not hard to learn. You can create a quick and instant video then use the opportunity to spotlight:

  • the exciting ‘vibe’ of a live event.
  • A sponsored showcase for a fantastic product
  • Help a rescue by volunteering to make a movie about a special needs pet to boost chances of adoption.
  • We include two sample movies to inspire.
Pet Parade Spring

How to make a no edit movie

You need two things for your smartphone movie:

A Smartphone

Yes, you need a ‘phone with basic movie app or Instagram’s video function. You do not need a fancy ‘phone. I used an older model in my Award Finalist movie.

Not sure of your ‘phones capacity? Check by filming until you run out of space. Then see how much video you have.

A Strong Idea

As you will not be editing you need a strong idea to build on. This will give you focus.

Your goal for the movie will govern what you shoot, the rough order you shoot in and the atmosphere you capture.

One more thing. You don’t need expensive software to upload your movie. I am including a beginner’s selection of smartphone apps at the end of this post. Even basic apps are very user-friendly now so take a look.

Filmmaking Tips for a No Edit Movie

Keep a focus on your smartphone movie idea

Use your strong idea to help you stay focused on your movie’s story.

Keep shots short unless you are capturing a really exciting moment that needs more time. Short is around 3 seconds. This allows people to see what is happening then move on without getting bored.

Capture the Smartphone Video Moment

Start by setting the scene

You are telling a story quite quickly so make sure people know instantly what they are looking at, or where they are.

As soon as you arrive at a venue, or are ready to start shooting, take one shot to set the scene setting then, whatever happens, you will be ready for anything. If you are attending an event or conference scout the venue for potential opportunities and see what might add colour to your short movie.

  • Filming a pet adoptapalooza? Record the sign with the name and location at the start, especially if you are filming and uploading live.
  • Shooting a product spotlight video? Start with a shot of the sponsor’s logo or packaging. (Check the USA FTC guidelines these apply to movies too).
  • At a Conference? Ask permission before you film vendors and ask for their business card or a Twitter handle so you can share with them.

TOP TIP If you are not sure 3 seconds is long enough, try filming a sequence of four 3 second shots and play it back. You will get an idea of how ‘long’ a few seconds can be.

Social Media Video Times

What Do I do Next?

Once you have your clips, all you need to do it load them into your movie app and then to social media. You do not need to edit, but you do have the opportunity to review and delete any clips that don’t fit your story.

You can also take a moment to adjust the video volume and add some royalty free music because not everyone listens with the sound off. Always be conscious of (c) copyright and have a couple of short clips saved to your ‘phone.

Most small movies are uploaded to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. These have time limits, or ‘best lengths’ that viewers prefer. Check your channel’s limit in the infographic and work with that.

For bloggers. There are no time limits on your video. Add your clips to iMovie (Apple) or favourite Android app and upload as a single movie to YouTube and your blog. Remember that you are still aiming for that same sense of vitality and immediacy.

It’s Easy with Instagram

If you use Instagram all you do is open the app, find the video button and shoot. The only disadvantage is that you have to keep going. You can move to a different app on our phone but not close IG. You can’t do a picture post until you have finished fo focus on easy smartphone movies.

TOP TIP If you can use a public wifi connection to upload your movie this may be faster and save your own data plan.

Top Smartphone Video Apps

  • iMovie for the iPhone. This is scaled down version of the Mac software. It is simple, effective and not hard to learn. There are also video tutorials on YouTube.
  • FilmoraGo is one of the preferred Android movie apps. It is billed as the alternative to Windows Movie Maker and has a free function limited version to try out.
  • Adobe Premiere Clip for both Apple and Android Super easy to install, use and upload videos

Finally. The most important tip in this post

The best smartphone for moviemaking is the one in your hand, not the fancy one in the shop window. A little practice and planning and you are on your way to a successful, no edit, social media movie. You will be thrilled with what you can achieve.

TIP: Download the PDF of this post by clicking the ‘Download’ button.

Links and Sources

  • There is an in-depth post on (edited) social media videos for those wanting to dig deeper.
  • There is a post on relevant social media timings here.

Marjorie Dawson

Marjorie is a motorbike riding blogger and award winning cat photographer who believes that everyone can shoot and edit wonderful pictures they love regardless of the camera they use.

She is a Professional member of the Cat Writers Association, Kuykendall Image Award winner and published photographer at the Guardian newspaper.

Like this post? Please share.

20 thoughts on “How to Make Smartphone Movies Super Easy”

  1. EXCELLENT tips, Marjorie! I do use iMovie on my phone. I only wish there was a text option (at least I can never find one) to put my website on the movies, so I load it into another program to do. If you have any tips on that, thank you in advance! And I so agree, editing is for the birds! Glad to be able to do it, but it is very time consuming!

    Reply
  2. I still struggle with short, spontaneous video on my phone, still practicing. I trash so much more video than I keep! I’ve been creating some fun GIFs lately though. I’m in love with my latest one of Phoebe, she’s just so adorable. It’s currently pinned to my Twitter page.
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    Reply
  3. Thanks for sharing this information, every little bit helps! I don’t think I want to put the time into editing, so this is super helpful.

    Reply
  4. Great post – so helpful. It’s been a while since I’ve made a video and I remember how challenging it can be. Thanks for the info.

    Reply
  5. This is great! I bookmarked for future use. I’m one of those editing haters :). The time limits are certainly helpful.

    Reply
  6. Thanks for sharing this info! Very timely as we had a bugger of a time trying to upload a video on Instagram. The video was created outside of Instagram and so after 8 times trying to upload it to go to Instagram… I gave up. I’ll try a few things you mentioned!

    Reply
  7. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips, especially the time limits. People have such short attention spans theses days so it helps to know this info upfront. I’ll be sure to keep this in mind when I make my next video on my smartphone.

    Reply
  8. I think I need to invest in a smart phone one of these days as I am the old fashioned one here fighting with a camera and love your posts, a great teacher

    Reply
  9. It’s probably because of my profession but I do enjoy editing whether it’s photos or movies. I just wish I had more time for playing with the movies.

    Reply
  10. Whoa! I just saw TW’s head explode. That’s a lot of info about a subject that’s way over our heads since we don’t have a smartphone.

    Reply
  11. Thanks for sharing such wonderful information. We are always trying to up our tech skills to have more ways to make more our photos or videos much better. Have a wonderful rest of your day.

    Reply
  12. That’s way too much info before noon! I’m going to bookmark this page for when I’ve had more caffeine – don’t delete please.

    Reply
  13. Excellent advice. Now I just need a smartphone. I swear … you lead me astray, Marjorie! I’m mostly kidding … but the part I mean is in a good way 🙂 No more same old same old … you encourage me to spread my wings and try something new.

    Reply
  14. What a cool post, thanks. It really is surprising the short length of movies for each media channel. Humans attention span is getting really short. Just shows we have to work harder and smarter to get messages across.
    ERin

    Reply
  15. That was so helpful, Marjorie! I love how you broke down the time limits for video on the different social platforms. Thank you, my friend!

    Reply

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.