Smart Phone Productions: Making a Film With Your Smart Device

     As the line between professional and consumer hardware and software shrinks, the ability for anyone to make a movie has never been as easy as it is today. And with the advancements in technology, you can even use a smart phone to do it. With a little bit of investment, a phone can be a viable replacement for a camera; and coupled with some good audio equipment and a laptop and software, you can make a high quality film.

     First, you have to pick a phone. New smart phones like the iPhone 6s and the Samsung Galaxy S6 have the ability to shoot video in 4K. And the older models also shoot in 1080p. These phones range in price from $200-$800, which is not a lot, but chances are you already have one that can shoot decent quality images.

     There are also apps for iOS and Android that give the ability to control the functions of the camera like the focus, white balance and exposure that can hep you control the look of the image, and get a better looking image than the standard camera app will give you.

                FiLMiC Pro$10 – iOS                                        Cinema FV-5$5 – Android 

filmicpro           Cinema_FV-5_640

     The next thing that can help you get a better image is getting lens attachments. These will help you be able to get shots that otherwise would not be possible on your phone. Lenses types vary just like any camera; telephoto, macro, wide angle. There are multiple lens kits on amazon that range in price from $14-$160.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Kit – $53           iPhone 5s Kit – $50                     Universal Kit – $14               samsunglenskit     iphoneKit     universal

     Getting a smooth image can be tough when you’re filming with your phone in your hand. There are various options for stabilizers to make that image look as professional as any other film. These options ran range from $50 to more than $300. Here are two options from amazon that are reasonably priced.

    SteadyMate SM1 – $55                                       KEDSUM Beholder – $180

steadymate55                             stabilizer


     If you have multiple phones at your disposal, you can use them as wireless audio recorders. Rode Microphones has a smart phone specific microphone that can be used with any audio recording app for iOS, or Android, or Rode’s free app on iOS. The smartLav+ is priced at $80, which is a great price for any microphone.

     The ability to make a commercial quality film on your phone has never been as easy as it is today, and there are some great examples out there of professional works made using smart phones. Bentley Motors made an ad using an iPhone and even edited it on an iPad. The technology is out there and you don’t have to be limited by a budget to make your imagination a reality.

Written by Jon M. Green and Tony LoParco.


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