With the right technology, your iPhone camera can make movies like any other camera. This is how to make movies on iPhone!
We have come a long way since the birth of the iPhone, when the iPhone’s 5MP camera was almost unusable. The latest iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max are equipped with a powerful camera system and three independent lenses for easy 4K recording. The portability of the iPhone means that it can be used in a variety of situations, allowing you to record anything anytime, anywhere.
Making movies on the iPhone is very easy-if you plan properly. Today we will introduce this in detail so that you can make the most of your iPhone.
The excellent experience of the iPhone means that you can record almost any type of movie on it. However, if you plan to record and edit on the iPhone at the same time, we recommend limiting it to short movies, because editing on a small device can be tricky. One solution is to record all the clips on the iPhone and then edit them on the computer, but we will discuss it later.
We divide it into three stages to make planning, shooting and editing easier for you. Each part has some details and tips to help you make better movies on iPhone.
The first step into any movie is to plan. You need to plan the basic knowledge of the entire movie, including different scenes, characters, etc.
For any movie, one of the most important factors is the type of equipment used. There is no need to have the most expensive equipment to make great movies. However, some upgrades to the default values may have a significant impact.
The most obvious difference lies in the sound category. Depending on the type of movie you plan to shoot, it may be worthwhile to buy an external microphone. If you plan to shoot a movie with audible dialogue (for example, an interview), then investing in a lavalier microphone can be very beneficial. On the other hand, a simple external microphone (such as Rode VideoMic Go) can be used to record video blogs.
If you don't want to buy an external microphone, you can record audio separately on another device close to the speaker. For example, if you are recording a documentary, use the voice memo app on another iPhone and place it near the speakers. This will record a separate, clearer audio track for you to use later. You can also choose to record voice-overs for other clips, which will produce more refined audio in the final video.
Another important aspect to consider is lighting. Because cell phone lenses (such as those on iPhones) have tiny sensors, they do not perform well in low light. Therefore, the most important thing is that the entire scene is well lit. Try to shoot in a well-lit area, but make sure you never shoot against the light.
Related: The best ring lights for selfies and videos
Always shoot away from light, or try to use a reflector to reduce contrast. If it fits your budget, you can choose to use a ring light or a light box, otherwise, a table lamp can illuminate the subject well.
You may not realize this, but most handheld videos are so unstable that they cannot be watched. You don't want this to happen when making a movie. You need to make sure that the hands of the person shooting the video are very stable, or just use a tripod.
They are very cheap these days, but make sure you find a product that is stable and can easily support the weight of your phone. If you want to shoot moving scenes, please consider buying a stabilizer, which will make the picture look very smooth.
After preparing all the equipment and scenes, you can start shooting. Before shooting a scene, you should check and make sure of a few things. Before you start shooting, make sure that your iPhone is in airplane mode, as this can help you avoid unnecessary interference, such as random calls or notifications.
Before shooting a movie, the first step you should take is to check your settings. If you are shooting for the first time, this may not matter to you, but for professional film production, you should shoot at a specific resolution and frame rate, depending on the type of material you are recording.
For example, you should shoot movie footage at 24fps, and action footage should shoot at the highest frame rate available. If needed, this allows you to slow down the camera while editing. You can adjust these settings from "Settings"> "Camera"> "Video Format" on your iPhone.
You will be surprised how many times a filmmaker has filmed the entire scene, only to find that the sound configuration is messed up during editing. If you are using an external microphone, make sure it is connected correctly and your voice is being recorded. You can do this by shooting a short video and checking the sound.
Depending on where you filmed the movie, you may want to lock the iPhone's exposure to a fixed setting. This will prevent the camera from adjusting the lighting according to the surrounding environment. At first glance, this sounds like a bad thing-but iPhone cameras often misjudge the exposure in the contrast setting, resulting in overexposed or underexposed scenes.
To lock the exposure, tap and hold an important part of the image until AE/AF LOCK appears. Then adjust the slider on the right side of the box up or down as needed to make the image brighter or darker.
Another important aspect that is often overlooked during shooting is the frame position. Make sure that there is enough space on both sides of the subject (except for close-ups), and that nothing in the frame is missed. It is also helpful to follow the rule of thirds during the framing process.
Be sure to use the zoom setting appropriate for the scene. You can try the standard 1x zoom, telephoto 2x zoom, or wide-angle 0.5x zoom, all of which provide a very different perspective and can be used in different ways.
It is my personal preference to add a 3 second interval before and after the actual recording. This can sometimes be helpful during editing, especially when you want to add transition effects later.
Related: How to record and edit slow motion video on iPhone
Depending on the type of material you want to record, you can also try different shooting modes. Slow motion shots (shooting with the Slo-Mo function) can emphasize the scene, while Timelapse shots can add beautiful scenery (such as sunsets or cars on the road). It boils down to the type of material you want to record.
After finishing all the shooting, you can edit the material to compile it into a movie. Before you start editing, it's always a good idea to organize all the clips together (and delete any unwanted ones) in the Photos app. This reduces the confusion of different clips in the future.
If you want to edit movies directly on iPhone, we recommend that you use Apple's own iMovie application. Download it from the App Store, create a new project with your movie name, and import all your clips. You can now arrange all the clips and edit them as needed.
Related: How to edit videos like a professional
I personally prefer to edit my movies on a Mac because the larger screen and the additional functions of the keyboard and trackpad make editing easier. You can choose to use iMovie (if you have a Mac) or Lightwork (on Windows)-both are free.
If you want to spend money, there are many other professional video editing applications, the best of which is considered Adobe Premiere Pro. Keep in mind that most of them have a steep learning curve.
After completing the final product, export it with the highest quality and share it with the world! If this is your first time making a movie on your iPhone, don’t worry too much if the result is not as expected. Everything has a first time.
Planning, shooting and editing movies on the iPhone is indeed a feat-it can also lead the way of professional video editing in the future.
You are an aspiring filmmaker, but don’t know where to start your first movie? We will introduce you to all the basics.
Shujaa Imran is a stubborn Apple user who likes to help others solve macOS and iOS related problems. In addition, he is also a student pilot, eager to become a commercial pilot one day.
Join our newsletter to get technical tips, reviews, free e-books and exclusive offers!