You may be wondering, why does VIDGURU want me to use my phone to record myself and/or the person I’m interviewing? Isn’t it a lot easier to just use Zoom and hit ‘record’ there?
Well, yes, it is easier to just record your Zoom call. However, there are several drawbacks to recording your audio and video this way:
Like, A LOT lower. And how many times have you been in a Zoom meeting where the video has frozen, the sound gets all garbled, or both just suddenly disappear? You definitely don’t want that to happen during an important interview, do you? Heck, no! If you want your video or podcast to look and sound professional, using your phone is the way to go.
In case you need a painful reminder of how bad Zoom calls can go, check out this great interview (if you could see and hear it consistently) with former Minneapolis Police Chief Tony Bouza
When you record your Zoom call, what you see and hear is what you get. If the person’s image on screen isn’t great (which it won’t be), you can’t do much to enhance it. And since you don’t get separate audio tracks for you and the person you’re talking to, if your audio is much louder than theirs, or one of you coughs while the other is talking, there’s not much you can do to fix these problems later.
If you have a poor internet connection, then your video may end up with little jumps and starts in it. Zoom — even after you have saved the file to your desktop — is still recording everything in the cloud. That means it’s quality is always dependent on the internet connection you have.
Image of phone; image of recording studio with = sign between them (Phone = Recording studio)
Image of phone with smiley face over it
Using your phones to record your conversation is like setting up little individual recording studios in your homes. You can get a really nice image with minimal lighting and setup. And you can isolate your audio so that each person’s voice is on a separate audio track that can be edited and enhanced in the edit. You also get two clean video clips to edit together (unlike Zoom where you just get one). This allows you to cut out pieces that don’t work so well or where you fumbled a bit as you were speaking and had to start over. (It happens!). The other bonus is that your phone will record an HD or 4K file depending on what camera you decide to use (front facing = 1080p HD, back = 4K). This means that you can reframe some of your interview if you want a closer shot (to avoid a jump cut, for example), without losing any video quality.
Images of phone recording set up from DIY guides
The phone recording method does take a little more time to set up. But really, not much. (Not nearly as much time if a real camera crew came to your house or office to film you!) And like anything you’ve never done before, it can feel a bit awkward the first time or two you try it. (The nice part is non one ever needs to see those takes if you don’t like them!) But, trust us, the professional quality and technical and storytelling flexibility you’ll get using this method is worth it! We’ve trained many people in this method, and though they may be hesitant at first, they learn quickly how to implement it on their own, and they’re thrilled when they see and hear the results. In the immortal words of a certain award-winning commercial you may or may not remember, “Try it; you’ll like it”!
To learn how to use your phone to record remote interviews for your videos or podcasts, check out these VIDGURU guides:
Link to DIY guides and videos about remote recording w/your phone