For the past year, David West, owner of Meadowview Construction, in Georgetown, Mass., had been seeking the best option for iPhone accessories to help him take short videos.
He is trying to build his brand by creating a library of content that includes product reviews, demonstrations, and helpful hints for clients.
Though he does own a high-end digital video camera, West says that using an iPhone is great for quick shoots and is less intimidating to his clients. For client testimonials, he uses a small lavalier microphone that he clips to the client's clothing.
Since West is usually alone when he comes up with ideas of things to videotape, he is working solo and therefore needs a mount to hold his phone steady.
He started off attaching his phone to a Glif mount, by Studio Neat, thinking he would attach the Glif to his tripod.
But he found that he often left his tripod in the car and needed a quicker way to start shooting video. So West began attaching the phone and Glif to a spring clamp, then attaching that to surfaces. But this didn’t allow him to adjust the camera angle.
All the Angles
Then West found the SuperMount ($15) and iBall Mount ($10) from FastCap, which allow him to easily adjust the camera angle. He holds the company’s iPole Mini ($25) to record interviews with people where he needs to be in the shot.
For quick jobsite recordings where he needs his hands free for a demonstration, West uses a metal spring clamp to hold the phone and SuperMount. He can use the spring clamp to mount the combination on a door, a stepladder, or other items on site. These accessories are small enough to fit in his briefcase.
Even though the purchased mounts — he owns four SuperMounts and three iPole Minis — help him manipulate the phone, West tends to make his own clamps or gets creative on site with camera placement. He has gotten to know FastCap owner Paul Akers and has explained his needs, contributing to ideas for various FastCap products such as the iClamp and iGooseneck flexible mount.
Project Estimates: It's helpful to have video of a project when working on an estimate. This is a basic need, West says, so it doesn’t require high-quality video. He uses the iPole mini, holding it in his hand as he walks around the client's house shooting footage.
Shop Video: West likes to record demonstrations in his cabinet shop, so he made a rod that has a strong magnet on one end that sticks to the shop’s metal ceiling. The other end has a SuperMount to hold the iPhone, which hangs at about eye level . West is able to place the rod in various locations on the ceiling to shoot.
Client Testimonials: “You don’t have to schedule a formal video it can just be a 10-second clip,” West says. He uses a tripod to record clients talking about their project and clips a small lavalier microphone to the clients’ clothing. “Bad audio can really kill a video,” he points out. Though he has a high-end digital video camera, West says that an iPhone is far less intimidating to clients.
Here are some of David West's videos about these products: