Make the Perfect Pet Movie Every Time

Make the Perfect Pet Movie Every Time

If you are a proud cat parent, making the perfect pet movie might be on your wish list! Let us guide you towards making a short movie on your smartphone. It’s all easy steps, we promise.

We will suggest what you can do, and point out some of the pitfalls of mobile film making. There are tips for beginner creatives, and plenty for those new to movies! No matter what your skill level, read on. We believe everyone can make the perfect pet movie – including you.

Pet Movie Post at Dash Kitten

The Perfect Pet Movie – Your Equipment

We often suggest using your smartphone. Why? Because they are what many people will have in their hands on a regular basis. If you have a DSLR or even a cool little video camera, then go for it. We aim to get everyone making movies. Make a cat movie, a dog movie, an animal movie. The world is your creative oyster.

TOP TIP The best smartphone for filmmakers is the one you have.

Let’s get this worry out of the way fast. Don’t stress about having the latest model telephone. The smartphone you have, if it has the capacity to make simple movies, is enough.

We use an iPhone, but you may be using an Android. The Apple App store (iPhone) and Google Play (Android) have a selection of software options to help you make movies. If you know how to use your device, you are halfway way to making a movie. Use this as a chance to learn more about your versatile smartphone too!

Beginner movie tips

Setting the Pet Movie Scene

If you want to add a seasonal or festival vibe for Easter, Christmas or a Birthday, you need to be prepared and it will help you make the best pet movie you can.

Planning ahead means you will be ready to start filming when you need to. Nothing fancy, just an idea of your story.  Also know how to turn on your movie app quickly. TIP: A good way to do this is to make sure the app on your front screen. You know exactly where it is and can tap it quickly to open it.

Have a few cute props, coloured paper or fabric for background, or pick a suitable location. If you have a patient pet, be ready with an outfit for them to wear – but don’t force your pet into something that worries them. Pet distress comes over in a movie – loud and clear.

TIP Tell your story in broad stokes. You don’t want to be spending valuable blogging or family time time sweating over a one minute movie.

What you kind of movie you want to make?

  • Informal family fun with cat toys, pet treats galore, opening a pet gift.
  • A specific theme. Pets around the Crib: my pet & her Easter gifts: Cats in the snow
  • A movie expressing how much you love your cat, rat, hamster, dog…..
  • Dogs going crazy with snowflakes, Kong toys, in the water.
  • Family disasters with my pet(s).

TIP Keep it simple and use good light. You are cebrating your love for your pet not aiming to win an Oscar® for best movie.

  • This means – keep it low stress, and low key.

Pet Movie Post at Dash Kitten

Smartphone Movie Software Tips

You will find plenty of short filmmaking apps to download to make your first movie. Some are free, but the better featured apps are usually ones you pay for. Here’s some of the apps we have on our iPhone:

  • iMovie – Standard with all recent iPhones (so it maybe already on yours)
  • Musemage – Has option to incorporate blue screen! Filters. Image stabilisation. Plenty of great features. Currently free.
  • Videoshop – (Apple/Google Play/Windows) Has a wide range of features to keep a newbie happy.
  • Spark Video Apple (Note: the recent update only works with OS10) Graphics, movies & web page creation.

We are not Android experts but advise that you look for apps with 5 star reviews. Google Play will help you narrow down your choice of filmmaking apps for Android. You can also ask friends for recommendations.

One of the most informative things you can do is look at the low score reviews. People usually have one issue that really bugs them and they have complaining down to a fine art. If this is the only thing that bugs them and its not a big thing for you, move on.

On the ‘up’ side, Apple has begun to allow developers to respond. This ability means buyers will get helpful answers to frustrated feedback so you can see that issues are being noted.

Harvey the Cat Surrounded by stars
TOP TIP This may be the most important piece of advice we give in this post………..

Get to know how your smartphone movie app works

Making a short film with a smartphone with no preparation is a recipe for disaster. Movie making on your device has undergone a huge development and software now does so much more than it did even two years ago. The sophistication of your device and its apps is keeping pace with smartphones themselves. The range of options in every app means you can’t just pick one up and use it – you need to practice a little!

