As phone cameras have improved, more and more people are using their camera phones to not only film their lives, but to then edit this footage, add special effects and soundtracks and even enter the results in international film competitions.
The advantage of using your phone to shoot your movie masterpiece is obvious. Firstly, it is the one camera you always have with you. Secondly, as documentary-style films are increasingly finding their place on the national stage, especially with the proliferation of film-sharing sites, if you’ve got a GALAXY Note II there’s nothing stopping you getting your creations out there.
Here are a few tips, top Note II-friendly apps and websites perfect to start you on your way to director-hood:
With the Note II you’ve got a phone with a great HD video camera and plenty of space to store footage, so don’t be shy about capturing as much of it as you can. If you are working from a script, do retakes; if you are being more freeform, take the time to capture as much around your subject as you can – yes, most of the resulting footage will be cut and deleted, but to find the right shots you need to spend a long time capturing as much action as possible.
Once you’ve got some footage there are a select few Note II-friendly apps that can help you with trimming, editing and adding effects to your content, some will even perform movie magic for you while you are filming.
If you are after a simple life, Magisto (free) is an Android video-editing app which magically creates videos in minutes, complete with effects and soundtracks. It works by analysing your footage and automatically splicing it together.
Choose a soundtrack and it will present you with a complete professional-looking video without you doing anything else. Of course, this does take artistic control away from you, but if you are after something quick and dirty to get an idea of how a project is progressing, Magisto is well worth looking at.
The Clesh Video Editor app (£2.99) is particularly good for editing on the move.
With a drag and drop interface perfect for the Note II’s expansive screen and S Pen combination, Clesh lets you create a storyboard, edit by timeline, add in transitions, add slo-mo, combine more than one shot and, of course, trim your video on the go. It also lets you upload your videos in their full 1080p glory direct to YouTube and Facebook.
A simpler offering is VidTrim Pro (£1.76 or free ad-supported version) which lets you trim videos using simple on-screen sliders.
You can also add effects such as black and white, posterize, glow, and so on, and use its impressive transcoder to compress your videos, and then instantly share them with family and friends.
Other free offerings include the recommended (and free) AndroVid Video Trimmer, which lets you trim, split and merge video clips and grab videoframes, and the free trial version of V-Cut Express which let’s you fine-tune your cuts and trims down to the second.
If you are looking to collaborate with others on your videos, then you could use the free WeVideo camera app to automatically upload your videos to the cloud where you can use the WeVideo website to share and edit it with those you are working with.
If you are an effects fan, you may want to give the free Videocam Illusion app a go, as it lets you add effects in real time while filming on your Note II.
These include 6 filters, 5 effects, 4 masks and 2 recording speeds. You can also save your favourite combinations of effects to the app for quick selection when capturing footage.
Another app that lets you add cartoon-style and paint effects to film in real time is Paper Camera (£1.19). It would be great for comic-strip sequences.
If you are a fan of time-lapse photography then check out the Time-lapse app (64p) which lets you shoot your own time-lapse videos at resolutions from 176x144 to 2048x1536 with a playback rate of up to 30 fps.
Quite a lot of the apps featured here allow you to add a soundtrack, but if you want a lot more control over your audio using your GALAXY Note II then it may well be worth investing in TapeMachine Recorder (£2.49).
This is a high-quality sound recorder and editor, featuring a powerful waveform display that lets you add a lot of effects, fades and gives you complete control over what the people experiencing your video will hear.
Now you’ve got your edited film it’s time to start telling people about it. The best way to get people talking about your creations is to post them up in as many different places as possible.
There are quite a few sites that let you share your video content and you can usually upload it straight from your Note II. The most obvious is usually the best place to start and you can create your own YouTube channel just by signing up to YouTube. You should also tag your video to make it as easy as possible for people interested in your film’s subject matter to find it.
Of course YouTube has a wide appeal for all kinds of video, but other sites are more specialised. Vimeo has a strong film-making community, and you may even make money from your video as users can tip you if they think your content is good enough.
Once you’ve got your video posted somewhere you need to shout about it – almost all of these sites let you post your video direct to Facebook or Twitter and Pinterest to get it seen by as many different people as possible. And it’s good practice to get all your friends and everyone who appeared or was involved in the film to share it as well.
Finally, you should also send links to your films to film blogs or people you know will be interested in the subject – the more people who post about your film, the bigger the buzz and the more chance of it taking off. When you are contacting these people remember to write a good teaser description, describe the film’s context, provide a good screenshot from the film and give a short bio about yourself.
Basically, the easier you make it for them to post about you, the more likely it is to be used. Target people who can influence other filmmakers – sites like Motionographer or contacting the Vimeo Staff Picks team are great places to start. Not to mention submitting your work to indie film festivals. There’s a great list of UK film festivals on Wikipedia.
Overall, the most important thing to remember when promoting your film is not to get disappointed by rejection and keep at it.
Remember, overnight success is usually three years in the making!
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