Smartphone Video Training

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This video was produced as part of the e-Learning Heroes weekly challenge #42 Smartphone Video Training for Course Designers.

The Concept

The challenge was to record, edit and publish a video using your smartphone.  We were challenged to choose a topic that allowed us to record multiple videos for the project, with a focus as much on editing as recording.  The emphasis was on using something portable and relatively inexpensive.

I chose one of the suggested topics – which seemed quite straightforward at the time.

The Process

I recorded this video using my iPhone 5C, balanced on a saucepan on the kitchen bench.  I started with the phone balanced on a can of dog food, but the angle wasn’t quite right!  Let me set the scene here – I had just got home from work and the dog was waiting for his tea and I was multi-tasking by cooking tea at the same time as setting up and recording this video.  I had every intention of dropping into the shops on the way home and purchasing some sort of phone holder, but this didn’t happen.

Setting up for the shoot took the most time, with a number of different angles trialled before I settled on the final shoot.  I didn’t technically create “multiple videos” for the project – just two – the process and the final product.

The Production

I have never recorded a video with my iPhone for training purposes before, so there were a number of challenges with this project – and a number of lessons learnt.  I didn’t use any third-party apps – just the straight iPhone video recorder.  I admit the quality of the recording would have been better if I recorded in the daylight, but I focussed more on the production and editing aspects than the quality of the video.

Once I had recorded the two final videos, I emailed these to myself and opened the first one in Windows Live Media Player on my PC.  Having never used this program before, I thought I’d give it a go.  I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to edit and produce the final production.

I added the second video clip to the first, included some transitions, animations and captions, added the background music and saved the movie in a .mp4 format.  You also have the option to publish straight to SkyDrive, YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo or Flickr.

 What Did I Learn?

  • Don’t think too much about the final product – just jump in and get started.
  • The clock in my kitchen has an extremely loud tick and my iPhone 5C has a very sensitive microphone!  Therefore, it’s a good idea to add music to cover up any background noise if you are not using advanced software to edit the final production.
  • After four attempts at filming adding water to the coffee machine, all I succeeded in doing was getting some very funny bloopers of me expressing my extreme frustration at how much harder it is to place the water container back into the machine in a timely manner while the iPhone is filming!  Some things are just not even worth pursuing in the name of art!
  • Windows Live Movie Maker has an impressive range of options which were more than adequate for this production, including the ability to split and trim video sections.
  • I found out how easy it is to buy music from iTunes – and how awesome the band “Jars of Clay” is, choosing their song about coffee over that of Bob Marley or Bob Dylan.  I purchased their whole album – 34 tracks worth of music – and it has been running non-stop since I started this project!

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