Imagine that your brand or company was hosting an event or campaign, and you wanted to quickly put some new and delicious footages together to share with your audiences on Instagram. Wouldn’t that be convenient and fun at the same time?

Today, I have a few tips for you if you are looking for sneak peeks style of short videos. Below is a sample that I made for Ontario Science Centre. Enjoy the 36 seconds videos (made in 2 hours).

  • Filming app: iPhone 6, or you can use Instagram
  • Video merger and editing app: Filmmaker Pro

Before I commence, would like to say a massive “Thank you” to one of the staff of Ontario Science Centre for giving me a free admission ticket to film the place! It was very kind of them and I had fun making this little project.

Now, if you are home try the following the steps for fun. After all, that’s what I do when I practice shots from my storyboard.

The foremost part of making a film, whether short or long, is the brainstorming ideas when drafting your storyboard. It can get as sketchy as you want, or as detailed as you feel it needs to be. My storyboard was pretty simple.

  • Theme of video: Sneak peek / preview of “what’s on”
  • Ideal length: 30 to 40 seconds

There are important factors that could be considered to make your filming process easier and consistent as preparations. Such as:

  • Footage factor 01: each shot must be less than 3 seconds. Why? Science Centres could be boring to some of the audiences (Ontario Science Centre seems to aim at younger audiences). Most attention span is less than 6 seconds (according to professor Bhupesh), must keep the audience engaged.
  • Footage factor 02: close-ups shots to show as mystery and abstract visual
  • Footage factor 03: show interaction with devices
  • Footage factor 04: show interaction of staffs and visitors
  • Footage factor 04: take advantage of photography compositing rules to make videos visually interesting, soothing and tasty to the eye
  • Footage factor 05: show still objects that could be signature exhibits of the OSC

After you have some of those considerations laid out, it will serve you as a purpose to set up a theme that might fit your proposal. What is your purpose of the sneak peek? How do you want the viewers to feel? What kind of reaction are you striving for? And what do you want to suggest in those shots?

While I was creating my storyboard, I had in mind that through this preview of the Ontario Science Centre, audiences will be able to feel inspired emotionally! I want to let them know that this is the place where you get to have fun, use your creativity to create things, explore exhibits that will awe you and the many other unrevealed parts that you should find out only if you come.

Notice that the order and ideas from the storyboard were adjusted accordingly to what I saw and was able to document. But the theme remains same and consistent throughout my editing process. I used text to connect the concept to what was being shown on the background.

How was the Instagram video made?

STEP 1 – Filming

I filmed shots with my iPhone 6 (landscape view) that was relatable to my theme.
Making sure that each shot was at least 4-5 seconds long so there is enough room to smooth the transition between them later. Make sure that if you do it this way, position all your main focus in the middle of the camera grid because they will be cropped out into a square later.

OR, you could film using the video feature on Instagram app if you already planned out your transition of shots (the order and angles). Each shot will be able to be juxtaposed to each other as the app allows you to pause recording right after you release the thumb. When you want to record your next best shot, continue to press the record button and it will record from where you left off. Delete the latest shot easily too.

STEP 2 – Importing

Now, I recorded 30 short videos that I was enough in 30 minutes. Get an overview of all the shots in your phone album and input them into the Filmmakerpro app. I recommend importing one or 2 shots first, get the editing going and then work on numerous shots later so it doesn’t get too overwhelming at first!

STEP 3 – The Interface

The interface basically looks like this. Of course, it would look empty if you start a new project.

You will be working mainly with 5 elements in the interface – The ratio, the clips, texts, transition between clips and music.

I will show you simple guide steps on how you can add them below. You can easily reposition clips, texts, music simply by tapping on the little tabs below the clips. Hold for 1 second, and then you can drag to the desired position within the timeline.

STEP 4 – Ratio

When you click on settings on the very left, second icon. You will be able to set your ratio easily! For my video, I set it to a square (1:1) and that’s pretty much all you have to do to start with.

STEP 5 – Clips

When I click on an individual clip, I trimmed down my videos to 2 seconds or 3 seconds.

Some of the shots were sped up by a double, and some were slowed down by half of the speed.

I also chose a filter that would work well throughout all the clips, aka, effect 05 which basically brightens and saturate colours.

You can also adjust colours based on different aspects, I am sure you will be very familiar with these as it allows you to change brightness, contrast, highlights, shadow, saturation, and so on.

And if you want to rotate the videos, it allows you too! As for the other options, it is not necessary for the editing process.


STEP 6 – Text

Adding text is as simple as it can get. Simply click on the “T” on the very right of the interface, and it will add a text tab below your clip. Double tap the screen to write a title or description.

In my video, I played with the timing in which the text appears visible on screen, simply by clicking the arrows to add or increase time in seconds and minutes.

The icon that is to the left side of the “A” tab basically allows you to resize and reposition your text on the screen. But I didn’t show that part because it is easier if you tap on the text hold for 1 second. Then you’ll be able to move it around the screen. Or use two fingers and resize the texts with ease.

The best part of Flimmakerpro is that they have PLENTY of font styles for you to choose from! (only if you purchase the full version that is!).

As Ontario Science Centre’s logo appears to be sans serif, rather bold and rounded look – I chose a style that resonated with the design with a touch of a slant to offset the square shape of the screen and asymmetric shots.

I noticed a lot of Neon lights during my visit to the Ontario Science Centre, and one of the images created for the brand concept was inspired by the Neon-ness too. Filmmakerpro gives you the options to choose a variant of colour shades, PLUS Neon colours as its own category! It really excites me because Neon is very futuristic and that brings a new dimension to the overall feel of the clip.

Lastly, you add motion to your text and see them in action. Once you are settled with adjustments, click on the “tick” icon and you can preview your amazing edit!


STEP 7 – Transition

Transitions are automatically set up for you by the app between individual shots. As you can see from the picture – the little square that separates clips with a capital “I” in the middle.

Click on that square, and you will have the option to choose a transition style and the length of time for the transition to happen between 2 clips.

STEP 8 – Music

You can either add music from the very beginning or last. I choose to add music as my final step because, usually, if I add music from the beginning, it could distract the theme as you will always try to follow the tempo of the tone.

Work from silent videos first, once you get the concept laid out in the timeline of the interface, everything will naturally fall into the right places once music is added in the end. You can choose your own music saved in the phone, or use instrumental music available from the app itself.


STEP 9- Share and Save

Once you are done, click on the top icon on the very left panel. You can either save straight to your phone or share straight on social media (Instagram, Facebook).

Loading time is not very long, depending on the length of your clips. Another bonus of this app is that the quality is pretty high when you share straight to Instagram! It feeds people’s eyes greatly!

Now, add a captivating description (I suggest you limit your characters to 125 if you are posting on Instagram!). List your hashtags (no more than 10 though, because engagement may drop with too much #) and share it with the world!

There you have a great sneak peek preview of your event or behind-the-scenes for an amazing show made in 2 hours. When you get the hang of it, I am sure the time of production will cut down a lot more. I highly suggest filmmakerpro app as it is one of the most convenient, creative and easy to use video editing app for smartphones today.

I hope this was useful for you, and if you have any questions or ideas that you’d like to share, tweet me at @carolinafchen.