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5 tips for filming at home!

5 tips for filming at home!

Most of us had figured out, with a good deal of trial and error, how to film with the best angles at our studios. However, filming yourself at home, whether it be for Instagram, the PSO United competition, or simply to send to your significant other can be a challenge if you're not used to filming in your home space. Here are some of our top tips!

1. Light yourself!

Are your videos always grainy or in silhouette? Your lighting is probably not working for you! Phone videos need lots of light to look good. 

The best lighting is natural (sunlight) that comes from either the front or the sides. If you have the window or light behind you, that's when you get the silhouette going. As a general rule, keep your light source (ex. window, lamp, overhead light) out of the video. If you are using a lamp, put the lamp out of frame to the sides or front so it's not distracting. If you are using overhead lights, try and tilt your camera to keep those out of frame.

2. Flip the phone around.

The camera on the back of your phone is often higher quality than the selfie camera on the front. 

Have books, water bottles, or yoga blocks handy to build a little stand for your phone to lean on. I like sandwiching my phone between 2 objects (ex. a book in front and also in back) to ensure that my camera doesn't slide around if I do a crazy heel click and vibrate the floor.

You can also check out the BONUS tip below for an app that will help with higher quality recordings.

3. Test your video before recording the whole thing.

I know I've done this and I know you've done it too. You do a killer routine and execute everything flawlessly only to find that you forgot to push record. If it didn't get recorded, did it even happen?! My go-to process is to push record, walk to the pole, and then go back and double-check it is recording before I do the full routine. 

If you are recording audio, you'll want to actually playback your test video to make sure that the sound has picked up properly. If you are speaking, we recommend you use headphones (like wireless Airpods, for example) to minimize background noise. Turning off heaters, fans, and air conditioners also improves audio dramatically.

And, make sure that you have enough storage space before you begin!

4. Get rid of distractions in the back.

For some reason, on video, we fixate on distractions in the background rather than the amazing dancing. Get rid of background stuff, and I mean all of it! We don't want to see:

  • Cords
  • Piles of papers
  • Hair on the floor
  • Laundry

You can use your test video from part 3 to make sure that you haven't missed anything.

5. Know your audience.

Act like the camera is the audience, rather than dancing to your mirror or a wall. I set my camera up in the corner of my space, balanced on the molding, so it took me a few tries to understand what is "front" since it's not my mirror. It's good practice for performing!

If you know what you are using the video for, that will also help you decide whether you want to film landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical). For example, videos for YouTube and Facebook would be filmed landscape, while Instagram Stories would be filmed portrait.

BONUS TIP for iPhone! Try an app.

The camera function on iPhone is good, but adding an app to your arsenal can make it outstanding. This app has been used to create several famous movies that you wouldn't guess were filmed on a phone! The best feature for easily improving video is to film at a higher bitrate. You can adjust the settings to 50.0 Mbit/sec versus the standard Camera app of 24.0 Mbit/sec.

Check out FiLMic Pro here.