If you’re going mobile, use this Moby Click mantra to help you remember the basics…
Audio is the most important thing and a decent microphone will ensure you get it. Bad audio equals bad story and while everything else on your mobile phone is pretty awesome, the inbuilt microphone really isn’t. Check out the ‘what’s in your #mojo bag?‘ feature for some recommendations. See K for a plan B…
Film landscape, not portrait. This is for lots of reasons, not least because it looks much better and you’ll struggle to edit and embed vertical videos (although there are ways. And you can always use the PicPlayPost app for verticals too).
A dead phone equals a dead story. Carry back-up battery power with you, always. Again, check out the ‘what’s in your #mojo bag?‘ feature for some recommendations.
There is nowhere for a mobile journo to hide. You are responsible for everything: all the control and responsibility rests on your shoulders. It’s also likely that your personality will be highlighted in what you produce and publish, as well as the channels you publish on. Be confident.
CREATIVITY AND COLLABORATION
Mobile storytelling requires creativity. With the ability to create video, audio, design and publish on your mobile phone – and compete with all the other content out there- you’ll need to think creatively and visualise your story before creating it. And that’s where collaboration comes in – mobile journalism has the potential to be lonely so collaborate on projects, bounce ideas around and, at the very least, use social networks to test your theories.
You want light in front of your subject, not behind. So get the sun on your interviewee’s faces (not too much or you’ll get squinting) and be wary of changing sunlight if there’s a window nearby, you’ll get ghostly flickering. And there’s always this.
INTERACTIVITY AND INNOVATION
Use your mobile to research, network, communicate, curate, publish and share. And load it up with apps. Your phone will be your toolbox, full of things you use sometimes, often, or perhaps only once. New apps flood the market all the time and time experimenting is time well spent. And remember, one app won’t do everything – so don’t be afraid to use several to create your story.
Without descent 3G/4G or wifi connection, your story won’t get much further than your camera roll. This might not be an issue if you don’t plan to publish immediately, but saving or publishing large video projects may take an age with poor connection.
Rubbish audio? No microphone but decent shots? Here’s a back up plan – make a kinogram (silent movie) instead. There’s a lot to be said for great footage and some pithy titles.