Filmmaking with your smartphone

Chloe Choppen
Chloe Choppen 12th December 2018

“The best camera is the one that you have with you.”

Everything you need to create engaging, attention-grabbing content is sitting in your back pocket.

Gone are the days of dragging around a 30kg camera bag, 5 different lighting fixtures, 3 sound guys and a couple thousand pounds worth of complicated editing software. Smartphones have finally evened the playing field for content creators, and it goes without saying that this is excellent news for charities.

Last week, we ran the second IBT ‘How to Shoot and Edit with a Smartphone’ workshop. Back by popular demand, the hands-on training session with experienced trainer and YouTube expert, Nat Hawley, takes our members from filming newbies to confident self-shooting vloggers.

The session began with a lively discussion about how we engage with video content online, and the best ways for charities to utilise smartphones for this platform. The group were unanimous in their ambition to be able to use smartphones for filming whilst working overseas and were keen to start learning the skills required to do so.


First up, The Selfie.

“You cannot ask people to stand in front of your camera until you fully appreciate how awkward and uncomfortable it is for most people.” – Nat Hawley.

Acting as both the perfect icebreaker and an exercise in framing, manual focusing and lighting, the group’s selfie-taking introduced many of the fundamental principles of shooting with a smartphone.

Nat went on to lead the group through every aspect of the filming process, from his top tips for recording sound on the go, to understanding the video content landscape.

After a crash course in the latest smartphone editing software, the group were ready to put their new skills to the test in the afternoon’s challenge: Create a 1-minute clip for your organisation’s social media platforms.

Several hours of script-writing, shot-framing, and clip-cutting later, and the group had a selection of professional quality videos ready to show on the big screen. The results were impressive. From reinvigorating the usual charity “fact list” with energetic jump cuts and personal anecdotes, to using comedy and narrative to show off a new campaign – the videos shown proved just how effective filmmaking with a smartphone can be.

The ever-growing capabilities of the smartphone mean that content creation has never been easier, and charities embracing this powerful tool have a world of opportunities at their fingertips. Now you can film, edit and broadcast to the world from the little box in your back pocket – so what are you waiting for?



Is video the best way to promote your charity?

Click here to read our ‘Video First’ report for more information on the media landscape in the UK, the trends which are influencing it and where the opportunities lie for NGOs wishing to produce their own video content.

Keep up to date with IBT news

Non-members can sign up to our mailing list here