The Best iPhone Rig
When I graduated from film school, nobody dreamed of shooting videos on their phones. Now millions of videos are shot on smart phones, and used for content marketing, training and even some independent films. It’s crazy!
When my wife got into network marketing, she needed a good iPhone video rig to shoot stuff on. I tried miscellaneous products out there, but most were complete junk. Over time I discovered the clear winners in different product areas, and am here with the scoop to save you time.
You can get most of these products off Amazon. I’ve included an affiliate link for a few of them, in case you’d like to send blessings back my way. I’m shooting an independent film in 2018 on the island of Kauai, and any addition to the film fund is a good thing!
Panasonic HC-V770K HD Camera
Although phones will do it 99% of the time, if you want to up the quality of your videos, this camera is worth a look. I personally use a Canon model that is overkill for most videos. This Panasonic fits the bill for the majority of all marketing and training videos that need something better than a smart phone.
The Manfrotto 290 xtra
Anyone who knows camera stands, knows Manfrotto. At first, I purchased a cheap stand for my wife, but it was cumbersome and eventually broke. So I dropped more cash for the Manfrotto 290 xtra, and haven’t regretted it for a millisecond. What’s to like? Solid construction (made in Italy) that simply will not break on you. A max height of over six feet. The ball head makes alignment a breeze. GONE are the days of messing with all three legs to try and get your camera straight.
The Amazon Basics 60-inch Tripod
If you can’t drop the money for the Manfrotto, then consider the Amazon Basics tripod. It’s under twenty-five bucks, and a shockingly decent product for that price. Eventually it will break on you as it did me, so consider getting two. Or just spring for the durable Manfrotto tripod above.
The Shoulderpod X1
In the mount-your-phone-to-a-camera-stand category, there are MOUNTAINS of junk online. It’s frustrating. Shoulderpod is the answer. I mean hands down, no contestation awesomeness. Made in Europe. Solid metal and wood construction. Beautiful. There are multiple models of Shoulderpods, but if you’re serious about decent videos at home, the Shoulderpod X1 is the way to go.
The Rode VideoMicro Compact Shotgun Mic
iPhones get decent sound. I mean, for a phone it’s great sound. But they cannot trump a dedicated mic. Don’t believe me? Watch the video below. I record with and without this Rode shotgun mic. I didn’t alter the audio in any way in post. This Rode shotgun mic is totally worth the cash to up the quality of your videos. *Note: You’ll need an adaptor for your iPhone to work with this mic. If you have an iPhone 7 or up, you’ll need a lightning adapter. If you have a 6s on down, you’ll need the Rode SC3 3.5mm TRRS to TRS Adaptor.
Manfrotto Personal LED Light
HD videos are light hungry. If you try to shoot with daylight, the sun changes and the video looks different. Room lamps aren’t bright enough, and large soft box lights are just a pain. For personal, talk-to-the-camera lighting, the Manfrotto LUMIMUSE 8 LED light is tough to beat. *Note: you’ll need to get a flash bender for this bad boy, if you don’t want to pass out part way through your video.
Rogue Photographic Design FlashBender 2
This flashbender isn’t designed specifically for the shoulderpod setup I’m recommending here, but it works. Blast the 8 LED manfrotto into this thing, and you’ll return a nice, soft light back on the subject. Perfect lighting at any time, anywhere. It just doesn’t get better.
Fovitec StudioPRO Softbox Lighting Kit
The Manfrotto LED is small and compact. That’s nice. But it’s not going to work for anything more than a single-person shoot. If you’re shooting multiple people on a couch, yourself in a wide shot in a kitchen, or any other similar setup, you’ll be better off with a softbox lighting kit like the Fovitec StudioPRO – 2x 24″x36″ product. This hits for under $200 and will give you plenty of light.
iPhone Recording App
So you have your tripod, shoulderpod, mic… the works. But framing and starting/stopping recording are a pain with a phone. The answer? Filmic Pro. It’s an app that allows you to remote control your phone from another iOS device. NICE!!! Check them out – could save you a ton of time. http://www.filmicpro.com/
Avid First | Free Video Editing
Shooting it step one. Cutting your footage to remove mistakes, add in slides or other footage is step 2. Most of your favorite Hollywood films were cut using Avid. But in the past, it cost a lot. Avid just released a free, scaled back version. It’s not for the faint of heart, but runs on both Mac and PC so if you don’t have a Mac with iMovie check it out: http://www.avid.com/media-composer-first
Screen Recording Software
If you need to record and edit recordings of your computer screen, look no further than Screenflow. It is stable, easy to use and feature rich. I’ve recorded many training videos with this application, and wouldn’t trade it.
I hope the above information helps you knock it out of the park with your content marketing and training videos. I promise, you follow my advice and you’ll have the finest iPhone video rig on the block! And remember our independent film shoot coming up! If you’d like behind the scenes information, visit Theater Eleven Pictures and sign up for the updates.
Thanks for reading, and happy shooting!