Behind the Scenes: Making a Campaign Video with the iPhone and iMovie

October 29, 2012

One of the things that I have been encouraging candidates to do over the past few years is leverage video on YouTube to communicate campaign messages to their constituents. The other day I finally had the opportunity to help make the first one. Since we were unable to secure much in the way of professional equipment the video was recorded using my iPhone 4S and overall the quality was pretty good. The two main barriers to making a professional recording with the iPhone are getting good quality audio and stabilizing the phone with a tripod.

Since I did not have enough time to order a tripod mount online and it seems iPhone tripod adapters are not sold in retail stores I used a Joby Gorillapod for iPod Touch along with the included adhesive adapter to mount the phone to a tripod. It worked decently. However I plan to acquire an adapter for when I want to use the iPhone with a tripod in the future. It surprised me that acquiring a tripod adapter for the iPhone was so difficult, especially in light of the ubiquity of the product.

While the iPhone microphone is pretty good, it is not a professional microphone. High quality audio is one of the major differences between a professional looking video and one that seems like a home movie. So I managed to find an adapter that I could buy to use with one of my brother’s professional microphones. Had I more time and a bigger budget I would have also bought a shotgun or lavaliere microphone to minimize its presence in the scene. However the microphone I got worked well.

We then did the video shot in a few takes, and I used iMovie to intersperse the various scenes from the park while the candidate was talking. Overall I tried to avoid getting too fancy and to keep the focus on the candidate. I think it turned out pretty well for my first full try, and I hope to use the lessons I’ve learned from this project to improve future ones. The result is below.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.