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How to Shoot Video of Your Next Trip Using Your Phone

James Bacarro, Full-stack Marketer, Dubai

25 December 2017

In October 2017, my wife and I went for a trip to Thailand.

— Except for the snorkeling scenes, this video was shot entirely using my wife’s phone.

If you are planning to create a similar video on your next trip to make it more memorable, here is a quick guide of what we did to pull this off:

#1 Use a phone with a good camera

For this project, we used my wife’s iphone 7+  (my phone’s nearly half a decade old – not so much of an option). Any recently released smartphones should work just fine.

We mostly shot at 1080p (1920 x 1080 px) resolution. 4K was available as an option but figured that it’s probably too much for the trip – files will be bigger and it will be heavier for the PC to process and edit.

#2 Filmic Pro App

I’ve done some research prior to our trip and discovered the wonders of this app. This is a premium (paid) app but definitely worth it. You get more manual control. Image result for filmic pro

#3 Game changer: Use a gimbal system

Using a DSLR camera would have been a great way of making videos, however, I’m no longer a fan of carrying a DSLR on trips as they are too bulky and heavy.

So, we decided to try out the DJI Osmo Mobile.

You simply mount your phone, turn the device ON, and you’re good to go. Now you will get super-steady shots.

Before you start shooting, I would suggest practicing first the “Ninja Walk”.

This device made a huge difference. See how steady the shots were and how professional the movements looked? We would not have achieved that with the camera just hand-held.

Oh wait, I just remembered. There were some shots of me without the gimbal – just my wife’s super-steady hands.

DJI also has their own mobile app which we also used on a few shots but as per experience and side-by-side comparisons on youtube, you will definitely get better shots with the Filmic Pro app.

The built-in camera app is to be avoided as well because this app has an internal stabilizer which can’t be disabled and this gets in conflict with the DJI’s stabilizer.

Extra value

As you see, having a beautiful wife adds a lot of value to the video 😀 The locations add value. The music, the pacing and cuts, the camera angles and movements, the color grading during video editing – all of these add value.

Add to that the time spent learning and watching tutorials on how to use Filmic Pro and the gimbal device properly.

If you combine all of these, you get a video that’s very engaging.

And you get all the likes, shares and comments you’ve been dreaming of..

Your whole life.

Yayks!

But it’s not about the “likes”, right?  It’s about the process, the quest if you may.

The journey of making great art.

and in your own simple way..

Make the world a better place.

 

For the video editing, I used Adobe Premiere Pro. Surely, you can use any video editing software to your liking and achieve similar video output.

Lessons Learned

We purchased the LOG Profile add-on for the Filmic Pro. It’s basically a feature in which you get a flat or neutral video. The idea is to be able to have more control over the color during post (editing).

I would suggest avoiding this if you are just starting out. It turned out that it was hard to color-correct. LOG Profiles are good for DSLRs and higher-end cameras — not so much on smartphones. Also, my late-stage online research revealed that I need to overexpose the shots for this profile to be effective. I did miss some would-have-been great shots.

Lastly, don’t forget that the DJI device is not waterproof. Yes, don’t get too close to the water. At one point during our river cruise on a small boat, our gear nearly became unusable after a big fish, while being fed, slapped it’s tail so hard that it created a huge splash that got us water-soaked.

 

Well, that’s it I guess. Got questions? You can write them below.

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