Here is some guidance (not 'rules') to improve the quality of the peer modelling videos that you make:
1) ORIENTATION OF PHONE
Make sure you shoot the video with the camera held horizontally to produce video that will best match the YouTube (and HDTV) 'aspect ratio' of 16:9 - this sounds obvious; however, many students will usually shoot video for other social media and hold the camera in a vertical position (the natural position for holding a phone). To maximize the use of the YouTube frame, and therefore create a larger image for easier viewing, the 16:9 ratio should be respected.
Avoid holding the camera directly with your hand, if possible. Whilst the electronic stabilization of many new smartphones is impressive, it cannot entirely compensate for the movement that inevitably comes from hand holding a camera for any great length of time. Sometimes it is possible to rest the camera on a solid object. A good option is a tripod, which can be purchased for as little as $20. An adapter to hold the phone to the tripod will also be necessary and can be purchased for a few dollars. If your video making requires movement, it can be smoothed with a gimbal - these can be purchased for about $100. All of this video was shot with a gimbal. And all the panning shots of this video were shot with a gimbal. However, all of these videos could have been made with a tripod, like this one. Of course, a big advantage of a tripod is that you can shoot the video of yourself working, whereas the gimbal is held by someone else.
When capturing the art making, make sure you record more video that you think will be required. It is difficult to sense exactly how much will be required when you are shooting video; what seems to be plenty at the time of shooting, often turns out to be far too little for the viewer to appreciate - you do not usually want your video to jump around from one shot to another. It is easy to edit too much video down to size later, so shoot more than you think you need.
Try and shoot the video next to a window that is not in direct sunlight. This will give a nice diffuse and naturally daylight balanced light. Most indoor lighting is poor for video recording. You can buy LED video lights if you have to use artificial light. One advantage of artificial light is that it stays constant throughout the recording, whereas the light from a window will change in intensity and even colour, sometimes within minutes. This video was shot with artificial lights because it was made over a period of weeks and in a variety of locations . All of the following video was shot with natural daylight from a large window, in one session:
Before making any videos, watch lots of high quality documentary and tutorial style videos on YouTube and get a feel for different angles and ways of 'telling the story'. There are lots of great tutorials for beginners on YouTube too. And shoot lots of video for practice - when you come to edit it, you will soon learn what is required! If you don't have much time to get experienced at video making, shoot a lot of video from different angles, and at different stages of the art making, and then work it all out later in editing. The only problem with this approach is that editing takes a lot of time, and even longer if you are not working to some sort of plan. This is why most film makers work to a storyboard. You should at least have a general idea of what you want the viewer to know before beginning to shoot the video. This is not difficult, since you really want to show the viewer how you meet curriculum outcomes in your art practice and how you are working like an artist. Perhaps you could write down these outcomes and regularly refer to the list. This will have the added benefit of helping you to continuously reflect on your practice, which is one of the main reasons for making the video.
Do not forget to make a quality audio recording. You can record audio at the time of making the video, or afterwards as a commentary. This is really a matter of personal preference, and what kind of story you want to tell. Most people are not confident to talk to camera as they do their art work. You might be! The advantage of this approach is that you will probably produce a very natural commentary. Some people find it very hard to talk to camera about their work without notes. One way you can overcome this problem is by imagining a person and talk to them. Or, don't talk directly to the camera, but talk to a person who is in the room with you. If you are recording a commentary, after the video recording, you might want to write a script, to make sure you cover all the points you want to make. You might read this several times out loud, and you will improve in fluency. After reading the script several times, you could then try talking naturally about your work, without the script. Many people just have to use a script, and that is O.K. too. However, practice reading it many times and then you will sound more natural, as well as making less mistakes (which saves time when editing later).
Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of video making is the sound quality of the video. When you think of 'a video' you don't automatically think of 'audio'; and yet, for many purposes, a low quality video with high quality audio is better than a high quality video with poor quality audio. The good news is that you do not need very expensive audio recording equipment. Again, a free audio or 'voice recorder' app on your phone can work perfectly well for a peer modelling video. The secret is where you record the audio. You will be surprised how noisy most environments are when you listen back to a recording. A quick and easy solution is to record the audio in a car sitting in the most quiet location you can find. An even better solution is to sit inside a walk-in clothes closet, surrounded by clothes and blankets etc. Compare the audio on these videos: The audio on this video was made in the most 'quiet' location in a school (empty library) - this is the quality after spending a lot of time filtering it in an audio editor. The audio on this video was made in a clothes closet, and required no audio filtering or processing. The audio could have been improved further if I had used something to hold the phone at a better distance from my mouth; in this case I just rested it on something. The ideal would have been a tripod or microphone stand which could be adjusted to a precise distance, and that distance would remain constant throughout the recording, avoiding issues with the volume levels. If you need to edit the audio, it can be done in the app you use to edit the video, or in a dedicated audio editing app, and then added to the video app.
There are many free audio/voice recorder apps that can record high quality WAV files. A great place to record the audio (outside of a professional studio) is in a walk-in clothes closet.
There are apps to edit video on the smartphone, but this is difficult with such a small screen. A tablet computer is a little better, but ideally you want to do this on a regular computer - it will make careful editing much easier. If you have an Apple device, you can simply use iMovie. Otherwise, you could try some of the following apps:
There are many ways of editing audio. You can even edit audio with free apps on your phone. However, because of the size of the interface, you will find it easier to edit the audio on an iPad, laptop or desktop computer. If you have an Apple device, you can simply use the Garage Band app. Otherwise, I recommend you use one of the following solutions:
CROSS CURRICULAR OPPORTUNITIES: A student might be able to combine their art making with a project in a technology course. For example, in the Nova Scotia high school curriculum there are many outcomes in the Exploring Technology, Multimedia, Communications, and Film and Video courses that could be met by the creation of a peer modelling video. If the art student wasn't also doing a technology course, they might collaborate with a student that was taking such a course. Without a doubt, this would enable a much high quality of video to be made.
iOS: Voice Memos
Chrome extension: Mic Note
Audio editing apps:
Or, edit audio in a video editing app: DaVinci Resolve (this has a professional audio app, 'Fairlight', included)
Video editing apps:
Windows/Mac: DaVinci Resolve (Highly recommended, but only if your computer has a graphics card 2Gb+)
Windows 10: Inside the 'Photos App' that comes with Windows 10, there is a video editing app. Older systems still have 'Windows Moviemaker'
MacOS/ iOS: iMovie comes with these operating systems.
Alternative 'video makers':
Online: Adobe Spark (allows you to make a video with just stills photography, and recording your voice within the app)
Online Chrome Extension: Screencastify (allows you to record your screen and audio synchronously)
Windows/Mac: OBS (screen recording software)
Lackey, R. (2019, January 21). Shot on iPhone for Netflix: Soderbergh’s Latest Film “High Flying Bird.” Cinema 5D. https://www.cinema5d.com/shot-on-iphone-for-netflix-soderberghs-latest-film-high-flying-bird/
Richter, F. (2020, February 7). Digital Camera Sales Dropped 87% Since 2010. Statista. https://www.statista.com/chart/5782/digital-camera-shipments/
Woodward, D. (2018, March 12). How to a shoot a movie on your phone, according to Steven Soderbergh. Dazed. https://www.dazeddigital.com/film-tv/article/39355/1/how-to-shoot-a-movie-on-an-iphone-steven-soderbergh-unsane