We’re in unprecedented times, so I’ve done something unprecedented — shot a video on my iPhone. Video’s a great way to stay connected, even when you’re stuck at home. So here’s how I’d set up and light a shot in my living room using natural light, some books, a toilet paper roll, and a red solo cup.

And, once you’ve watched this video, check out some of the details that are often overlooked when people are shooting DIY.
If you’re looking for budget-conscious ways to step up your marketing, let’s talk!



(video transcript)

Hey, Dave here from Oak & Rumble. I wanted to share a couple little tips and tricks for shooting video in your own home for social media, email campaigns, or whatever it may be using just an iPhone.

So the first thing is actually kind of funny, but obviously we don’t all have tripods in our homes, especially for our cellphones. So what I’ve done here is actually, I’ve grabbed a side table stool and about 20 books. And then I mounted my phone to a red solo cup! Another way you could do it is using a toilet paper roll. I did some tests with different things to see what I liked best — do what works for you.

The second thing is getting that camera to the level that it’s actually at eye level. So I’ve used books. You want to have the headroom above approximately around here. The headroom is the space between the top of the frame and the top of my head.

Make sure you’re not shooting from below, it’s not the most flattering angle! So try to get a higher level.

And it’s going to look best if your camera has the option to shoot in 4k. The resolution’s going to be reduced to 1080 when you put it on social media. But I’m shooting 4K, 24 frames per second; that’s just going to make the video look a little bit better.

Next is talent focus. So, um, that’s me. I’m just wearing a solid colour. Try to avoid stripes and patterns, crazy patterns. I’m just wearing a hooded sweater — I’m in my own home and it’s a pretty neutral colour.

The other thing you want to be worried about is where you’re looking. So I’m looking directly at the lens right now. If I’m looking at myself in the camera, I’m actually gonna make it look like I’m not making eye contact with you. And if I’m reading off some content off to the side, you’re going to even see me shifting my eyes more, and it’s going to look like I’m reading. So try to memorize your content, or make sure you’re feeling comfortable about what it is you’re communicating. It’s going to come off more genuine that way.

OK so next, are you sitting or standing? I’m sitting today because I only had about 20 books. But really do whatever you’re most comfortable with. I think sitting can definitely come off as pretty conversational, but maybe standing is where you’re the most comfortable. Just do what makes you feel great!

Once you’ve picked a position, the next thing to think about is where you’re positioning this tripod contraption. So what I’ve done is, I’ve actually placed mine in from of the bay window at the front of my house. So I’m using a bunch of different natural light.

If you have too much light from behind, it’s going to create a lot of shadows on your face. Obviously I’m not in a super ideal situation; if you look behind me, I have a window. But at least I closed the blinds. If I’d left those open, you’d see even more darkness on my face right now. So try not to have too many lights on in the background.

Always have your light fill the room and be in the foreground. Natural light can really fill a room.

As far as audio goes, you want to make sure that your camera’s pretty close to you because that’s going to pick out the best audio through your mic. So my camera’s only about a foot and a half away from me. If you look around me as well, there’s a couch in the room, blinds, things like that are going to help dampen the sound. More objects in the room are going to make the sound come off less tinny.

So that’s pretty much it for a basic intro to shooting with your cell phone. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out! And have a great day!

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