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iPhone Filmmaking: From Shoot Through Edit

Lesson 7 of 19

Assessing the Location


iPhone Filmmaking: From Shoot Through Edit

Lesson 7 of 19

Assessing the Location


Lesson Info

Assessing the Location

let's get into assessing the location. So before you roll into the video what I like to do when I get to a place, Um, whether even if its travel in this particular case, it was a photo shoot of this design agency. But I don't start shooting right away. Um, I think if you're a photographer, you might already know that. Especially this landscape photography. You should look around first, you know, where where can you shoot from? There might be something cooler down the road. So I always like to spend a bit of time assessing the location and looking around to see you know what? What do we have here? So in this particular case, um, I took the time I spoke with the two designers, and then I asked them, toe, walk me around and show me, you know, what was their space all about? So that's really important to, um And then once you walk around and I'll go over this later, once you walk around, you will probably have some new things. Add to that shot list that you have, right, Phanom? You want to...

show us around? Yes, for sure. So this is where a lot of the computer stuff happens. Three D modeling. We have a three d printer here as well. And then what do you have here? So I see you have some more white boards up there? Yes. Okay. So one thing that we do here is a lot of the designs that we come up with a start with sketches, and we turned them into three very quickly. And so I see this is where you and Marta's work, Yes. Is this where you spend most of you day? Would you say we dio in this room? It's a lot of doing the actual design work and communicate with each other. So we talk to each other constantly, making sure that every client is taken care of and that every, you know, check markets is being checked. Got it. Okay. So immediately after hearing what Phanom told me about how the uses room, I want to make sure this is definitely in the video, cause this is where they deal bulk of their work. The three d printer is also very unique to industrial design. So I definitely want to see that in action. And of course, the sketches over there are also a part of their brand. So I do want to do some close up shots of those and maybe also some mawr of the raw sketches that they do. So you kind of see the variation of fidelity of their work. All right, let's go downstairs. Great. Oh, cool. Yeah. So this first room is a little bit of a luxury. Martus and I started shooting ourselves explaining what we do to be shared with students with start up founders. That's right, cause you teach as well. That's right. So this is important. Yeah. Okay, so So we, you know, got some equipment for lighting recording in a table where we explain everything. Okay, so, yeah, I think definitely this is going to be part of the story. Um, and maybe you can show us maybe could set it up so that it kind of looks like you're a bum to shoot, So that would be a good way to set this up for sure. All right, so let's move on to the next move on. So this is a really special room. So one of the things that we do at nonfiction is, um prototyping of soft goods. Got it. And one of my specialties specifically is leather goods. So I was trained in traditional leather crafting and studied her brand called Eternal Lux 45 years ago. Wow. The examples of our hand tools right here and machinery right here and everything is to make luxury goods made in San Francisco dies great. So immediately. I'm thinking this room is really interesting. Immediately, I'm thinking there's gonna be some great close ups happening. And here, especially the sewing machine, is so different from the three D printer upstairs and then also the leather goods. I mean, the detail of this definitely deserves a close up. And of course, some of the tools over here are also very unique to this craft. So I think what I will do is make sure I get close ups of those and maybe have Phanom picked them up and see how she holds them and portrayed that story. So this is a great room. Moving on to the next room has more playground. It's a playground. This is what we call the dirty workshop. As you can see, there's a lot of you know would and dust and things everywhere. And that's where we do a lot of wood foam markups, prototypes for packaging. We work on motorcycles. We weld here. We cut things with this machine. So it's a lot of, you know, making sure that what we're designing three D actually can be a tangible prototype very quickly. Awesome. So I think as I've seen all three rooms, I want to do a walk through kind of footage, just just just to show how big your spaces. I think that's super unique, especially in San Francisco. And again, this is just another different way. I mean, I love all the different areas that you have, Um, but here you notice it's a little bit darker, so I'm really gonna have to think about lighting here. So I'm probably going to bring some of the lights that I have to light up each of the different tools that I want to get a close up of. And especially here they have. I think you three d printed some of these right, and so that's really interesting. But as you can see, it's really dark here. So what I might do later is maybe move it or bring some lights to just bring it out. But this is a really great space, and it's Ah, it's a visual candy. Awesome. So the first thing I look for when I enter a location is the light, because the IPhone does have a really small sensor. I'm really sensitive to the light. I want to make sure that it's going to be, well, it or maybe I'll have to bring in some extra lights after I assessed the light I look at, Where can I shoot from? Where is the most interesting vantage point that will show, really, what's going on? Kind of like an establishing shot? And then I looked for the medium shots. What are some interesting things around the room that I can capture? And then finally, I look forward, the really interesting close up shots. So what deserves me closing up on that will really bring out of the story. So, for example, here, right now we have this great view, So I would probably shoot from that side over there to capture the view here, and then I see that there's a bookshelf there. I'm probably going to do something to work with that and then behind me is this white board that they have that has their sketches. So this is very unique to them. So I'd probably do a close up shot of this. So typically, that's what I look for. And this room is where they do a lot of their work. So I definitely want to make sure I incorporate it into the story. All right, so that was assessing the location. So remember how I said Make sure you have a shot list because what happened there? As soon as I got to the studio, I was like squirrels. There's you saw There were mean five different rooms and there was just so much going on in each of the rooms. You had the dirty workshop where there is a school motorcycle and you have these tools. And then you had the sewing room and there was just so much, um, had a hard time, just kind of not shooting everything. But that's when the shot list comes in handy, because it helps keep you focused. But it was really like I took my They were really nice where they let me teach you more than what I probably would we spend a lot of time? They're just because it was just such a like, Such a great space. I mean, so unique. Toe have a sewing room and the dirty workshop. And you have this high tech room with a three d printer, and then you have this conference room. I mean, there was just all around the house is so much going on, and the shot list kind of helped me focus. Um, yes, I do have a question that has come in from Linda Online as your scouting this area and crane the shot list. Do you already know the length of what the final piece is going to be? For example, 2.5 minutes or 10 minutes. Just so does that make a difference in terms of your shot list? Yes. That is a really good question. I did have an idea already because I knew this was gonna be a video that was more a promotional. It couldn't be anything really long. So I told them when I came in that the video was going to be somewhere between three and five, maybe six minutes. So it's going to be that short of a video. So given that knowing that you know, how much can you really fit in into a five minute video in terms of B roll and then the interview and so on it that helped me control what I was filming? Um, but I always tend to overshoot, and the reason for that is you want to give yourself options. It's it's better to have more than less. Um, it makes for a much, much better edit. But yes, it's a good question. I did have a duration of mind. Like if I knew it was going to be a 30 minute video, I would have shot things a lot differently. I would have lingered a lot longer. I would have had Phanom maybe so something together. You know that I would have had longer shots that had Mawr detailer action in them.

