heathercowperWith the growth of powerful mobile phones that shoot great-quality video, the video action these days seems to be all on the smartphone. Your smartphone is always with you, to capture the fun things you see and do on your travels, but who wants to spend endless hours uploading and editing? What you need are smartphone apps that make fun mini movies you’ll want to share and create professional looking videos that no-one will know that you only spent 30 minutes to make. Here are my recommendations for 5 video smartphone apps that will help you create short videos to share on your blog and social media channels. Apologies if the selection is a little iPhone-centric, but most apps seem to appear for iPhone first, so if you’re serious about making videos with apps, this is the smartphone of choice.

1. iMovie ($4.99)

This was the first video app that I ever tried and I still use it all the time. I’m sure that there’s a similar basic video editing app available for other brands of smartphone. This app is a cut-down version of the iMovie video editing tool that comes as standard on Apple computers. You can string together video clips that you’ve recorded on your iPhone, either pre-recorded clips or clips that you record in the moment. Then edit the clips to the right length, add captions or titles and add music that you already have stored on your phone in iTunes. You can also record audio to add to the video although not used this feature as I find it’s a bit difficult to get the timing right. To give your video that creative look, there are 12 Trailer themes and 8 Project themes which are fun to play around with, although I normally use the simplest theme and let the video speak for itself. Another similar video editing app for iPhone that was recommended to me by Greg Brand is Filmic Pro $4.99

Available for: iOS

Share to: YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo

Add your location: Yes | Embed: Yes from YouTube or Vimeo | Download: Yes, to your Camera Roll and from there to wherever you want | Add Music: Yes, from your iTunes library

If you can’t see the video below, view it on YouTube here

2. Vine (free)

Owned by Twitter, Vine allows you to record 6 seconds of video by pressing the screen of your phone. When you stop pressing, the recording also stops, allowing you to record a series of sequential clips to tell a story or capture a moment. The video loops in a never-ending stream which can be hypnotic or irritating in turn. I like this app for capturing meals, hotel rooms, markets, street scenes. Because you are recording “in the moment” you need to concentrate on getting the shots that tell the story (but only for 6 seconds).

Available for: iOS, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, Android

Share to: Vine, Twitter, Facebook

Add your location: Yes | Embed: Yes | Download: No| Add Music: No

If you can’t see the Vine below, view the original here

Recorded by Josh Garcia when he was in Bristol – this is a bit of a Bristolian in-joke

3. Instagram Video (free)

The video feature within this popular photo-sharing app is similar to Vine in that it creates a video of of up to 15 seconds which is recorded when you press the phone screen. Unlike Vine the video doesn’t loop and there’s a handy feature where you can delete the most recent clip if you don’t like it. The option to choose a clip from your phone’s memory has also recently been added. Once you have recorded or selected your clips you can add filters and choose a cover frame. As I use instagram a lot for photo-shares, I’m wavering between consolidating all my activities on Instagram, or using Vine for the videos as there seems to be more engagement for the videos there, whereas people seem to be more into the photos on Instagram. Like Vine, this is good for making mini movies about food, hotels, street scenes and for capturing a moment or idea on video.

Available for: iOS, Android 4.0

Share to: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Foursquare, Email

Add your location: Yes| Embed: Yes | Download: No | Add Music: No

If you can’t see the Instagram Video below, view the original here

4. Qwiki (free)

Recently acquired by Yahoo, this app takes the photos and video clips on your phone and turns them into an impressive looking video/slide show up to a minute long, with fancy transitions. You can either allow the app to select the clips to use (normally all from one day) and then edit them, or alternatively select the 25 photos or video clips you want to use and then edit the transitions and add captions for each group of clips/photos or “moments”. This is a good app to make your still photos into a video or make a little video go a long way. I often use it to summarise a day or weekend of activities, grouping the photos and ‘moments” to tell the story. You need to make sure you’ve already got a few suitable tracks in your iTunes as this app doesn’t look so good without a catchy tune. Another new app that does a similar job is Voyzee

Available for: iOS

Share to: Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, SMS

Add your location: Yes | Embed: Yes | Download: No | Add Music: Yes, from your iTunes library

A week in Emilio Romagna by Keith Jenkins, Velvet Escape. If you can’t see the Qwiki below, view the original here

5. Directr (free)

This app is a bit like iMovie in that it allows you to string short video clips together, either those that are already on your camera roll or those that you record in the moment. Then you can trim the clips to the right length, add music from the app’s selection or from music that you have on your phone, add captions to each of the clips if you like. The point of difference is the storyboards available that give you an easy formula to make your mini Movie. There are plenty of different storyboards, including 13 in the travel theme, such as “This is where I’m staying”, “My Meal out” and “Road Trip”. The storyboards will give you a frame by frame guide for what to shoot in order to tell your story. The app does still seem to have some glitches and I lost a few along the way that didn’t upload correctly, however I think the Storyboard concept will be great for those who don’t have much of an idea where to start in shooting their mini Movie.

Available for: iOS

Share to: Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, SMS

Add your location: No | Embed: Yes | Download: Yes | Add Music: Yes, from the app’s selection or your iTunes library

If you can’t see the Villa La Angostura Directr movie from 5diegoasturi below – view the original here

TBEX Dublin Speaker, Heather Cowper , blogs about her travels around Europe and the world at Heatheronhertravels.com as well as sharing her tips for How to build a better travels blog at MyBloggingJourney.com. As a self-taught video-maker, Heather’s session at TBEX will cover Quick and Easy ways to get Video on your blog (without the Film-school training). Aimed at those of you who know they really should be doing video but don’t know quite where to start, Heather offers suggestions that you can put into practice immediately on how to put together simple but professional looking videos and how to use smartphone apps to make videos that look impressive but are quick to make.