DIY Filming Tips

Nivo Digital

10 June 2020

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When it comes to filming there are two main areas you need to consider.

1: What to Film?

2. How to Film it?

The first one is artistic. What creative decisions am I making about: subject matter, story, framing etc?

The Second is technical. What camera and lens should I use, what settings do I choose? Should I use a tripod or stabliser, etc?

What to Film?

Whatever your subject matter, the time-based medium of film naturally lends itself to storytelling, and with all stories, there should be a beginning, a middle and an end.

You need to take shots that cover all aspects of the story so that when you come to the edit you have all the bits you need to pull it all together.

One thing people overlook is something called ‘B roll’. This is extra footage, captured at the same time as the main film, that provides extra visual content to help set the scene and atmosphere.

Once you know what it is you will see how often it’s used in TV and Film

Here is a good video by Peter McKinnon that shows how useful B Roll is and some ideas on how to shoot it.

How to Film it?

Not everyone has access to expensive video equipment but nearly everyone has a very capable video camera in their smartphone. The built-in camera in most smartphones is amazing, but to get the best out of it you need to purchase an app that gives you full control over the areas you need e.g. white balance, exposure and frame rate.

We recommend Filmic Pro. You can get it on the App store for about $15

Here is a jump start video all about it. In the video, it mentions using a stabiliser – we recommend a different to them, more on that below.


As mentioned in the previous video, using a stabliser can take your production levels to new heights. We recommend the  Zhiyun Smooth 4. It’s about £110  and works really well with Filmic Pro, to give you high-quality filming without the camera shake you might get from filming on a smartphone.

Here is a video about using Filmic Pro and the Zhiyun Smooth 4, so you can see what we mean.