Video making course
Travel and Tourism

A simple guide to creating great videos using your smart phone.

This simple guide to creating great videos using your smart phone aims to show you how easy it is, and editing it into an engaging story is as simple as downloading an app.

The free tips and 10 Shot Template in this post are enough to get you started and thinking differently about how you approach making a video.

If you really want to master video, I highly recommend the course I did with

As an ambassador to  I have a limited special offer running until the 24th December 2017 .

A massive 49% discount on the TravelVids online course.

When I signed up for the online course ,  I expected to be confused, frustrated and mystified. I was so impressed by the unique approach taken by Darren and Dean from Travelvids.

By focusing on shooting, the editing becomes a minor tweak rather than a big, scary technical monster.

The course is self paced and you have lifetime access to it. I love being able to go back to double check, especially in the editing where there are screenshots of what you should be seeing on your phone.

My whole approach to shooting video changed, and I enjoy the creativity of it.

The 12 modules include about 2 hours of clear video instruction and a detailed PDF summary for each module.

I have not encountered any problems that are not addressed by the course.

The course covers  composition, lighting, and stability, the different types of shots and when to use them, how to build your story, creating a story board or shot list, practical shooting tips, accessories and extras, and step by step tutorial format on editing and adding text, music and logos to your final masterpiece.

The cost of the online course has been discounted from $95 to $48.  Click here to sign up for the special offer.

That’s just ZAR 671 . Click here for a currency converter.

Meet Dean from TravelVids , you will get to know him really well when you are doing your online course.

Over and above your course material , Dean will also be sending you regular videos and explanatory notes on how the video was made, what equipment was used and how they overcame any problems.

Explore your creativity or give the course as a gift to the socially active people in your life.


If you are not ready to sign up for the course just yet, read on and get inspired by the free tips and the simple template and start shooting.

A good video is more about the planning and the shooting than the edit.

Decide what the purpose is, what story you want to tell, then take a few minutes to plan it.

Observe your surroundings, write down your shot list using the template as a guide until you find your own style.


Enjoy the free hacks and nifty template and have fun making video memories.

Get inspired by some of the videos made by the guys here


A Simple 10 Shot Template to create a great, captivating video.


An introduction shot talking to the camera

Make the viewer part of your story by talking to them. Tell them where you are and what you are planning to do.

If you do not like being in front of the camera, then get someone else to say a few words.

 A wide- angle shot establishing your location.

This shot brings the viewer into your world. A wide angle can be a panning shot from left to right or ground to sky.

Tip. Identify the start and finish point of your shot and do a practice run without recording, using the count of 4 to define the speed.

Two medium angle shots showing what you or others are doing.

If your wide angle shot is a long expanse of beach, then these shots are of the surfers, paddlers and the ice cream vendor .

Four close up shots adding detail to the story.

Here you show the surfboard on the sand, the flip flops and beach towel, the ice cream cone being made.

One general shot talking to the camera .

This is like a progress report on how your activity is going, the water is cold, you fell off your surfboard, the ice-cream flavor is unusual, your flip flops got washed away.

This keeps the viewer engaged in your story.

One creative shot from a low or high angle, or a Slow motion or Timelapse.

A high angle, shooting from above your subject will make them look smaller and a low angle will make them look bigger giving your video an element fun or artiness.

 Slow motion is useful when you want to capture something that is fast moving. Keep the slow  motion clip short and sweet. The surfer riding the wave will look amazing in slow motion.

Time lapse is great to use where there is a good contrast between a still object and movement.

Tip. Allow 5 to 10 minutes of time lapse shooting to get a dramatic effect. A tripod is essential for this.

Most smartphones have Time-lapse and Slow motion apps built in to the camera.


These 10 shots can be planned and captured in the same amount of time previously used shooting 2 or 3 minute scenes that you never ever used.

Remember the 1,2,4 ratio.   For every wide angle shot, have 2 medium shots and 4 close ups, this creates a micro story within your video.


Before you start here are a few more free hacks for creating a great video.

  • Composition is key to any video or still shot.
  • Be aware of the light and try to have it behind you.
  • Always shoot horizontally, it just looks so much better.
  • Take the 10 shot template as a guide, grab your smart phone and go and have some creative fun.
  • Keep it short ,the count of 4 beats should be enough to capture a moment, landscape, scene or action.
  • Turn your phone onto Airplane mode before your start shooting. It saves your battery and eliminates distractions.
  • Create a named album in your gallery and save all your videos  that will be part of your story in it. This saves time when it comes to editing.
  • Apply the Rule of Thirds which divides your view into 9 equal sections, 3 x 3. It is good to place the main  focus of your shot on one of the points where the lines intersect.

A few words on editing your video clips.

  • An app like Quik  ( free to download from the PlayStore ) really does most of the work for you.
  • You import the album containing your videos and images and it guides you through the process of the order of your shots, titles, music choices, turning video sound off, trimming your video and a number of other tweaks.
  • Power Director is another  free editing app that allows you more freedom than Quik.
  • The best way to learn is to shoot some video and play around with the app.
  • Both these apps are great for android phones.  iPhone users can use Splice or the native iMovie app.

Extra gear, not essential, but nice to have.

  • An LED light is useful if some of your stories take place at night. Look for ambient light like street lights but if none is available, shining an LED light on the scene will make a big difference. TIP. Day or night, watch out for shadows ruining your shot. Sometimes just moving a little eliminates them from your frame.
  • A Tripod is handy and assists with stabilization. It is also allows you to be hands free.
  • A selfie stick is not only ideal for getting your face in the shot, it can create distance between you and the camera allowing the background to show. It is also gives you extra reach in those hard to get to places. TIP. Not too many selfies, the video is not just about you, it’s about you and your audience.
  • Extra storage space is important as video uses loads, so an SD card, cloud space or an external drive is always going to come in handy.Video chews battery, but a portable power pack means you will never have to watch your phone die as the sunset goes crazy and you can only look on and cryThese hacks from the guys at TravelVids are the basics to get you started on your video making journey. 


A photograph can capture a great moment, but a video tells the whole story.

Video making course

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  • Reply Jessy Lipperts 29th Jan 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Hi Di, what a great post on creating videos. It is on my to-do list to learn and this will give me a great start. Hope to see you soon!! Much love from Rosie and Me xx

    • Reply Di 30th Jan 2018 at 3:19 pm

      Thanks Jessy, I can highly recommend the online and physical course. We should meet for coffee soon.

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