How to Create a Professional Youtube Channel with your Phone and Some Gear (by Videographer Kate Jones)

Kate Jones
Kate Jones

A little bit ago I texted my videographer friend Kate of Jack and Jane Studio if I should get a mic for my iPhone if I wanted to do my own Youtube channel and she went above and beyond with the info she provided me with, because video is her jam. I’ll be doing a Creative Women feature on her very soon, so you’ll be able to know the woman behind the genius, but for now, here is everything you need to know on the basics of starting your own Youtube channel! Our text conversation:

New lens
New lens Jack and Jane
Lighting
Kate Jones: Hey, miss you too! I have bangs now. For a YouTube channel, you can definitely use an iPhone and it can look great! The key is really lighting. Avoid having a scene with a window behind you. And 1 window in front (slightly to one side) with a thin white curtain or shower curtain will soften the light. You can use a circular reflector or a piece of foam core to bounce a little of the window light into the shadowed part of your face, so you don’t have stark light and shadow.
Equipment
As for equipment, it just depends on what your YouTube channel will be about. If beauty, then any tripod will do. If you need more control over your iphone’s settings, you might want to get FilmicPro, an app that gives you a lot of control over the video settings and exposure settings. If you want to move the camera around a lot, I think you may want some sort of stabilizer that you’d mount the phone in. 3-axis stabilizers are pretty great, they give really smooth movements. Look up “3 Axis gimbal for iPhone” for options. I’ve heard good things about the Ikan.
Editing
For editing, I think there is a free product Adobe makes called Adobe Elements. Can’t guarantee it’s free, but I heard it is. Or you can use iMovie, if you have it. There is also a free program call Davinci Resolve 12. It’s actually the industry leader for color manipulation for filmmaking, but they recently made it free for HD work (it used to be thousands$$$) and in the latest version they added editing.
Audio
One of the biggest things you should consider is audio. Again, if you are doing beauty tutorials, you could probably use a lavalier mic plugged straight into your iPhone. That would give you good audio for a fairly low price.  I’ve never tested this one or used it, so I can’t recommend it officially, buy you should look into this one: Audio-Technica ATR3350iS Lavalier Microphone. It looks affordable at $30, and appears to allow you to plug headphones in too, so you can hear what you sound like before recording.
Tripod
Kate Jones: If you use a tripod, make sure you get a phone holder and attach it to the tripod.
Me: yeah i have a tabletop tripod. i saw you can use a lamp as a tripod too
Kate Jones: Oh nice! The good thing is, you can use even cheap tripods with a phone because the phone is so light.
Kate Jones: If you don’t have much budget, I’d say use the tripod you have (as long as it can get your phone the height you want), and get a mic. Make the light (window, lamp, whatever) in front of the subject and not in the background. And soften the light source so the shadows are soft. The bigger the light source (like a window, with a thin curtain), the softer and more beautiful the light.
Make Movies with an iPhone
Kate Jones: Did you know they recently made a car commercial using an iPhone? And the movie Tangerine was filmed on an iPhone and was a hit at Sundance last year.
Kate Jones: Here’s the commercial. For Bentley.
Me: Say WHAT that’s crazy. i will watch.
Kate Jones: Ya! Now, they used crazy gimbals to stabilize the footage, and they used a special grip for the iPhone to let them put on different lenses. And they used the app I mentioned, FilmicPro. But ya, pretty cool!
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Make sure to check out their Jack and Jane website!
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