Workshop: How to make a short documentary with a smartphone

Niccolò Caranti (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WikiCon_2016_-_Eröffnungsfeier_03.jpg), „WikiCon 2016 - Eröffnungsfeier 03“, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

Matthias Süßen bei der Wikicon in Kornwestheim. Photo: Niccolò Caranti, WikiCon 2016 – Eröffnungsfeier 03, CC BY-SA 4.0

Online Videos are enjoying great popularity. 55% of people watch videos online every day and using the word ‘video’ in an email subject line boosts the open rates by 19%. Nevertheless videos are still underepresented in science communication. Although it is quite easy to make a short documentary with a smartphone and some apps. The process is so simple that anyone can make them very easily. In this workshop I show you how to get better video with your smartphone including mistakes to avoid, and general filming tips on stabilization, framing, exposure, focus, lighting, audio, and must have accessories. The final sections presents suggestions for further reading .


In this workshop I will demonstrate how to create video content with apps and how to upload the material. I will present some of the best video editing applications for Android and iOS devices and the required equipment. Finally, I will give an overview of the basic shooting rules to create raw material that is easy to edit into meaningful sequences. This basic course provides an introduction into video editing on a smartphone. It is aimed at the interested layman and beginners who never edited a video before.

workshop contents

  • Why video is the future of knowledge communication
  • Current examples from YouTube, Facebook, Instagram & Co.
  • Functionality and quality of smartphone cameras
  • Essential Mobile Journalism Tools
  • Sound and Light
  • Video apps for shooting and editing (iOS, Android and Windows Mobile)
  • Basics of video shooting: setting sizes and perspectives
  • Michael Rosenblum’s “five shot” method for meaningful video sequences
  • Basic interview techniques
  • Special effects with your mobile phone
  • From the idea to the storyboard
  • How to Cut and edit videos with your mobile phone
  • Interviews and ambient sounds
  • How to publish films on social networks
  • On the air: Send to the net via smartphone