Come and join me at Business Vlog Summit as I teach an iPhone Video Class
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I am super excited to announce that I will be speaking at the Business Vlog Summit in Las Vegas in August!

What is Business Vlog Summit about?
Business Vlog Summit is creating a space for online entrepreneurs like you: bloggers, podcasters, and vloggers to learn how your craft is not only a means to earn a living online, but also a way to make a meaningful impact on your client and community. To do work that matters. Because that’s what life is really about, doing work you love, living a life you love, and telling your story through video to help others.

I'm very excited to speak there and talk about using your iPhone for filming and shooting videos. I'll be doing a short class as well as a workshop/course.

If you would like to buy a ticket, there's still time! Visit Business Vlog Summit and purchase your ticket before it's sold out. And definitely let me know if you will be there!

MoviePro app: Why it's my go to app for filming video on the iPhone

In this video I go over why I like MoviePro versus Filmic Pro when filming video on my iPhone.

Here's the video transcript:

So today I am going to be talking about MoviePro because I have mentioned it in some of my videos and some of you have asked about it. So what is this moviePro and why do I use it for recording videos with my iPhone?

Before I go into it, let me share a little bit of a backstory of why I decided to go to moviePro.  I did go from one app to another app and finally ended up with MoviePro.

 

So just like you, I started using the native app on the iPhone because that’s where everybody starts. I was absolutely happy with it until I wanted to make more cinematic videos with my iPhone. Why did I switch out of it? Well specifically because of frame rate. I'm not going to go into framerates and why use one over the other but just know that for a more cinematic look, 24 frames per second is the way to go. Unfortunately the native app can't do that so I decided to go look for another app that would allow me to film at 24 frames per second. So for that very specific reason alone I looked for something else and I found Filmic Pro. Why  Filmic Pro? They must have just had really  great at marketing and that's kind of what a lot of people were talking about. It was super popular. In fact, a movie ( I think that's why everybody knew about the app) a movie was made using Filmic Pro and it was featured at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie was called Tangerine and was all filmed using an iPhone 5. So that's why Filmic Pro. I thought, if a whole movie can be filmed using this app well then of course it's what I should use. I was happy with Filmic Pro for the longest time until very recently when they switched their user interface which then made things really clunky for me. So what is it about Filmic Pro that I currently don't like and made me go look for something else? it's the way they set up their controls. Now here is where we go into the controls of MoviePro and why I think it's better for me. If you didn’t know, I'm actually also a user experience designer so maybe I'm a little bit more picky about interfaces and the ease of use of interfaces than most people so this might not be a problem for you but it was a problem for me.

If you're an iPhone vlogger like I am or if you do videos with your iPhone, you probably want to use the selfie camera and go back and forth between the back camera and the front camera. The primary reason why I switched out of Filmic Pro is that it took two taps to go and switch the cameras around versus just one tap that it used to be. So why is that a big deal? Well, when you're filming, all you want to do is, look at your interface, tap on it, and then make it do the thing you want it to do right away. Originally with Filmic Pro, it was fine. It was one tap, then it switched and then you were rolling. But now, they hid the controls in a drawer that pops out from the bottom. So then you have to look around amongst all of these other icons. It requires way too much thinking and fumbling around. I just want to be able to access my controls quickly! That's why I quickly became frustrated with the user interface on Filmic Pro.  I decided to launch MoviePro, and old app that I had for the longest time but never used because I was happy with Filmic Pro. After over a year of not using, I was so happy to discover that it’s actually a very fantastic app! I recommend you get this app! I love it over Filmic Pro. I'm really sorry Filmic Pro! You're great but for me, this user interface works a little bit better. If you haven't tried it definitely try it out.  

The only thing that I know of that Filmic Pro has that MoviePro, currently does not have, is the ability to record in flat mode or log mode. What does that mean? So if you are into color grading your videos and adding themes and filters and then you probably know what recording flat is and you probably care about that.  To everyone else who doesn’t know, recording “flat” means your contrast is really low so that in post-processing when editing your videos, you can add back in all kinds of color ranges. For me it's not that important because I'm usually just recording a vlog. But if I were to film a whole movie and I did want to put some artistic you flair into it then I might care about log. That's the one thing that Filmic Pro has.  Other than that I'm super happy with Movie Pro.

