Dan Hume's Blog

Filming Discreetly on an iPhone
October 29, 2011, 6:18 pm
Filed under: Specialist Project, Video

Yesterday, the course went up to London to see the Postmodernism exhibition. I ended up walking around with a few people who weren’t intending on going to it; therefore I didn’t see it. However, it wasn’t a total loss as we strolled around Camden for a few hours, which was cool. I took this as an opportunity to try out some more filming on my iPhone to see if I could be as discreet as possible. Camden market is very strict on people taking pictures of filming around their stalls and stock etc. I didn’t get stopped or approach at all. The iPhone really does prove to be a misleading video device to people.

From this still image I took, the camera is shot at a low angle, to create this undercover look. I’m kind of reflecting back to the multimedia journalist, where Richard Koci was acting normally, whilst snapping away in public.

Here is a video of what I shot. A lot of the shots are a bit shaky, but I was experimenting with how I was going to film certain stuff. I captured many shots with the back of the iPhone facing outwards, whilst I was holding it by my pocket.

Now that I’ve shot an iPhone video that is entirely handheld, I’ve come to realise that it’s incredibly jerky most of the time. This is one of the clear distinctions between iPhone 4 and 4S, which is that the 4S has built in image stabilisation to reduce shaky video quality. I think this is quite crucial when I come to do more shooting for my documentary, because the audience will want to have a balance between handheld and static shots. A lot of people do find it’s a strain to watch lots of camera movement.

I’m really pleased with how this short video has come out, however, I don’t think I’d like to shoot my entire video from an undercover point of view. For my final video, I think I need to include an array selection of new and conventional camera techniques. One of the aims of my project is to try and create something that looks professional, but using consumer tools. In terms of the editing, I like to add some ‘quirkiness’ to it. In between cuts, I like to add some movement. What I’ve found, when going through footage, there are some shots with lots of movement, which don’t look good enough to use in the final cut. Instead of leaving them to waste, I take out roughly 1 second of that movement and then place it between two shots; therefore it creates a nice, unique transition. There should be some of the cuts present in the video above.


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