Look at our list of basic skills. These are all you need to make a basic movie, but the more you use an app the more confident you will become. Remember that developers realise that not everyone is a tech nerd. They prepare how-to’s on YouTube like the one below for MuseMage, or operating tips and videos on their web pages. Use these – learn the basics.

Key Skills for Your Pet Movie

  • Load film into your app
  • Edit/Trim your video
  • Adjust your volume (remember that noisy TV in the background last year?)
  • Add a little text (optional)
  • Add music (optional) and remember © Copyright. Apps may include holiday tunes for you.
Dogs in the Perfect Pet Movie
Has she finished with that smartphone yet?

A reminder. If you have people who are not big on social media make sure you share a link via email. Or when you visit family who are not online, remember to sit down and show them with their own personal movie premiere! This kind of share might bring a real touch of magic to someone’s day.

Social Media Sharing Tips

If you are a big Facebook fan, remember you can upload your movie direct to FB. Your video will be shorter than the time recommended in our quote but, the larger the file size the longer it will take to upload. The quality might also be affected.

Keep in mind that videos must be less than 45 minutes long and smaller than 1.75 GB. The longer your video is, the larger its file size will be. This may affect the quality of the video – Quora

Sharing and watching videos on Twitter is not done on such a generous scale, but might be a good fit for your movie. Twitter welcomes videos of a couple minutes in length and this might increase soon to match their increased 280 character tweet limit. Uploading a video is done via the Twitter app.

If you are a big Instagram fan you are challenged to tell your story in under a minute. This might be perfect for a one-off quickie event, a cute kitten story or sharing a positive rescue or feral report.

Increasing video length to a minute took quite a bit of effort. ……. Instagram surprised its users by increasing the 15-second limit of its videos to… 60 seconds, a full four times longer than before –

OK You Have Video!

What the heck do you do? Now you edit. We covered editing for newbies in more depth here.

You know what kind of movie you decided to make. Now you keep your focus. Your movie is a simple one. Your aim is a simple one – so stay on course. Tell your story.

Review the video you have saved. There will be good stuff and bad stuff. Don’t cringe at a wobbly shot, or groan that something ‘didn’t work’. Your story can be captured with a wobble and a squeak and people will laugh with you not at you.

The K.I.S.S. acronym is the only one you need to remember. Keep It Simple Silly.

This is why practising your movie making app is important to your success. Capturing that magical moment means you need to handle iMovie, MageMuse or whatever with some familiarity.

Bloggers Sponsored Post TOP Tips

For blogging movie makers. If you have a sponsored post it might go down perfectly wherever your social media following is strong. Just remember that sponsored posts must have an FTC disclosure statement clearly displayed. BlogPaws have a series of posts that will help. On IG this might be hashtags, on Facebook or Twitter #Ad or #sponsored are clear indicators. Whatever it is, it must be clear and unequivocal. Also on Facebook you can use the ‘handshake tool’.

The caution about FTC applies to all of your social media outlets. Leaving off a formal disclosure when you receive recompense for an item shows a lack of respect to your fellow movie makers, bloggers and anyone working in social media for a living. It also makes you look bad in the eyes of your readers.

Things to Remember

  • Be honest and recognise that your time might be limited.
  • Learn to operate your movie app. Confidence = success.
  • Keep it short and simple.
  • Keep calm and don’t stress.
  • Realise your movie may be less than perfect
  • Remember this doesn’t matter. People will love seeing your movies.

What starring roles will your fur family take in your first movie of 2018?

Happy Movie Making Everyone
The Dash Kitten Crew
Team Dash Kitten Graphic





Perfect your skills with our beginners movie making ebook.
You can find it here, and 50% of the funds raised goes to help Place For Cats.

How to Make Your Pet an Internet Movie Star ebook

  1. What GREAT advice for movie makin’! Of course, I, Seville the Cat, do not even allow for the peep to take my picture these days, let alone make a movie of me, but you know… I might just use some of your tips to make a movie of the peeps! A kitty like me can never have too much blackmail materi… I MEAN, Uh… Aw mouses, what the heck. A kitty like me can always benefit from… Uh… I need nip, okay? I need the nip. And if I can get a few extra dollars from a video catchin’ the peep doin’ somethin’ embarrassing, it’s all the better for me. MOUSES!