Use the Apple Airpods as bluetooth wireless microphones for video with the iPhone!

I was right! You CAN use the Apple Airpods as a bluetooth wireless microphone for your iPhone videos!

You don't understand how excited I was to find this out when I finally got my hands on a pair of Apple Airpods.

The hardest part was having to wait 6 weeks to get my hands on them. Did I wait 6 weeks? No. I ended up paying another $30 more on EBay so that I didn't have to wait. Was it worth the wait? You be the judge. Watch the video and listen to the audio to judge for yourself whether you think the audio from the Apple Airpods are good enough for you.

Why did I buy these when there are many other wireless mics that can plug into your iPhone? Well, these bluetooth Airpods are the ONLY way I can capture audio when I have my iPhone 7 Plus on the DJI Osmo Gimbal. I've tried using the adapter and plugging in a wireless mic but the DJI Osmo can't handle it. So I've had to borrow someone else's iPhone in order to record audio while using the gimbal. I know, it's such a specific problem.

But the Airpods work well enough as a wireless mic for your iPhone video. And guess what? It doesn't cost you an arm and a leg like the other wireless microphones. The Rode Wireless Lavalier mics that I have cost over $400. The Apple Airpods (if you can wait 6 weeks) cost less than $200. Yes, the quality isn't amazing. If you want high quality audio, definitely go the expensive route. But, if all you're doing is vlogging? These are perfect!

I'm super excited to have these and will be vlogging with my iPhone much more! They're super low key and don't bring attention to me and I'm getting decent audio! (Definitely better than just using the mic on iPhone.) I equate the sound of these with using your wired earpods. So if you were happy with that audio, you will be happy with these. And now you'll be wireless!

The ONE thing you have to know though is that you can't just use ANY app to record your videos. The Airpods will not work with the native app. So far, from the 3 filming apps I've tested, (Apple Camera app, Filmic Pro and Movie Pro) only Movie Pro will let me use the Apple Airpods as my audio source. So, make sure you have the right app.

I hope that was helpful! If you know anyone that will find this useful definitely share! And don't forget to like the video on Youtube and Subscribe.

If you want to learn more about how to film videos with your iPhone, check out my iPhone video course.

The ultimate guide to video editing apps on the iPhone

iMovie, Adobe Clip, Filmmaker Pro, VideoShop, and Kinemaster. Soooo many different apps! What's the difference and why use one over the other? 

I've probably bought WAAAY too many video apps in an effort to find the perfect app that lets me edit my iPhone videos the way I'm used to editing them on my desktop using Adobe Premiere Pro. It has been a confusing round robin of using one video app to do one thing then exporting and importing into the next app to do another thing. Just like with cameras, there is never a perfect video editing app. Gah. BUT guess what? I've found the ALMOST PERFECT ONE! But let me tell ya, it ain't cheap. Read on to see which iphone video editing app was the CLEAR winner.

First let me review each of the apps.

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iMovie (free) - Cielo's grade: B+

Let me just share with you my relationship with this app. It was my first love. It broke my editing er, cherry, both on the desktop and on the iPhone. If you're in the Apple ecosystem, iMovie was probably your first iphone video editing app too. I quickly stopped using the app when I became more advanced with my editing. I left the app to languish in my "Video" folder on my iPhone for years. That is, until a few months ago. I launched it for god knows what reason, and to my sooooo pleasant surprise, it was amazing again! iMovie almost had all the features I wanted such as overlaying video over a video, aka b-roll. I was ashamed that I had been dismissing iMovie as a beginner video editing tool and touting other video editing apps as being better than iMovie. (So sorry iMovie! Am in love with Apple again!)

iMovie UI (screenshot from iTunes store)

iMovie UI (screenshot from iTunes store)

iMove is a great app and like I said, it's not just a beginner tool. It allows for different types of overlaying of video like split screen or picture in picture, or the plain ol' b-roll. It also allows for multiple layers of audio, text, and has some pretty cool transitions to choose from. iMovie almost does everything I want it to with an intuitive interface. The two things iMovie doesn't do that I need it to (and maybe you don't need it, so iMovie might be perfect for you), is allowing for portrait mode and title pages. I need portrait mode because Instagram stories, hello? This iPhone movie editing app is almost perfect. And hey, nothing beats FREE!

