Making Cell Phone Videos

Everyone Should Do It

Occurred on Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Guest Speaker: Susan Botello

Original event synopsis

The barrier to entry as a filmmaker keeps getting lower as equipment costs fall. Even with a cell phone, inexpensive accessories can help create shots that normally would require specialized equipment. However, that does not mean we should settle for low quality. Practicing with a cell phone can help everyone hone their craft as well as learn challenges facing others on a set. There’s already a phone in your pocket – put it to use for more than capturing B-roll of your life.

Let’s start with actors. In what role do you aspire to be cast? Work with a friend to recreate a favorite scene from a movie that highlights your talent. Don’t worry about production values; just nail the role. Switch off with your friend and become the camera operator. Learn what it is like to be a shooter and keep the action in frame. Find an editor to help you massage your footage into a story. Learn from your own experience the importance of continuity. Begin to experiment more – makeup, hair, lighting. Try different camera setups and moves. Each iteration will get better but the real payoff will be your improvement acting in a “real” production.

The big benefit of self-producing cell phone videos is learning to empathize with people working in other crafts by switching off roles and having a record of the result.

About the Speaker
Susan Botello has more than eighteen years of experience in video production. She created and continues to produce the International Mobile Film Festival. Her experience includes video production, not limited to PSA's, promos, documentaries, training, and funding videos. Susan has experience with short and full feature films working on production sets as Director of Photography, Script Supervisor, Production Coordinator and of course, as Production Assistant (PA).

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