Your guide to shooting an entire film on a smartphone

Smartphones are everywhere. Simply walk down the street or set foot on a bus and you'll likely see over half of the people around you holding or playing with one. In fact, statistics website Statista reports that about 78 per cent of Aussies own a smartphone, and that is likely to jump up to 80 per cent by 2017.

It's not just the streets where these advanced mobile devices are making an impact, but also our cinema screens. We've compiled a list of tips to help you shoot your own high-quality film productions entirely on a smartphone, from your potential inspiration to which video and audio equipment you'll need.

Let's get started.

First, find inspiration

They say that writers need to read in order to write, and the same can be said about smartphone filmmakers. If you can see what other people have been able to achieve, it will likely inspire your own endeavours. We recommend checking out major events such as the Toronto Smartphone or the iPhone Film Festivals. Also, major motion pictures such as 'Olive (2011)' or 'Tangerine (2015)' have proven both popular and successful, and are worth watching.

Ensure you have quality sound equipment

There are few things worse than watching a film with bad sound. Indeed, for many, this can break crucial immersion and ruin the suspension of disbelief, thus potentially pulling an audience member away from your story.

Of course, smartphones themselves do not come with particularly good microphones, but there are plenty of solutions. A number of RØDE microphones, for examples, can be used with an iOS or Android device, such as the RØDE VideoMic ME. Although, for the absolute premium sound quality, consider investing in a separate sound recording device, a larger shotgun mic and a professional sound recordist.

Now ensure you have the right video equipment

Just because you are shooting on a smartphone, doesn't mean you can't use a decent camera rig and a number of accessories. For example, a grip mount is absolutely essential if you want to be able to attach more equipment to your phone, or - more importantly - place it on a tripod.

Another suggestion would be to purchase a lens kit for your phone. Though these scale in quality, there are generally two options: A lens that enhances the in-built one by attaching over the top, or one that connects via Wi-Fi and acts almost like an app. Sony can provide the latter, while brands such as Moment specialise in the former.

While we're on the subject of video accessories, don't forget to check your storage space. If your phone cannot take micro SD cards, you may not have enough space on the phone for multiple scenes. Consider using a phone with a lot of spare memory and very little apps (that take up valuable memory real estate), or utilise a phone that can handle larger micro SDs - 64 gigabytes wouldn't go amiss!

Could an app help you further?

Though, in general, you want to keep away from having too many apps on your camera phone, some of them are designed to help filmmakers achieve better shots. For example, Top Camera for iOS devices gives you more camera features than a phone normally comes with, such as advanced folder management and a number of on-screen aids (for white balance, exposure and the like).

Combining this software with your microphones for recording, camera accessories and a solid lighting crew and you may be surprised as to the cinematic quality you can achieve with something you just text and Facebook on every day.