How to Make a Movie on Your Smartphone

Making a film used to be a massive arduous task. You would need loads of expensive kit and expensive crew to make anything remotely worth watching. Now anyone can be a filmmaker.  It is completely possible to shoot footage on your phone, edit that footage on your phone and upload the finished film straight to a video sharing site from your phone.

Many professional filmmakers are making the creative decision to shoot their films on a smartphone. The award-winning 2015 feature film ‘Tangerine’ was made on an iPhone 5s and director Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, The Handmaiden) shot his award-winning 2011 short film ‘Night Fishing’ on an iPhone 4.

This is such an exciting time to be a filmmaker! You have the tools available literally at your fingertips! Here are some things to think about when making your first film on a smartphone…

Feeling inspired to make your own film? Our course Make a Movie on Your Smartphone or DSLR will equip you with everything you need to know to get started! Here Morley tutor Sheena Holliday shares her top 5 tips to Smartphone movie making!


1. Make sure you shoot holding your phone horizontally so that you are taking a landscape shot rather than a portrait. Otherwise when you come to edit your footage some will be cut off at the top and bottom and your footage will be a square with black on either side.

2. Wipe your lens! Carrying your phone in a bag or pocket will mean that dirt and grime quickly builds up on the lens which will spoil the clarity of your shots. So always give your lens a quick wipe before you shoot anything.

3. Use a tripod of some sort. Phones are small and even the stillest hands will have camera shake which will make your film look much lower quality. Attaching your phone to some form of tripod will make moving shots so much smoother and easier for your audience to watch.

4. Framing is everything! what is in your frame, why is it there and where is it? Make firm decisions about what your audience will see. Think about shot composition and mise-en-scène. Being aware of these visual techniques will push the quality of your film up.

5. Plan, plan, plan! Make sure you know what you want to shoot and how you are going to achieve it before you get on set or location! A properly planned shot list and storyboard will let you make the most of your time out shooting, and make sure you manage to shoot everything you want to!

By Morley tutor Sheena Holliday.

Feeling inspired to make your own film? Sheena teaches Make a Movie on Your Smartphone or DSLR, the course will equip you with everything you need to know to get started!

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