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How to edit videos on your iPhone and iPad like an influencer

Creating content is an art.

This is the biggest lesson I didn't understand three years ago at my first Men's Health Christmas party. When I first tried to get into the influencer area in 2017 as a fitness editor for Men’s Health one article was only one article. I didn't understand the editing tools or even thought they were important, and I certainly didn't think about video quality or production values.

Someone at the party who was a bit drunk (and dull anyway) had noticed that. So she went up to me and asked if I wanted advice. I nodded (I was with MH for two months) and she blurted out: "Your Instagram style is shit." Nor was she wrong. It was just pictures and videos and very little strategy ̵

1; it was not a well-edited quality content.

Fast forward to 2020, and I've expanded my Instagram audience to over 325,000, also because I focus on high quality video content. This content is also translated beyond Instagram, which is why I photograph YouTube videos for Men’s Health myself and have a whole self-shot Eb and Swole training series on menshealth.com.

And all of this is possible because high-quality video content is easier to create than ever. Phones are equipped to pump out 4K and even 8K videos, and the editing tools are more powerful than ever. You have a variety of options to get your job done. And you can own the influencing game with exactly two tools, the iPhone 11 Pro Max and the iPad Pro.

Seriously, that's all I use to record my video, a video that goes across multiple platforms, mind you. Many phones and tabs offer power and video recording gadgets, but none can be compared to the ease of use you get with the iPhone and iPad combination. I've spent the past three years creating all of my content on iPhone with just one water bottle (yes, really), and started working with the iPad Pro at the end of last year. The workflow with both devices is simple and a testament to Apple's fluidity: I photograph the content on my iPhone 11 Pro Max and then wait a little (long enough to do a protein shake and finish) until it reaches iCloud . I drag it from there to my iPad Pro and then put it in iMovie.

From there I can crop and zoom to my heart's content and then record the voice-over form notes and explanations in iMovie that have become my signature on Instagram. (They are a signature that I could only develop by the way because iMovie makes it easy to include them.) It's all super easy.

Here is my step-by-step guide to creating and editing enhanced, high quality video content for social media.

  ebenezer samuel

Ebenezer Samuel

  ebenezer samuel

Ebenezer Samuel

The way you record videos on your iPhone ensures quality and versatility for content

Everything and everything starts here starts with This iPhone Pro Max camera, a great, extremely powerful machine that can do everything I need. I usually lean the camera upright against a water bottle and then do the exercises I need to do. I do a complete set of an exercise from the desired angle.

This is more difficult than you might think, because lighting and angles themselves can be difficult. I often make two or three videos before I get a perspective that provides the viewer with all the information I need to convey.

It is always best to take pictures in landscape format as well. This gives me versatility: my videos are often shown as square sections for Instagram, but for YouTube and the Men’s Health website I need things in landscape format. So if I don't want to take photos again and again, I have to take photos in landscape format. The trick with landscape photography is, of course, to make sure that the most important information fits into a square Instagram cut. Therefore, I generally keep the action within a thumb's width on both sides of the screen.

Insider tip: Always record in 4K

Record in 4K, at 60 frames per second. This is important, even if it takes up more space on your iPhone and iCloud. I used to shoot in 1080p or even 720p, but the 4K video serves several important purposes. First, you get options when you want to zoom in with iMovie, because you first need to start a higher quality video that can handle zooming.

The other big problem is longevity: Always shoot in the densest format that your phone offers, as this content is not just for Instagram. The smartest influencers and content creators constantly use their content across platforms (YouTube, Instagram, TikTok). This is easier with a higher quality start video. It also makes it easier for me to reuse old videos if they are of higher quality. A # Throwbackthursday or # Flashbackfriday post made from my assets for 2017 looks so out of date that it just isn't worth creating.

Also always shoot at 1X zoom. You can add zoom later in iMovie if needed.

Upload your videos in batches to iMovie before editing your video.

As soon as I have recorded the video, I upload it to iMovie. While recent iOS updates have added a wide range of editing tools to the iPhone photo editor, it is still easier to do most of your editing in iMovie. The process also takes a few seconds: you open iMovie, select a new project, select a movie, and then select the clips you want to add.

However, I am not yet cutting my clips. I'll upload these in bundles, a couple of video packs each, because the next step for all of these videos is my point where I can't go back. iMovie works simply and lets you move the start and end points of a video back and forth. Once you've started and saved this process, there's no going back. After uploading, I make a salmon and think about how to cut each video or video pack.

Early upload prevents iMovie hiccups

Another reason to upload in bundles: especially if you keep a ton of iMovie can occasionally freeze for a few seconds if you want to upload an older video that you use to archive your archives can search. It will work at some point, but you will save yourself unnecessary frustration by uploading the videos shortly after they are shot. Even if I don't have the time to edit everything and add voiceovers, I would like to record the video for work in iMovie shortly after the later recording.

Here I also change most of the time from iPhone to iPad Pro. The iPhone with its powerful camera lenses and tiny form factor is the best starting point for all of these shots. Once editing is complete, it will be easier to work with the iPad Pro.

The editing isn't as daunting as you might think.

We are now dealing with video editing, and this is much easier than it sounds. When I got there, I feared that I would not be able to create content that would appear on social media. However, iMovie offers you a variety of tools. And if you're smart, you don't need many of them. (Pro tip: less is more if you want a professional-looking video. The video content should be the focus and no frills editing.)

