How I Shot and Edited a Music Video with my iPhone X
When I got my iPhone X at the beginning of the month, I was blown away by the camera capabilities. The video quality is better than my Canon 5D Mark 3. The iPhone can shoot 4K video at 24, 30, and 60 frames per second while my 5D is restricted to 1080.
Once I saw the quality for myself, I challenged myself to shoot, color grade, and edit an entire music video on nothing but my iPhone X. I sent my friend, TQ, a text and asked if he had a song we could shoot a video for ASAP. My idea seemed simple enough but I honestly didn’t know what I was getting myself into…
While filming, I used the Zhiyun Smooth Q 3-axis gimbal. For the price, you really can’t beat it. It’s simple to balance and very easy to use.
All of the performance footage was filmed in 4K at 24 frames per second. The B-Roll was filmed in 4K at 60 frames per second. I was proud of myself for remembering to switch it every time! I usually forget at least once during a video shoot and kick myself later for accidentally filming performance footage at 60 frames per second. (Insert eye roll here.)
Although the camera on the iPhone X is crazy good, I wanted to have a little more control over the settings, so I used an app called ProCam. It enabled me to change the ISO and shutter speed to my preferences. I made sure I changed the camera settings in both the app and the iPhone each time I switched from 24 to 60 fps.
First of all, I knew I needed an app that was a little more robust than iMovie or Adobe Clip, the app version of Premiere. I researched and discovered Luma Fusion — a pretty sweet little app that costs $20. It allows for 3 audio and 3 video tracks which was key for this project. I needed to be able to have multiple tracks to make this work. The app has options for adding transitions and titles, color grading, applying and importing presets and LUTs, inserting or overwriting, importing fonts, and MUCH more. I originally bought an app called VideoGrade for color grading, but once I figured out how to use Luma Fusion’s color tools I used it exclusively.
As much as I love the Luma Fusion app, it does have some glitches. After saving the video I had spent hours editing, I noticed the audio syncing was off. So even if it looked right in the app, once I exported the video my clips weren’t synced properly with the audio. After almost 2 full days of editing on this small iPhone screen, the lagging glitch almost made me give up. My eyes hurt, my head hurt, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get it synced properly.
I will say that when I emailed the Luma Fusion support team, someone got back with me almost immediately and gave me a tip that was supposed to help with the issue. Sometimes it helped and sometimes it didn’t. When I told them it didn’t work, they offered to look at my project themselves and find the problem but I was already finished at that point. (Props to them for great customer service!) In the end, I exported this video more than a dozen times trying to get it perfectly synced. I would watch the newly exported version on my laptop, see where it was off, and then move the video clip one or two frames in the direction it needed to go in the app. It looked completely off when I tried to watch the video from beginning to end in the app so I had to do this trial and error process over and over. Yeah… that part was ridiculously time consuming, tedious, and really nuts. I hope Luma Fusion plans to work out the kinks because this app could truly be a game changer…
I’m proud of this project even though it almost made me crazy. It’s insane that we can use a device we all carry in our back pockets to make a full music video. If you plan to try this, I’d say make sure you have plenty of time to give your eyes a break in between editing. The preview screen in the app only takes up a quarter of the iPhone. Talk about eye strain…
I had a headache for 3 days straight while I worked on this. We filmed, edited, and released the video all within 5 days!
I’ve gotta give a shout out to my friend, Danielle, who came up with the concept for this video and also donated money for us to help the homeless in Houston. She’s the real deal and one of my favorite people on the planet.
To those of you who are fans of TQ, you already know this, but what you see in this video is a true testament to his character. I’ve never met someone more genuine than this guy. I’m proud to call you my friend, T!
If you try this, I’d love to see your project! Shoot me a link at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m done staring at screens for a while… LOL. Peace out.
Be sure to watch the video above!