Wednesday 13 March 2019, Nottingham

At the latest East Midlands PM Forum event, which was hosted by Poppleston Allen in Nottingham, Andrew Clark, from Black Hawk Productions, ran a useful session on how to use your smartphone to create good video content.

Andrew kicked off the session by sharing some thought provoking images along with an important message that photographs and video content should be relevant, honest and authentic.

To warm the group up, Andrew got everyone involved in an exercise taking photo’s with their smartphones and learning that zooming in on a subject, rather than standing close, generally makes for a better picture and that this also applies to video.

Andrew then emphasised that content is everything and that when shooting and using video, it’s important to have a plan and a reason why you need to use video to communicate your message. The equipment isn’t important, but the story is. He encouraged the group to try and look at things from a different perspective.

Andrew shared his own personal history and the background behind the creation of his company Black Hawk Productions and how things have changed since the introduction of the smartphone. Apparently, more people now own a smartphone than a toothbrush!

The group were then taught some practical tips to help with shooting decent quality video on a smartphone. Advice and tips focused on some specific areas, including:

  • Exposure and lighting
    • Don’t shoot a subject standing in front of a window. The camera person should stand near the window to allow the light to hit the subject.
    • Use the HDR and EV features that are on most smartphones.
    • Don’t shoot in front of digital screen.
    • Ensure you get light in the subjects eyes to bring them “alive”.
  • Composition
    • Don’t shoot at a low angle.
    • Make sure the lense is at eye level.
    • Try and situate the subject to the side and divide the frame in half and ensure the subject looks to the empty half of the frame. Although, sometimes direct to camera may be more relevant depending on the message.

Andrew also recommended shooting all the footage together and stressed the importance of directing your subject to ensure the best results.

In terms of content ideas, Andrew suggested that ‘how to’ or ‘top tips’ videos are often the most successful and would work well for professional services firms. The group also agreed that video works well for internal communications purposes.

During the session, Andrew shared some fantastic examples of both good and bad videos, which helped the group to understand the importance of the tips Andrew shared.

Andrew concluded the session with a recap on the importance of having a purpose, a plan and really thinking through the content/story of the video before starting.

Overall, Andrew delivered an extremely informative session, with lots of practical tips and suggestions for the group to put into action.

Written by Jemma Taylor-Smith
Marketing Consultant, V Formation