Interview with Impact Communications’ Director of Photography Lucas Willis

“My company wants to do a video but we don’t have a big budget, so we’re going to shoot it on my new cell phone. Nothing wrong with that, is there?”

In some scenarios this may be a great option, especially if it is something super quick or informal. The advancements in technology have created cell phones that capture amazing footage. When shooting content that is meant to drive a brand or a message forward, there are many additional factors to consider. Not having a “big budget” doesn’t mean we can’t find a solution. We would love to help!


“I also have a cousin with a really nice camera and he said he’d shoot the video for me.”

We all have that friend/family member who has a camera and while we support everyone’s venture into video production, making the highest quality work takes a team to divide and conquer essential responsibilities. Going it alone, you may end up spending tons of additional time and effort and the company’s budget trying to get it right. We have spent many years developing an award-winning technical and creative production house with the right professionals who can help at all levels. First we learn your project’s goals and objectives and working together, we may find that this video should be shot on a smart phone.


“Uhhh…weren’t you just trying to convince me NOT to use a smart phone?”

I knew that’s what you were going to ask. Sometimes shooting on smart phone can be the most appropriate way.


“Hey! Wait a second! My phone’s video looks better than this!”

While a smart phone is the right choice, this looks like it was shot on a potato because of how we received the footage. Here is a real example of compressed phone footage. Another advancement in cell phone technology is increased file size.  So to maximize that quality, you need to send it sized correctly.  That’s why you need to work with us to walk you through how to appropriately deliver your files. Look at the difference between the compressed and uncompressed video shot on and sent from a cell phone.


“Because our company video will be shown on a big screen during an in person event,  we had to save money. That’s why we decided to shoot on a phone.”

You provided a reason why your presentation shouldn’t be shot on a phone – it needs to make a statement on a big screen. The quality of a good video might be forgotten but the quality of a bad video will certainly be remembered.


“I want to do one video shoot but make multiple videos.  Should I shoot the footage with my phone to save money?”

We are pros when it comes to footage management, whether shooting footage for single or multiple videos on the same production. Just because there is more content doesn’t mean the shoot should sacrifice quality to promote quantity.


“When is cell phone footage the right choice?”

Some things only happen once and you need a quick reaction and a genuine response captured on video. Pulling out a cell phone is the best tool for that.  Same with those “take a video of this” moment.  When going for relevance and authenticity in the moment, shoot on a phone. Know the goal of your video, then specify equipment.

“I saw a hilarious YouTube video about “No Vertical Video!” Do I always have to shoot with the phone held sideways? Isn’t there a place for vertical video?”

I don’t think vertical is always bad. TikTok is one of the most popular video platforms in the world and it’s 100% vertical. But if it’s your company message that will be sent out online to people who need to know your directives or respond to your call to action, horizontal orientation is preferable.  Always go back to how the video will be presented.


“OK, it sounds like there is a lot more to consider than just whipping out my phone and hitting ‘video.’ How do I get this done the right way to keep my job and keep my boss happy?”

Video production is one of the most powerful communication tools ever developed. It influences and shapes people’s perceptions. When in doubt about how best to tell your story with video, give the experts (Impact) a call. We will bring out your creative best. Video production can be complex and it’s never one size fits all. And that’s why we love the challenge of helping you achieve your unique vision.


Now… let’s get to work!