  2. You always have great video tips! I agree that filming with a smartphone Horizontally is so much better, I was never happy when I did videos on vertically it just doesn’t look right. I’m going horizontal from now on!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  3. I absolutely love this! I had no idea these apps existed for making movies with my phone. The videos I’ve done with my phone, I have edited on my computer and they are truly terrible compared the video tutorial here. I can’t wait to check them out and practice making movies with my big dogs. Thank you so much!

  4. Thanks for this very helpful post for us newbies to video. I kinda jumped right in and am learning as I go. Thanks for sharing this advice. It really helps. I’m pinning as well!

  5. With cat videos consistently being the most watched videos on YouTube and with video driving so many impressions on social media (and getting so much engagement to boot!), these tips will help every cat pet parent social media influencer immensely. THANK YOU for these!

  6. I need to try videos, but I have a million excuses why I don’t. Hopefully, 2018 will be the year I give it a try. If I get there, it will be because of you! Thanks for sharing not only the reasons to use video and the tools to make it work.

  7. I really need to make short movies of some of the training exercises that I do with Bernie and Lizzie. Even if I don’t publically publish these movies, it would be fun to have them for us and for family members to watch. Pictures are always appreciated by long-distance parents (proud grandpup parents), but movie footage is always a huge hit!

  8. For movies, as well as photos, we found you get wonderful results getting as close to the ground as possible. I accidentally learned when I was laying around in the grass with convalescing Jasmine.

  9. Wonderful article and we’ve been begging the female human to up her video game! Her lame excuse about not knowing what software to use has now been exploded and we had her download some of your app recommendations posthaste. I’m sure we could go a purrrrfect job of making movies but that little issue of lack of opposable thumbs is the pesky obstacle we must deal with.
    Purrs & Head Bonks,
    Tuker, Alpha of The Tribe of Five

  10. I am not even sure I have ever done a movie! 🙂 This is an avenue I definitely want to go down when I have more time – so thank you for giving me some great tips to get started! Great details!

  11. I need to check out these apps you’re suggesting! I’m going to try to do a video soon! Off to pin so I can keep coming back for more tips to remember to incorporate into my video!

  12. Such a great post. We love making videos. We make some portrait for social media and some landscape or horizontal for YouTube. I just ordered a new iPhone 8+ so very excited. Will have to check those apps.

  13. What a well written post Kiwi! I have a suggestion that some folks may not have a use for, but here goes. I shake, bad, always have, so I i always have to find ways to stabilize my elbow to get a usable video.

    Then I read about gimballs, do you know about these?

    They make them for smartphones, but they stabilize it so there is no wiggle at all, one of those is a great addition for someone like me who has a problem with shaky hands, I thought they might make a good addition to your how-to!

  14. Great tips here! We have been enjoying making movies and plan to put together a Christmas one for our blog. Like you, we have an iPhone that we use and find iMovie to be helpful. We also have a GoPro and use iMovie on our computer – so easy and fun to use!

  15. Your instructions are clear and easy to understand. I’m hoping this means even someone like ME can make a movie. I admit to having tried once and given up in frustration, but I think I’m ready to try again. It seemed so much more complicated when I was trying in the past. I think it was the unnecessarily complicated instructions I was trying to use!

  16. What an excellent post filled with great tips! I love that you addressed the legalities of using certain songs as well as making sure you disclose any sponsorship — things people often forget. Love how thorough this post is!

  17. Sounds way too complicated for me. In theory I’d like to be able to make a fun movie to jazz up a post or two but you lost me at “smartphone.” I think I’ll stick to enjoying yours!!

  18. I always enjoy your video tips and have learned quite a bit. I’m all about low stress – so thanks for that reminder! Also, really appreciate the app suggestions. We have I Movie, but also good to learn about other options (especially musmage with the blue screen). I’m going to pin, too!

  19. This is useful and thorough advice. I really need to learn how to do more video – and not shaky video. (Somehow I appear to fall down at the end). My phone doesn’t have a lot of space for too many aps so I’ve been trying with my camera. Also, I don’t know how people edit those tiny screens … I’m still a desktop person.

  20. Great tips and sounds like a really fun thing to do this Christmas, and sure beats chasing them sprouts around MOL
    Toodle pip and purrs

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