Ever wonder how content creators on YouTube make their videos? There are some very simple ways to create professional-looking videos you can post on YouTube right away, all from the convenience and ease of your iPhone. Here are some beginner tips for creating YouTube video content on your iPhone.

Filming Your Video

There are many approaches you can take to making an interesting video that engages viewers. A tip for making sure your video is engaging is to let the viewer know what your video is about within the first few seconds. This can be done through a title screen or animation, voiceover, or text overlaying the opening footage. You don’t want the viewer to lose interest by not letting them know right away what it is they are about to watch.

You can shoot standard frame or wide-angle if your iPhone allows it. There are wide-angle attachments you can purchase for your phone if desired. Make sure you take plenty of footage during your shoot, even if you think you might not need it. You never know when you will need some extra scenes to add to your project, and it might be difficult to recreate footage at a different time with the same look and feel. Try to film in good light, unless the video content requires filming in low light, of course. You shouldn’t need a gimble to film steady shots, as the iPhone camera software has a stabilizing feature that mostly resolves small amounts of shaking.

Editing your Video

Before you begin editing, save your videos, graphics, and any pre-made intro or outro sequences to your iPhone’s camera roll. You can make it even easier on yourself by having these assets saved into a separate folder from the rest of your camera roll contents.

Once you open the iMovie app (free from the App Store), upload a selected video by pressing the plus sign (+). From here, the next screen will give you two options: Movie or Trailer. Select Movie. Next, you can select movie clips or images. If you created an album with all your assets, click the link labeled Media in the upper left corner and select your album from there. Otherwise, select a movie clip by tapping it and then tap Create Movie. This will take you to the next screen, where you will see a preview of your movie project, and the timeline of your project below. You will see four icons in between the top and bottom windows, left to right:

  • A plus sign allows you to add more clips or images to the timeline.
  • A back arrow icon that allows you to navigate to the beginning of the clip.
  • A Play button.
  • An Undo icon which looks like a curved arrow. This allows you to undo the previous action you took.

There is a vertical white line down the middle of the bottom window, called the Play Head. The position of this Play Head on your clip will appear in the preview window above. You can swipe your clip left and right on the timeline, and you will see the preview change accordingly. If you tap directly on the clip, you will notice a yellow outline around the clip. This means the clip has been selected. At this time, you will also notice the Scissors icon at the bottom left of the screen will be highlighted. You can shorten the length of your video clip at the beginning or end. There is a small box near the top of the screen showing the time length of your selected clip. Pulling inward the yellow handle on the left or right of the clip will shrink the time of that clip, as shown by the clip length indicator at the top.

Once you are comfortable adding clips, images or graphics to your timeline, you can begin moving them around, shrinking their length as needed, placing one clip before or after the next, until all your assets are arranged in the order you desire. iMovie offers several different types of transitions between each clip. Tap the transition icon between the clips and a series of options will appear at the bottom of the screen. The straight vertical line icon is simply no transition, otherwise known as a Jump Cut. Try playing with the other transitions and see which style works best for your project. Another tip to adding interest to your video is to zoom in and out during certain clips, so that the subject is not always at the same distance from the camera. You can achieve this during editing by tapping the Magnifying icon while the clip is selected.

Adding Text Overlays and Music

Adding text to your movie is as simple as tapping the clip, tap the T icon, then start typing your text. You can adjust the font, the position of the text, the size, and so on. If you would like to add music to your video, you can tap the plus symbol on the top left of the screen, select Audio, then Soundtracks. Here you can select various royalty-free song clips at no charge. Tap the song title to hear a preview, then the plus sign located to the right in order to add it to your timeline, where you can move it in place, and edit the length as needed. If you could not find music to suit your needs there, you can use a royalty-free website like musicbed.com, and import the music file in with your movie clips and images.

Adding Effects and Filters

By tapping on the grey background of the timeline, a Gear icon will appear in the bottom right corner.
Select that and it will open a new window showing a series of effects and filters you can use to change the look and feel of your video. You can select Fade in from Black and Fade Out to Black to add a nice, polished touch to the beginning and end of your final project.

Finishing Up and Exporting Your Video.

Once you have completed all your edits and finishing touches, you can tap Done on the upper right of the screen, then Done on the upper left of the next screen, which will deliver you to a page with your video in Preview mode. You can press the Play button and make sure there are no mistakes or additional changes you would like to make. If you need to change something, simply tap the Edit button beneath the Preview window, and proceed to edit your movie. Once completed, you can click the Export icon button at the bottom middle of the screen and choose the destination you wish to save it to. Now your video is ready to upload to your YouTube channel. Be sure to create a thumbnail for your video that is eye-catching and again lets the viewer know what is contained inside the clip.

In Conclusion

After reading this article, my hope is you’ll have at the very least a basic understanding of how to film a video, edit a video, and export a video using just your iPhone and the iMovie app. Have fun and happy filming!