My buddy and I are contemplating putting a project up on Kickstarter. Most projects have a video (nice quality for the most part) that users can view to get a gist of the project and decide whether or not it's worth investing money in.

The problem is, we don't have much equipment, and purchasing some is out of the question (we're poor University students). Our current supplies are:

  • IPhone 4
  • Studio quality mic (that plugs into an amp)
  • Macbook Pro (for editing)

As you can see, it's quite limited. Has anyone had experience working with similar tools and creating something worthwhile? Light and sound are my major issues, as the IPhone needs good lighting to really shine and good video without quality sound sucks.

As for the editing and production of the video, what software should we be looking for? Something simple that can produce some nice tones (filters I think is the correct term, pardon my ignorance) and mix everything together without knowing a whole lot about color spectrums and the sort.

2 Answers 2


The following video was made entirely on a Nokia N8 mobile phone. It is the winner of the Nokia Shorts competition 2011 and was just posted this week in the short list for the Vimeo 2012 Awards under the 'Advertising' catagory. Time Magazine says it's the 9th Most Creative Internet Film 2011.


As you can see by the credits there is whole lot of professional people collaborating to make this amazing video:

Director: James W Griffiths

Producer: Kurban Kassam

Director of Photography: Christopher Moon

Editor: Marianne Kuopanportti

Sound Design: Mauricio d'Orey

Music composed by: Lennert Busch

Here is a site that takes a closer look at how this was made: http://makingbettervideo.com/2011/06/29/splitscreen-a-love-story-and-things-to-learn-from-it/

Summary: low budget does not have to equal a janky video, lots of talented people who know what they are doing with basic tools can do amazing things. An iphone editied in iMovie should get you and your buddies a big leap into a great video. However, be prepared to find yourself spending a lot of time on this if this is your first project. If you like this sort of thing, you will love every second of production through post production.


Start by throwing all the technical questions out the window. ALL of them. Don't ask about what cameras to use, which software works, or techniques. Change your mindset and think about your story.

What is it that you're going to tell us about? Find a story that's based on solid collective-consciousness archetypes (read Joseph Campbell's "The Hero's Journey"; free, libraries). The reason that we still have The Odyssey & Shakespeare regarded as classics (and not Pauly Shore films) is that they play into the stories that run through our common experiences as humans. Life, death, money, power...BIG topics. But whatever you find for inspiration, work on your STORY first.

Note that I didn't say "Script". For me, a script implies dialog. Story...not so much. Film is a visual medium. How can you communicate your story in pictures only? Pretend sound doesn't exist. VISUALS only. How will you tell your story? Show, don't tell.

Once you have a SOLID, VISUAL story...that's when you inventory what you have. Resources, locations, people, equipment. For a cell phone camera, if you can't light it really well from a budget perspective, that means the you shoot using what Edison used in the early days of film. The sun. Your entire story takes place outside. Shoot in shade so there's not a ton of harsh shadows.

Try to create a soundscape that AUGMENTS the story instead of telling it. Narration is evil. Avoid it at all costs. If you need narration, go back to step one. How will you tell your story with solid visuals?

Hell, a silent film just got a bunch of Oscar cred. Kick-butt sound that's not dialog will HELP your film, not tell the story. Record your dialog in edit, in a quiet room, direct into the computer. Google ADR and Foley to get some ideas.

Also, prepare for a slow process. In filmmaking, there's good, fast and cheap. Problme is, you can only pick two.

Best of Luck!

  • Very impressive and out of the box as well. I dig it.
    – filzilla
    Apr 20, 2012 at 23:18
  • Very inspiring!
    – jazgot
    May 2, 2016 at 10:06

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