 

Adobe Clip (free) - Cielo's grade: C+

Oh Adobe. I really loved this app a couple of years ago. In fact, this was the video editing app I used in my iPhone Videography class (but will no longer be using). Adobe Clip makes it really easy to see your different clips and do the basic things. But now it's been left behind by the other apps. The only reason anyone would want to use Adobe Clip is because it syncs to your Adobe Creative Cloud and you can pick up your editing using Premiere Pro on the desktop. But once you've started editing your video with Premiere Pro, there is no going back to your iPhone to edit that same video. It's a one way street. If you're new to editing, Adobe Clip keeps it really simple. it's very hard to mess up with this one. But if you require anything more than trimming your clips and adding 1 song or audio track, then you will outgrow this app very quickly.

Adobe Clip UI (screenshot from iTunes store)

Adobe Clip UI (screenshot from iTunes store)

Splice by GoPro - Cielo's grade: B-

I started using Splice after I ditched Adobe Clip.  The ability to add multiple tracks of audio for voice overs, background music, and sound effects was enough to make me switch over. The interface was also much more like the normal video editing interface that I'm used to on the desktop. What's confusing about the app though is that there are 2 tabs - one for editing video and one for editing audio. Like, why? (Sorry, that's the ux designer in me nitpicking user interaction.) The app allows for portrait mode though. Gosh who knew this would be so important to me? I know, kind of a lame ask, but blame Snapchat.

Splice UI (screenshot from iTunes store)

Splice UI (screenshot from iTunes store)

 

Videoshop ($1.99) - Cielo's grade: B-

Oh Videoshop. This iphone video editing app is the underog of editing apps. It is a powerful but ignored app. This app actually does almost everything the other apps do but the user interface is clunky. It is feature rich though! It was the first app (to my knowledge) that let me overlay a video over a video. I even declared this was my favorite iPhone video editing app of all time on my Youtube video. This app lets you add multiple tracks of audio, voice over, layers of video, titles, text overlay, video enhancements (exposure, contrast etc), and so much more. The unique thing about Videoshop is that it tells you the different time limits for the social apps. It shows you when you're at the max time limit for Vine or Snapchat.

Video shop UI (Taken from iTunes store)

Video shop UI (Taken from iTunes store)

 

Filmmaker Pro (Free*) - Cielo's grade: B+

I had been going back and forth with Filmmaker and iMovie. I was so excited to have found this pro iPhone video editing app! The interface is very much like iMovie that I get confused which app I am using. Where this app shines is the text effects and transitions. If you are into fancy animations with your text and love stickers, this iPhone editing app is for you! And to one up iMovie, Filmmaker lets you create movies in portrait mode. My one BIG complaint with this app is that it is so darn hard to add music! Why can't I add music from my playlist from iTunes? Why?? You can only add music you've purchased from iTunes. I have all these free songs I downloaded from YouTube's free audio library that I created a playlist  for so that I can access them for this very reason. But Filmmaker won't let me. As a workaround I've had to put the music files in a folder in Dropbox, download them from the Dropbox app on my iPhone and then share it to Filmmaker. Not an amazing experience. 

*$5.99 to remove water

Filmmaker Pro UI (Taken from iTunes store)

Filmmaker Pro UI (Taken from iTunes store)

 

