This article will aim to provide accurate tips for upcoming artists who want to know how to shoot a freestyle music video with a phone.
Phones have been designed and built to run so many tasks. They are structured with several features, aside from making and receiving calls.
You can use your phone to listen to, as well as watch videos with an mp3 or video player.
But the feature we are going to focus on in this article is the digital camera which allows us to create video clips or footage.
Scores of modern phones have inbuilt digital cameras and camcorders that are capable of shooting high-quality videos and photos.
As a matter of fact, one does not have to go through any training to become an expert in shooting great videos with a smartphone.
All you need is the basic tips that will help you to avoid certain mistakes, made by so many; who attempt to use their phones to shoot music videos.
So without much ado, let’s jump into the core of this article.
This article will place focus on the use of android smartphones, irrespective of their choice of device.
But then, some of the tips might be helpful across several other mobile phone types.
The quality of your smartphone.
The quality of your smartphone is really going to have a great impact on the video quality you will be able to capture when shooting.
However, I will not specify any phone product here, but rather; would like you to run a test shoot on your phone to discover if it will be able to give you quality footage.
And if it is not, you can borrow a good phone from anyone close to you to enable you to achieve your aim and target; which is to shoot a freestyle music video with a phone.
The price you bought your phone is also a great way to confirm if it will help you shoot quality video footage.
Phones from 50k upwards can be a very perfect catch.
You can also go to your phone’s settings to see its highest video resolution. If it offers something in the range of HD 1080p, it’s going to be the most adequate for the job.
How to shoot freestyle music videos with a phone.
In this article, I am going to show you at least 6 tips to shoot freestyle video with a phone, and they are:
- The concept.
- Lighting condition.
- Tracking your audio.
- Steady shots.
- Shot angles.
Now let’s get down to explain the points one after the other.
Shooting is the core stage of making your freestyle music video; because since you are going to do a one-take video shoot, there is no need to worry about changing costumes and switching locations.
All you need to worry about is achieving a good video quality, which we have just taught and learned.
But aside from that, another important thing you need to avoid is making your freestyle music video too boring.
A one-take video shoot is supposed to be boring, because, we will be watching the artiste on a one-angle shot, with one costume in one location.
For that reason, you need to incorporate a concept into your freestyle music video to make it more interesting.
Rema has been fond of making his freestyle videos inside a vehicle. At times, the vehicle is parked in one location; and at other times, he will just be driving around while freestyling.
He also likes to wear masks and singlets in his freestyle videos.
Another concept Rema also likes to use in his freestyle music videos is doing the freestyle in a recording studio.
And many artists have adopted the latter concept.
So, therefore, if you want to shoot a freestyle music video that is not boring, think of a concept you are going to use all the time.
It is not bad to follow the popular trend, that is freestyling inside a vehicle or in a recording studio.
But creating your own concept will give you uniqueness and make it easy for you to stand out.
If you shoot your freestyle music video holding your phone vertically, as you see in the picture above; it will introduce dreaded black bars on both sides of your clip.
Unless you are going to add a background during the video editing process.
But the recommended orientation for shooting a freestyle music video is flipping your phone and shooting in a landscape mode, as you see in the picture above.
This is going to make your video fill the screen, as well as add enough life to it.
3. Lighting condition.
Even high-quality video cameras are unable to perform well under standard room lighting.
If you try to use them, they are going to introduce what we call “noise” in videography.
And for that reason, the majority of smartphones are likely not going to perform well in standard room lighting.
So never try to shoot your freestyle music video inside a dark room that has only the main lights on.
If you are going to shoot inside a room, make sure it is very bright through lighting.
Another trick is to shoot near large windows, but avoid standing against the window where the sun is shining in.
But my best advice is to shoot your freestyle music video outdoor.
But in case you want to use a recording studio for shooting, make sure the lighting source is bright.
But opting for a professional video light is the best choice of all. If however the room is well lit with quality electric bulbs, it is going to work just fine.
But my advice is for you to run a test filming to see the room lighting condition during playback.
4. Tracking your audio.
If your video quality looks great and your audio is horrible, there is no way your freestyle music video will ever pass for a professional.
And for that reason, you must figure out how to track the best quality audio for your freestyle music video.
If you are going to overlay the audio during editing, then you do not have to worry about tracking quality audio.
But if you are going to use the background sound, then there are a few things you must do to achieve high-quality audio sound.
And they are:
- The first thing you have to do is to consider the sound source and the distance you are going to play the audio from. If you have an mp3 player, you can keep it very close to make the phone capture the sound accurately.
- Secondly, you need to consider the location you are shooting your freestyle music video. Places you should avoid are tunnels and echoing rooms when you are shooting indoors. But if you are shooting outdoors, the wind is the only thing that is going to kill your sound quality. So find a way to shoot where there is not much wind disturbance.
As a rule of thumb, always playback after every recording to ensure the audio quality is ok.
5. Steady shots.
The human hands are likely going to shake when holding a phone. And this is because of the phone’s lightweight.
And the worst video no one wants to watch is a shaky video where the eyes will be struggling to keep focus.
There are however simple techniques to adopt in this case and they are:
- Always hold the phone with both hands and support your elbows with your body, preferably resting it upon your waist. This technique is going to provide the necessary support for your arms.
- Invest in a cheap phone tripod that will help you place the phone to achieve steady shots. If you don’t have a tripod, find books or fabrics to give support to your phone.
- Avoid moving the phone from side to side, and any other movements that might shift your viewer’s eyes too much and too quickly.
6. Shot angles.
Your video clips are going to seem so boring if you are concentrating on one-angle shots.
Even though you are going to do a one-take shot, you can tactically switch shot angles to make your freestyle music video less boring.
Below are the basic shot angles you can try:
- A long shot that shows the subject in full view from top to bottom.
- A medium shot that shows part of the subject in more detail from about the waist up.
- A close-up shot that seems to fill the screen with parts of the subject, such as the head and face.
Remember to use these shot angles tactically, and avoid your video shaking during the recording process.