Using your smartphone to make a short film - a hands-on course at Bell House

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A total mixture of people showed up on Saturday 24th February at Bell House, ranging in age from 20 to 65, to learn how to make films on the small camera in their pockets – which also doubles up as a mobile phone.  Some brought iPhones and others had android phones, but Cassius Rayner's course works for all these devices; particularly impressive considering there are over 200 different android phones on the market.  In just over 5 hours we learnt about light, focus, tracking and editing, and, best of all, we ended up making our own short film.  In a rather circular process, the film I made with my two team-mates was a film about a teddy arriving at Bell House to go on a film course.


The professional film-makers on the course were planning to make all sorts of short films - for charities, for businesses, and for interviews. Not everyone was a professional, and come came just for the sheer fun of doing something creative.  Cassius explained that making a good film is all about a compelling story, told in a way that's eye-catching and easy to follow, so when we were making our films, we focused on creating an interesting story. After shooting, we used a variety of different editing apps to create our finished product.

The course was also full of tips and demonstrations of useful kit, from sliders to splitters, and microphones to tripods.  None of the smartphone add-ons are absolutely necessary, but it was surprising to see the range that's available. It was great to learn how affordable and cost-effective all the equipment is, and it really did make a difference to the quality of the filming.

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Whether you are serious about making short films or just want to have fun, this is the course for you - in a month's time Cassius will be running the same smartphone filmmaking course again. It costs £65, and in my opinion, is worth every penny.  The course on Saturday was sold out, and this one will be too very shortly! Sign up now before the tickets go! - .  And if you work for a charity, then there is a specific course running on 27th April, teaching charity sector employees how to best use their smartphone to maximise filming for their charity in the age of social media: