The essential elements of iPhone Movie Making Part1: Sound with iRig Mic
Every iPhone Movie should start with good quality sound, the onboard microphone can work quite well if there is no wind, so basically indoors and the subject is very close to the camera. The sound can be greatly improved by connecting a compatible external microphone such as an iRig Microphone. The ideal working distance is about 10 to 12 inches 25 to 30 centimetres. The microphone has three sensitivity settings so a test recording is essential. This can be played back through a set of headphones. Every-time there is change of location or a change to the person being interview a new test recoding is advisable.
The microphone can be handed to the person being interviewed and instructions given on roughly how far away from their mouth it should be held. A decision then needs to be made about whether you want to see the microphone in shot or not. The shot can be adjusted by moving closer to the subject or further away. The further away you are from the subject then more of the surroundings can be included, this will lead to the microphone being included in shot.
There will be no problem with the sound because the the microphone is the same distance away from the person being interviewed. The size of the shot is limited by the length of the cable supplied with the microphone. This can be extended by using a standard 3.5mm headphone extension cable.
The essential elements of iphone Movie Making Part2: Filming with Filmic Pro
The basic camera installed in the iPhone and the software that controls it are pretty good. All the camera controls are automatic so, exposure, white balance and sound levels are all set to what the software thinks is the optimum.
To get more control over theses settings you need to download an app like Filmic Pro, the quality of the video recording can be then be selected, the best quality High Definition for editing, or something much smaller if you just want to email a short clip to someone. Exposure can be controlled by selecting and area of the screen by touching it, the app will the try and optimise that area.
White balance can be set for inside under artificial light our outside in daylight, focus can be set by touching the area of screen you want to be in focus. This level of control over the camera settings are what can enable you to get much more polished and professional looking results.
The Filmic Pro app has one final bit of the professional film making art, it's possible possible to plug a set of headphones into the socket on the iRig Microphone adapter and monitor the sound levels live as you are filming.
This for me corrects one of the major short comings of the basic camera set up. No professional film crew would ever record sound without someone carefully listening to what is being recorder. This feature alone in my opinion is worth the purchase price.
The Essential Elements of iPhone Movie Making Part 3:
Editing with iMovie
The process of editing is taking the best bits of each shot and assembling then together in the best order to tell the story. This is not often in the order that they were shot, so re-ordering the shots on the timeline is essential.
This process is very simple open up iMovie and click on and you have a choice select Movie. All the clips you've shot come up, click one and it highlight in yellow and you have three choices, the downward facing arrow inserts the clip in the time line. The right facing arrow plays the whole clip, clicking on the three dots brings up another selection of five choices the three dots takes you back the waveform symbol inserts the clip sound only the two rectangles insets the clip picture only the small rectangle and the large rectangle inserts the picture in picture and the two upright rectangles inserts the picture side by side
This range of tools give you great creative freedom and choices over editing. The sound from a shot can be laid under a sequence of other shots or still pictures by using the waveform symbol.
When you interview someone listen carefully to what that person says and think about extra shots or cutaways of what they are talking about. These can then be dropped in seamlessly as they speak by using the double rectangle tool, the sound is muted and only the sound from the interview is heard.
These are some of the tools available in professional editing packages and is a very powerful communications tool.