4 Tips for Creating a Music Video With Your iPhone

Posted by Eric Bernsen on Feb 18, 2016 06:00 AM
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When you watch breathtaking visuals from your favorite artists, it may be a bit discouraging because it's next to impossible to match the resources they have. However, the evolution of technology has proven to be an equalizer. You don’t necessarily need an enormous budget to create a great music video. In fact, many indie artists have used their iPhones to record stunning, top-tier videos while saving thousands of dollars in the process.

Want to give it a try? Here's what you need to know!

1. Understand what your iPhone is capable of

Before fully diving into a visual storyboard and setting up a shooting schedule, doing your initial research is really important in order to create realistic expectations for your idea. Knowing that iPhone 6s can record 4K videos at full HD footage at 120 FPS (which allows for slow-motion edits) may seem like the type of information on installation guides that's frequently ignored, but understanding the technical details is valuable knowledge that you’ll be able to utilize throughout the creative process. And while an eight-megapixel camera can do extraordinary things (just ask Kanye West, who used an iPhone for "Only One"), there are still limitations when compared to your standard video equipment. Do your homework before going all in on making an iPhone music video to ensure it can get the job done for what you need.

2. Hiring a video director is still worth it

When deciding to use your iPhone to create your next video, you may not think it’s necessary to seek out a video director like you normally would. However, getting a friend to hold your iPhone to shoot your video in exchange for a free dinner isn’t the right way of going about things if you take your craft seriously. While you may be used to directors lugging around all kinds of equipment that you know nothing about, they're much more likely to be experts at using an iPhone in the same way, even if you consider yourself a smartphone savant. From lighting effects to knowing what angles work best in showcasing the story you're trying to tell, a professional video director will be able to capture footage with your iPhone in ways you never thought possible. Since you're saving costs by using a smartphone in the first place, don’t think you can automatically avoid hiring a capable director to make the most out of your iPhone. If you want the final product to be as professional and sharp as possible, work with a visual specialist to help bring your vision to life.

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3. Take advantage of your newfound mobility

One of the best advantages of using your iPhone to make a video is that you're given newfound freedom. Rather than being limited to certain spaces, using an iPhone allows you to record scenes in an immediate and subtle manner. Gone are the days of locating abandoned locations to ensure privacy. With a smartphone in hand, you can walk the streets and utilize populated areas without disturbing other people who may be around. Leverage the opportunity to be spontaneous with your ideas and put your mobility (no pun intended!) to use. Having the ability to quickly record a scene is one of the best perks of using an iPhone to shoot a video, and it'll only expand the possibilities of your creative imagination. Experiment by recording studio sessions and live shows you attend or perform at; you never know when it'll spark a new idea or visual concept that can turn into something greater than you ever expected.

4. Download helpful apps

While iPhones are already equipped with many cool visual features, downloading specialized apps will only enhance what you're capable of. In order to help you navigate the wide array of app options that are available, here are two of our favorites that should be of particular use when recording a music video with your iPhone:

  • Video Filters: The Video Filters app allows you to add unique effects to already existing phone footage. The filters have the power to set a particular mood or atmosphere from the viewer. So while you may think you already have more filter options than you can handle, it's worth spending a few dollars to have more at your disposal, because you never know which filter will be appropriate for the scenario you have in mind.
  • iMovie: It's easier to edit you videos with iMovie on a computer, but having the app on your phone comes in handy. From themes and titles to transitions, iMovie is a must-have if you're shooting a music video with your iPhone.


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Eric Bernsen is a marketing/public relations professional and music journalist who specializes in the genre of hip-hop. You can find more of his work at HITPmusic.com (where he is an editor/writer) as well as HipHop-N-More.com, where he contributes album reviews. Follow Eric on Twitter @ebernsen.

Topics: Music Business 101, Marketing & Promotion


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