KineMaster (Free trial, $4.99/mo) - Cielo's grade: A-

ALMOST. Almost there. I just want to cry. I just want to reach out to the developers and ask for portait mode. That's the ONLY thing this app can't do. Gah. But ok, so this iPhone video editing app does EVERYTHING! YES! And it does it well. (Besides the fact that it crashes kind of a lot after a while. But maybe I'm just trying to do too much?) This app interface is really well thought out. I can edit my video to the milli-second! And I can somewhat see the audio track peaks and valleys so that I know where to cut my clips (to time it with the music). The fact that I'm already talking about advanced editing means this video editing app is for the ADVANCED editor.  But, that doesn't mean it's not simple enough for the beginner as well. This app lets you add multiple layers of video, text, photos, audio, and sound effects. You can control speed and sound of individual clips. You can faaaaaade an audio track to wherever your heart pleases using their volume envelope. You can animate a text layer's intro and other neat text tools. Oh my goodness. This iPhone video editing app does it all. The only thing is that it's not cheap. To use the app without a watermark, you need to fork up $4.99 a month. Which only someone serious about editing would pay for. But you know what, to someone like me, because I've looked for soooo long for something soooo perfect, I'm willing to pay the $4.99. It's like having gone on so many crappy first dates and then finally meeting someone that you just click with. You don't take that for granted. Now I don't have to wait to get to my desk to edit my iPhone movies. I can post my edited Instagram stories almost right away! My small but supportive Instagram following is grateful I'm sure. ;P 

So, if you've read this far, the clear winner of iPhone video editing apps is KineMaster. Yay KineMaster! You guys rock! Let's celebrate! (And then can you guys please add portrait mode so that I can quit rotating my videos and importing into Filmmaker Pro to save as a portrait video? Thank you!)

KineMaster UI (Taken from iTunes store)

KineMaster UI (Taken from iTunes store)

So now I went even further and charted out all of the features for you! Because who the heck remembers which app has what feature. You can download the chart below. You're welcome! 

Download the iPhone Video Editing Apps Feature Comparison Chart!

 
Weekly Clips: Casey Neistat, iPhone 7 and a Moment Lens film

Let's start this week's picks with a video that was shot on iPhone 7! This one is a travel video. Pay attention to the variety of shots in the video. If it were just all wide shots it wouldn't have been as interesting. This video makes good use of shot variety and shot SPEED variety.

Shot on iPhone 7 / 1:58 min.

A beautiful short film with a powerful message all shot on an iPhone 6s. This is a great example that it doesn't take a lot of fancy gear to create great content.

Life Lessons / 2:00m

And last but not least is vlogger Casey Neistat's guide to filmmaking. If you're not familiar with Casey Neistat you need to get familiar with him fast! His vlogs pretty addicting. Where he shines and other vloggers don't is exactly what he talks about in this video. (Hint - it's not about the gear!)

Casey Neistat's Guide to Filmmaking / 7:25 m

Let me know what you think of these and if they've inspired you to start creating your own videos!

How long should your videos be?

Are you tired of hearing "It depends."?

I'm like you. I like concrete answers. I honestly hate hearing "it depends". I mean, c'mon. Can't you give a general answer? Like,  what if it's for the average person for the typical experience?

So I finally found the definitive answer to how long your videos should be! We all know the "it depends" stuff. Like it depends on what you're trying to say. Your video needs to be however long it needs to be to get your message across. Nope. I don't agree with that. In this day and age, we have so many other videos to watch! Our attention spans are only so long. Tell it to me straight!

Ok so enough rant. Here's the answer.

2 minutes. Or less.

And who says so? Besides me. I certainly agree with that. I find that if I'm watching a Youtube video, I really only have the appetite for videos less than 2 minutes. Maybe 3. If it is any longer, it better be a really good video with a really good message or extremely entertaining. Otherwise, I'm swiping that video down and browsing through to the next.

If you want more details around why, you can read about it from The Storytelling Non-Profit.

For more granular length depending on the type of video, here's a guide taken from The Next Web.

For tutorials and explainers: 45 - 90 seconds

Creative commercials: 15 - 59 seconds

Crowdfunding videos: 2 - 3 minutes

Testimonials and talking heads: 60 - 119 seconds

It is quite a challenge to keep videos short especially if you have a lot to say. But I think we can all benefit from concise messages. But if you have to have a longer video, there are techniques you can use to keep your audience engaged. It's used in filmmaking all the time. (How else are they able to keep us engaged through a 3 hour movie?) 

Stick around and I will cover that in another post.

I hope that helps!

I did a quick video about it along with answering some questions from some of you. If you'd rather "watch" the answer, watch the video.