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Research Guides@Tufts

Smartphone Recording Kit

General Tips

  • When you check out a Smartphone Recording Kit, make sure the kit says "iPhone" or "Android" depending on the device you have.
    • Kits only have one type of microphone included, so it is imperative that you make sure the kit is compatible with your phone.
  • The Gorillapod legs can be pushed together to create a handle, which helps with stabilization of handheld shots - particularly if you're panning or tilting the camera.
  • Collect a minute of the background noise, or "room tone," for each location. This will be useful when editing.
  • Try to avoid using the digital zoom features on your phone which can look choppy. Instead, physically move the phone closer to zoom in. 
  • If you're learning to film, we recommend approaching it with a sense of play!
    • What does the same shot look like if you're holding the Gorillapod (which will introduce some motion), or if it's mounted on something stable - and how does that difference make the shot feel? How about trying out both manual and automatic exposure - what, if anything, changes? 
  • Think about how the subject of your video is framed in the shot, and what effect that has.
    • It is a wider shot showing the location? A close up showing a reaction? For making your video look dynamic, try out the "rule of thirds," a technique where you image lines dividing the frame into thirds, and use those imaginary lines to guide composition.
  • Pay attention to lighting in the space - use light from windows, lamps, or the Lighting Kit to brighten your subject or create shadows. In addition to direct light, you can also explore how light bounces off walls and objects, or even have someone hold up a piece of paper to reflect light onto your subject.
  • For more information on camera settings such as exposure, recording quality, etc., please consult our guides for Understanding Exposure for Photography and Film and Filmmaking Techniques