Using Mobile Phones to Shoot News and Features

The Wall Street Journal's video team in Europe went to the largest mobile event in the world, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and decided to shoot and edit all their video on mobile phones and tablets. We wanted to see if it was possible, how good the devices are and whether we'd do it again.

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  1. How to Cover Mobile World Congress Using Only a Mobile
  2. After shooting more than 20 videos, the answer to the questions above are, yes; excellent and definitely. Watch and read-on to see how and what we did.
  3. The picture above shows what digital producer George Downs took with him (we didn't use the laptop that's in the picture, it was there as a backup) and below is what he thinks is the minimum kit needed to shoot news and features following our experiment.
  4. Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 - Taking it to Task - Mobile World Congress:
  5. Here is a video that was shot using the really impressive Vyclone app. A multi-camera shoot with near instant editing. The app is free.


    This is a three-camera shoot from Mobile World Congress, a review of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0, shot and edited in 5 minutes and uploaded to You Tube just minutes later.

  6. There was lots of engagement and interest from app makers and filmmakers.
  7. We used  Filmic Pro, a well commented upon camera app that allows for iris (light) and focus control among many other things. It's a huge improvement on the standard camera app on the iPhone and has lots of flexibility for the more serious user.

  8. What Happens When you Throw a Cell Phone 20 yards onto Concrete
  9. We used Slopro to great effect in the video above–it's a super-slow-motion app–in this funny video where we tried (and succeeded) to break a prototype CAT phone which is built to withstand being dropped. We went a bit too far.
  10. All the videos were edited on Cute Cut, a video editor for the iPad. It's pretty intuitive and allows two video tracks which is great for cut-aways. But it's missing a "back' or 'undo' button which can be frustrating.


  11. Here's What Happens at the Mobile World Congress
  12. Another great app we used was Lapse It–it allows you to shoot time-lapse video. George Downs used it to capture a day at Mobile World Congress in video above. It's really easy to use and  really helps lift general views and establishing shots that might otherwise be quite dull.
  13. There was lots of social media interest among the filmmaking community.
  14. Using Mobile Devices for Shooting & Editing News - Mobile World Congress
  15. While the apps transformed the experience and the output-the most crucial piece of kit was this cable above which allows the iPhone to be connected to the iPad for transferring video.