Smartphone video recording is surprisingly easy. The newer iPhones have extraordinary picture quality that is most certainly comparable to that of the lower end consumer HD camcorders we recommend. They are also convenient because they are usually with you so when an amazing moment or discovery happens you can grab your phone and capture it. Or if you are on location installing with a living artist you can use your phone to capture an interview about their intentions for the care of their work.
The most important tool you will need to capture good video is this $24 cable from KV Connection that enables you to attach one of our favorite $23 mics to the phone. If you are not using the KV connection cable (in this photo below) to attach the microphone to the phone you won't be getting sound from the mic. This cable bridges the 3 ring phone connector to the two ring microphone connector (some are 1 ring too, they also work just fine). Make sure that your microphone is switched ON, if it has been left on from the last time you might want to put a fresh battery in, don't forget to turn it off when you are done. The batteries can last an incredibly long time if you remember to shut off the mic after each use.
It is very important that you do a test before proceeding. Just record a couple seconds, make sure to lightly tap on the external microphone itself so that you can be sure that it is working. You need to make sure that your sound has not been recorded by the phone's internal microphone, if you don't hear a super loud tap on the microphone when you playback you will need to double check your connections (power and batteries too!). Once you are certain that your mic set up works you can proceed with your interview. For a little more cash you can also get one of these cables that allows you to listen to the audio you are recording on headphones.
Gorilla pods are great tool for holding your smartphone still for interviews or talking head type demonstrations or examinations. Hand holding your phone and keeping the image quality good is very hard because they are so light weight they capture a lot of shaking and vibration of your movements.
You can also attach the little brace that comes with the gorilla pod smartphone package to a full size tripod to use your phone like you would any camera. That is how we recorded this video:
Use work lights to make sure your subject and their workspace is clear and viewable. See in the example below how we angled the worklight toward the subject so that we can clearly see her face. Ideally I would have also set up a work light closer to the camera so that the lighting would be from the front, her work area is much brighter than her.
Here is the video:
Interview two people, or include your own voice on the recording! You can also add on this $2 accessory to use two of the $23 microphones, This is just a simple 3.5mm Y cable, this is the same kind of cable you can use to split audio to two headphones to listen to music with a friend.