Crop and zoom early

First comes the harvest. I now tighten everything and drag the sliders to new start and end points. It is a fairly simple process. Then I play around with zooming in a bit. Everything you do in iMovie happens just by cutting out the video in iMovie, so nothing changes the shape of the video you recorded that is stored in your photos. I also play with multiple zoom levels. With a handy undo button in the right corner, I can undo my decisions as long as I can't finish the project and save it.

  ebenezer samuel zooming video

Ebenezer Samuel

I will also "flip" the video occasionally. iMovie is great for Instagram because videos taken in portrait format are moved into a square cut that fits Instagram perfectly, but is not transferred to newcomer TikTok as well as you want it to be. So if I want to edit a TikTok video or even something for Instagram's mostly portrait-based IGTV, the video now needs to be flipped over so I can see what I'm working with. I basically flip it into a landscape video so I can work in the longer form factor. It's a little annoying, but it's an OK workaround. I turn it back into the correct orientation in photos before I post it.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may find the same content in a different format, or you can find more information on the website.

Playing with transitions. . . Just a little bit

You can also add "transitions" when combining multiple video clips. Generally, I use one video clip per class because I use Instagram's carousels heavily. But my intro videos are compilations of these other clips, so I dive into transitions when I create them. You have several transition options that you can use to "insert", "wipe" or "unhide" the next clip from one side. In general, I go to a resolution function where the last clip and the first clip bleed into each other for a split moment. It is simple but effective. You can also detail these transitions by changing the amount of time that each transition takes. Don't mess around here: Especially on Instagram, where you only have a minute to work with it anyway, I don't want to waste time on a smart transition because I want the content to stand out.

  ebenezer samuel uses transitions for video editing

Ebenezer Samuel

insider tip: iMovie can use slow motion

There are other tools here too, but I want the content to shine and the edit only needs to be done help. Sometimes it is helpful to give parts of the video a slow-motion note or, for example, to add a little slow-motion to a Superman pushup video. It's easy to add them in iMovie, and yes, native iMovie is an effective weapon for such things.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may find the same content in a different format, or you can find more information on the website.

I actually bought another app called Lumafusion about a year ago because I thought this was the only way to create slow motion videos. I also paid a friend to add slow motion touch to the video, especially for Superman pushups. However, iMovie can do this natively and efficiently. All you have to do is cut your video into the parts you want to slow motion and the parts you want at normal pace and turn off the transitions between those parts. Then you can adjust the speed of the part you want to move slowly with a handy slider. You can make your video up to twice as fast (handy if I do a large number of repetitions) or reduce the speed to an eighth of normal speed (so slow that you don't notice anyone on Instagram). This changed me fundamentally in Highlight role exercises.

Insider tip: less editing is better

Less is always more when it comes to video editing. iMovie also has a number of other extras, including captions and title fields, and these work well. I've dealt with them here and there, but I don't think they add much to the video. I want the videos to shine themselves, so I'm afraid to use too many extra bells and whistles. If anything, I occasionally add a title card so people know which part of the body I'm training.

  ebenezer samuel title card edit

Ebenezer samuel

In this context, a title card can do three things. On the plus side, it serves as a quick glance at which part of the body I may be working out, which is helpful for the user. The disadvantages? This can affect the opening shot and limit my ability to attract a user's attention with this setting. And it can also lead to general disorder for the eye. I've been shy about it, although I'm sure it can be useful in some situations.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may find the same content in a different format, or you can find more information on the website.

Add some color and speak to your audience with voice-over.

Once I have the cut where I need it, the voice-over part is the final step. The handheld microphone of the iPad Pro lights up here. I have never used an external microphone or other accessories to record my voice. I just go to a quiet room in the house, press the voice-over button, let it count down and start talking. The iPad Pro’s microphone can record sound so well that I’ve recorded video for Men’s Health, recording only my voice and possibly showing the slightest sign of white noise.

It's a fairly simple process, but make sure you do everything in one session. Small differences in your tone and environment, even the distance from the microphone, can occur if you split this into several sessions.

One big secret when recording voice over with iMovie and the iPad Pro is this: you don't have to do it all the minute at a time. Record full phrases and sentences, cut the recording, and take a break. Then insert a small space and make a separate recording for the next phrase or sentence. This often actually helps with the pace of the final audio recording product: we tend to hurry to speak and cut out appropriate breaths, especially when we are recording. This actually forces you to include breathing apparatus and results in fast audio. A bonus: you also have time to think.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may find the same content in a different format, or you can find more information on the website.

Finish editing and insert the contribution into your IG drafts.

As soon as everything is done, I have my videos and can start. I save each video as a 4K file in my photo folder, then compile it as a carousel in Instagram and write the caption for the entire batch. I'm trying to watch a few videos to use to set up a week of programming for followers. This part is simple and straightforward and I have now returned to my iPhone. Before quarantine, I often did this on the train or during lunch breaks (or in meetings where it got boring, but let's not tell anyone about it).

Then when I need a video, I draw from a series of previous posts that fill certain slots that I want to give to my followers. This allows me to maintain a daily cadence. If you're serious about being an influencer, that's important. You should treat this as a job and publish high quality content at least once every working day. This differentiates influencers from normal people who only post on Instagram in their free time.

The difference between this and a normal workday: iMovie and the tools of iPad and iPhone make it easy (and snappy). And yes, just a little bit of fun.

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