Class Description


  • Create a video entirely on the iPhone, from shoot to edit
  • Master advanced video apps on the iPhone
  • Learn how to use iPhone video accessories like gimbals and mics
  • Build a story arch and shot list for your film
  • Capture pro-level audio in an interview
  • Shoot supporting b-roll
  • Master iPhone video editing using apps
  • Record and add a voice over
  • Export and share your video


Who says you need expensive video gear to create movie magic? In this course, Cielo de la Paz breaks down capturing effective and high-quality films with gear that can fit in your pocket -- the iPhone. She’ll walk through the importance of pre-production and crafting your story ahead of your shoot. Learn how to use a variety of iPhone video accessories and apps while exploring the technical side on how to get the best shots.

By going in the field with Cielo, you'll learn to navigate real-world scenarios, from problem-solving to prioritizing your shot list. While the iPhone may be a smartphone, she'll walk through every element of capturing pro-quality video from a simple device, from recording audio to using add-on lenses. Capture shots that make the videographers with the bulky cameras jealous by using the iPhone's small form factor to your advantage.

But the iPhone isn't just a video camera -- it's a powerful tool for editing videos anywhere. Cielo will then take you back in the studio and walk through one of the best video editing apps for iPhone and iPad out there while explaining how to piece together your story into a cinematic success. Add your own editing style to raw footage to create a story worth sharing. There is a lot of magic and ability in the camera that is always with you -- learn to use its capabilities to capture and create great video.


  • Beginner to intermediate mobile filmmakers
  • Beginner filmmakers
  • Social media influencers
  • IGTV producers
  • Beginner to intermediate vloggers
  • Anyone interested in making videos with their phones


iOS apps LumaFusion 2019, FiLMiC Pro, and Hyperlapse


San Francisco-based mobile filmmaker and photographer Cielo de la Paz first found success with a Shot on an iPhone billboard. Since then, Cielo has been teaching others to find the same success using just a smartphone. The founder of, Cielo teaches iPhone film and video classes at Stanford, as well as sharing techniques at conferences, private events, and even with government agencies. Over the course of her online and in-person courses, she's helped thousands to capture their own stories using the simplest video gear. Along with those Shot on an iPhone billboards and commercials, you can also find her work in Business Insider, USA Today, National Geographic, and House Beautiful. Her creative approach to iPhone filmmaking helped her earn the Gold Cannes Lions Award, as well as honors from the Mobile Photography Awards and iPhone Photography Awards (IPPA).


  1. Introduction

    Meet your instructor and gain an overview of the course. Learn why the iPhone is a good storytelling tool. Pick up the pros and cons of shooting iPhone video.

  2. Your Story Arch

    Set yourself up for success from the start with the pre-production process. Build a story arch, a shot list, and prep your gear before the shoot. Brainstorm a simple storyline to keep your project on track.

  3. Creating a Shot List

    What footage will you need to capture in order to tell your story? What shots do you need to have enough to stitch everything together inside a video editor? Walk through the process of brainstorming potential shots, for both short videos and longer content such as interviews. With variety in mind, categorize your shot list to capture context and tell the whole story.

