The rise of smartphones & tablets is now presenting research and market agencies with a fantastic opportunity to collect ‘selfie’-style video material from respondents all over the world. Whether it be in the form of a video diary on a set theme, topic or task or more direct interaction with a product of service this footage can be invaluable to any research project and its results.
To get the very best out of this new source of information Spark has created a simple step-by-step guide on how to create great looking video on a Smartphone or Tablet.
1) Before You Start Recording
Give your phone/tablet a good clean making sure to pay special attention to the camera lenses on the front AND back.
Check your memory capacity – Video files are large and can quickly max out the on-board memory on your mobile phone or tablet. Before you begin recording, check how much memory is available on your device. If possible, expand the memory capacity of your phone/tablet by adding an optional memory card such as a micro-SD card.
2) Stability and Placement
Hand-held videos can often be wobbly or blurry which can be distracting to the viewer. Try to avoid this by placing your phone/tablet horizontally supported from behind on a flat surface (such as a shelf or bookcase) at head/ face height. It’s important that the video is horizontal as generally it will be watched on a traditional, landscape orientated screen such a TV or computer monitor.
3) Camera & Settings
When recording select the front camera so that you can see yourself. Make sure you are in frame and that your whole face, head and the tops of your shoulder’s are visible and that your face is in focus at all times.
If possible, select the highest quality, such as HD, for your video in the settings.
4) Light it Up
Aim to record smartphone/tablet video in well-lit areas to prevent shadows and dark areas on the clip, however, don’t aim directly at any light source — this will make your video virtually impossible to watch. Because the sensors in cell phone & tablet cameras tend to be very basic, they are unable to handle wide variations in lighting, so be sure to record in an area that has a steady light source like in front of a window or lamp. Place the phone or tablet with the recording camera lens pointed away from the light source and position yourself with the light shining on your face and body.
5) Audio is Key
It is really important that we can hear what you are saying so you need to take steps to record the audio as best as possible. Unfortunately, some built-in microphones on phones & tablets are not very high quality and can be susceptible to recording wind and other ambient noise.
For best results find a quite place free from outside noises. Close doors and windows to create your own ‘quite space’ and make sure you are close enough to your smartphone or tablet to be heard clearly.
6) Make a Test
Finally, bearing in mind all the above tips, make a short test clip to check you have everything set up correctly.
That’s it! Your ready to go and record some amazing films!