I own a total of four video cameras, but lately I haven’t used any of them. I’ve fallen victim to the old adage, the best camera is the one you have with you. And that camera just happens to be my cell phone. Clearly my other video cameras are better than my cellphone, so it would seem. I have a Canon Rebel T1i that shoots HD video, a Panasonic HDC-SD5 that shoots 1920×1080 HD, a Flip camera (remember those), and a Contour Roam helmet cam that also shoots in full HD. I have all of these great cameras and I can’t even remember the last time I shot video with any of them. Yet everyday, I shoot video and take pictures. Yep, I use my Samsung Galaxy SIII cellphone. It’s my stand alone camera these days. But it can’t be as good as the full HD I can shoot with the others, right? Wrong. It’s awesome.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 cellphone has a 8 megapixel camera that shoots full 1080p HD video. Many cellphones these days do, so you don’t really need to carry around a “real” camcorder anymore unless you are a “real” movie maker. So as proof of concept, I set out on a mission to create a video advertisement for our upcoming technology conference. My goal was to use only my cellphone and a web app to edit the video. No complicated expensive software allowed. I figured if I could make something useful, why couldn’t our students. They all have cellphones and there’s no cost after that. Here’s what I did…
I came up with a plan in my head and then secured my actors. I used a mini portable octopus style tripod to hold my cellphone. I shot my actors with the cellphone sitting on a desk and/or chair. I shot an action shot of me running down a hallway by wrapping my tripod around a door knob in the hallway. That was it. Five shots total. Next I opened up the WeVideo camera app on my phone and uploaded the five clips to a new project in WeVideo online. WeVideo does have an Android app in Beta that lets you do a lot more than upload video. WeVideo for Android lets you:
- Easily capture photos and video footage
- Trim, split, arrange and stylize your video clips
- Add existing music, photos, and videos
- Export to social channels
- Sync your mobile content with the cloud
But I want to be fair and only use tools that most cellphone users have access to, so I’m only using the uploader. I did all my video editing online in the WeVideo web application. It was super easy. I just drug the clips into my timeline and added some titles for the speakers on each of the clips. Then I chose a theme, which adds transitions and background music automatically, and then published it. My free account only gave me 480p quality and had a WeVideo watermark in the corner, so I paid .99 to upgrade to 720p quality with no watermark. Perfect. This all probably took 30 minutes, and I was able to create this video below. Click the cogwheel on the bottom right and change the quality to 720p HD. It looks really good in HD.
Are You Registered for the Maricopa Tech Conference?
This process was so easy, I know students would have an easy time producing content for a class. And the best thing about WeVideo is it’s a cloud-based, collaborative video editor that is available to anyone through a web browser, on any device. Students can start a project and invite classmates to collaborate on shooting and editing video for the project. They have free accounts, but also affordable education accounts as well. For $30 a teacher can create projects and invite up to 50 collaborators. Sweet deal for sure. Oh, and WeVideo integrates with your Google Drive. I didn’t try that out yet, but if you look in GDrive, you can add the app.
You don’t have any excuses now. Get your students creating some videos. It’s easy. Even I can do it.