How to Shoot Cinematic Video with Your Phone Using Household Items

Video quality on smartphones is incredible now. The latest iPhones shoot 4K video in 10-bit HDR for crying out loud. Even with the specs, smartphones still lack one key element for reliable filmmaking: ergonomics. Nobody has ever wanted a camera with the limited controls and design of a smartphone, but it is sometimes the easiest option you have on hand.

Getting cinematic video with your phone comes down to a few factors. One important element is stability as shaky handheld video can ruin a shot. You could pick up a gimbal stabilizer or use some other fancy tricks or you could check out this video from Cheekiemonsta Media that has some fun DIY solutions.

For social media it may be easiest to shoot directly with a phone to make the workflow straightforward. The focus of this video is to make it easier to operate and get steady footage. And all the DIY projects are done with household objects.

Project 1: Makeshift Phone Stand

This will be useful for more than just getting stable video. Think about it as an option for doing all those video calls that are happening now or even as a way to watch something without needing to hold your phone.

Items needed:

  • Bottle
  • Rubber bands

What you need to do is pull the rubber band on one side of your phone in the shooting position. Take the bottle and put it next to the rubber band on the back of your phone. Then grab the back of the rubber band and stretch it over the bottle to hold it in place and stretch it around the other side of the phone.

You’ll need some strong and just long enough rubber bands and bottle to make sure it works. You can also use a few rubber bands to make it extra durable.

The obvious use case is as a stand. A neat idea is to hold the bottle and slide it across a surface to get a slider effect. Making this easier is to put a sock over the bottle.

Project 2: Dual-Handle Phone Grip

For handheld shooting having two hands with good grip is gong to be very helpful. That’s where this makeshift dual-handle phone grip can help.

Items needed:

  • Clothes hanger
  • 2 pens
  • Rubber bands

You’ll want to secure the pens to the hanger as your first step. Doubling up the rubber band for extra strength is important. Put the pen through two bands and get it towards the center of the hanger. Then pull the rubber band around the top of the hanger and loop it back over the pen to secure it. Do the same for the bottom of the hanger with the second rubber band.

Repeat with the second pen. At this point, you should have two pens secured to the hanger to serve as backing support for your phone. Give the pens enough space to support the phone.

Using the same trick as the stand, you’ll take a rubber band or two and wrap it around your phone and around the back of the pens to mount it.

And there you go! It’ll be nice because you can easily hang up your phone where you need it, hold it by the hook for some easier shooting positions, and then just use the two-handed position to keep it steady for normal shots.

Do you have any of your own DIY projects?

[source: Cheekiemonsta Media]

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