  4. Gear List

    When working with an iPhone, the gear you use tends to be smaller too -- but that doesn't mean you need to bring all your mobile video tools with you. Learn how to determine what to pack and what to leave home based on your story arch and shot list. Then, go through the different smartphone video accessories to find what you need and what you can skip to suit your shooting style.

  5. Introduction to Location Shoot

    Go behind the scenes for Cielo's iPhone video project capturing a promotional video for an industrial design company. Gain background and context on the project in this short lesson.

  6. Mobile Filmmaking Gear

    Continuing the behind-the-scenes video, learn what gear Cielo brings with her. Look at different options for support rigs from tripods to gimbals. Capture better audio using lavalier mics, shotgun mics, and Bluetooth-enabled mics. Explore different lens options as well as lighting choices.

  7. Assessing the Location

    Don't start shooting right away -- scouting the location is an important part of the process. Go behind the scenes to explore the location and see potential angles for the video. Learn to adapt your shooting plans based on what you see on location, and use the pre-planning to stay focused on the project.

  8. Setting Up the Interview

    Interviews are part of many video projects. Learn how to set up for an interview, from considering the lighting and the background to lenses, composition, and audio. Get creative with video hacks, like using a rolling office chair as a make-shift video dolly. Learn to navigate the app FiLMiC Pro for advanced shooting features.

  9. Capturing the Interview

    With the audio prepped, the background cleared and the composition selected, go behind the scenes for the actual interview shoot. Navigate shooting options in the FiLMiC Pro app, like 4K video quality and frame rates, then see the full interview.

  10. Capturing B Roll

    With the interview finished, work to capture supporting footage, called B-Roll. In this lesson, you'll learn how to add more visual interest to your shot by recording extra B-Roll during the shoot. Cielo also demonstrates how to use a gimbal to add stabilized camera motion video effects.

  11. Shooting Creatively

    The iPhone is so small, that you can put the camera in tiny places for a unique perspective and special effects. In this lesson, beef up your creativity by learning iPhone video tricks, from using gaffers tape to keep the iPhone in place to using the Apple Watch as a remote trigger. Work with time-lapse in the Hyperlapse app and other creative iPhone filming techniques.

  12. Organizing Your Footage

    The iPhone is so small, that you can put the camera in tiny places for a unique perspective and special effects. In this lesson, beef up your creativity by learning iPhone video tricks, from using gaffers tape to keep the iPhone in place to using the Apple Watch as a remote trigger. Work with time-lapse in the Hyperlapse app and other creative iPhone filming techniques.

  13. Culling Footage

    All your shots won't make it into the final version. Jump into video editing with the LumaFusion app, one of the best video editors in the iOS App Store. Learn how to import the files to the LumaFusion app to edit videos, as well as how to choose the best video clips for the project.

  14. Shaping the Story

    With the parts selected, arrange those clips into a storyline. Work with the video app to build a timeline. Learn to build a story arch, to arrange video clips inside the editing software, and more.

  15. Adding B Roll to the Edit

    With the story in place, supplement the main video with that creative B-Roll. Learn how to determine where to place B-Roll and how to use those iPhone video clips strategically.

  16. Color Grading and Fixing

    Color grading helps establish your editing style -- and it's a must if you shoot in the raw N-Log format. Master the editing tools for color inside LumaFusion, including shortcuts for color grading multiple video clips.

  17. Music

    Sound effects help determine the mood of the movie. In this lesson, Cielo shares tips for finding the right music, as well as sharing how to add music to the video using LumaFusion. Work with adding music from a Storyblocks subscription and searching the music library, a quick method that doesn't require messing with iTunes.

  18. Voice Over

    Adding voice can help tie the story together. Learn how to record a voice over from iOS devices, from simple tricks like recording in a closet when you don't have a sound room, to using a mic. Then, learn how to add the voice over to the video inside the video editing software.

  19. Exporting and Uploading

    With the video editing finished, now what? Learn how to export and share video, including using cloud storage, and how to save space on your iPhone without losing the entire project file. Finally, see the final video Ciel worked on assembling throughout the course.


Chrystelle Hadjikakou

Being a beginner in all things video, watching this live class left me excited to try out a lot of things on my iPhone, not to mention I learned loads. Cielo showed us the full process from shot listing to gear to preparing the shoot and then shooting and editing, which was very enlightening, also I want to thank the people who were on the chat, because sharing tips and tricks was great too! Thank you for the awesome work!


This class was great! Cielo offered really good information. It was probably more than I needed since I am a beginner, but it inspired me to try and use it for the simple reasons I took the course. But it also showed me what is possible and how I can eventually upgrade what I am doing. It's good for people who are really into photography and telling the story of entrepreneurs (which is so important these days) can use their photography skills to help business owners stand out whether it's your side hustle or main career.

Chaya Emily Baumbach

Cielo is a gifted lecturer who explains iPhone filmmaking clearly, easily and in a fun way. I love the way she explains the steps in making videos on our smartphones, along with equipment and app recommendations. So glad I purchased this class as it is immensely helpful to me, a newbie.