“Looking ahead to your next corporate video, you might be guilty of thinking, “We can just film it on an iPhone.”
Well, why shouldn’t you?
After all, most smartphones can now cope with full HD and 4k video. Some are even able to capture in 8k. With built-in microphones and free editing apps, many companies are starting to choose the ‘quick and cheap’ iPhone route.
There is a time and place for smartphone footage too. It’s an impromptu, informal format that best suits impromptu, informal communications.
For example, thanking a campaign donor with a one-off personal message. Or reacting to a hot topic on your LinkedIn feed with a 30-second rant.
But notice the theme: these are ephemeral, non-business-generating bits of content.
Producing video that will represent your brand identity, influence audiences, and ultimately impact sales, is a different case altogether.
Production values are your brand values
Filming ‘quick and cheap’ speaks volumes about your brand, whether you want it to or not.
We’ve known companies to spend £10k on a new logo design, only to get their in-house marketers film iPhone video destined for a huge prospect audience. It was perplexing how badly it compromised their efforts to refresh and mature their brand.
If you encourage your teams and agencies to respect your visual identity, consider how many frames are in the average 1-minute video (about 1,440). What is each of those frames saying about you?
It takes much more than pressing ‘record’
Smartphones are not high-grade cameras. It’s not impossible to get useable footage from one, but you’ll need to consider a lot more than simply pressing ‘record’.
How should you frame your subject? What angle works best, and how many do you need? Where’s the best location? How should your subject be lit, and with what type of lights? What type of microphone do you need? How about scripting – are they confident reeling off a monologue, or do they need careful direction and prompting?
Every one of these questions has an entire profession built around it – and for good reason. Unless you’ve hired specialists within your marketing team, it’s unlikely you’ll have enough skills in-house to cover all bases and come up with a decent production.
Create a filming experience
Cameras designed to capture high-grade footage look impressive, because they are. The RED Scarlet-W and Panasonic EVA-1, that we’ve used on recent shoots, are just as formidable as they appear.
Add to that the glow of professional lighting, the hubbub of the shoot, and sense of contribution from staff taking part. For most people, a film shoot is an experience – no matter the subject matter.
There is a sense of expectation, excitement even, at being part of the event. And that feeling carries as staff share and promote your content, getting the most value from it.
A smartphone uneasily hooked up to a wonky tripod simply doesn’t deliver that experience.
Bring in the professionals
If you’re confident to go for it with a smartphone, that’s great. Good luck! It’s wonderful to see video proliferating as our number one choice for communication.
But if you take your brand seriously, take video more seriously too. Reflect the professionalism of your company with the professionalism in your production. And just use your iPhone to share the content afterwards.