1st Edition

Smartphone Video Storytelling

By Robb Montgomery Copyright 2018
    188 Pages
    by Routledge

    188 Pages
    by Routledge

    Smartphone Video Storytelling helps readers master the techniques for making compelling short-form video content with a smartphone. With mobile journalism on the rise, it’s becoming increasingly important to understand the entire process and potential for conveying stories across multiple platforms. This richly illustrated text provides students with the essential smartphone video reporting skills: From choosing the right editing app to working with interview subjects on camera. The ethics of non-fiction video storytelling are highlighted to reinforce core journalistic principles. The chapters feature mini-tutorials and exercises that introduce the key principles of filmmaking. The student exercises and library of online video lessons introduce the building blocks of visual storytelling using real-world reporting examples. A story-based approach allows instructors to use the experiences of making each project in order to teach the fundamentals of video storytelling in a natural way. Each story lesson introduces the necessary stages, including planning, filming, and editing . . . and all with a smartphone.

    Online example videos can be found at http://smartfilmbook.com/


    1. Introduction

    2. A Portrait

    3. Explainer

    4. Fast Facts

    5. Food

    6. Interviews

    7. Live Streaming

    8. Music Video

    9. 360° VR video

    10. Nature

    11. Promotional

    12. Walkthrough


    Robb Montgomery is a former editor for the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune. He produces media development projects on Design Thinking and Mobile Journalism worldwide. Montgomery is also a distinguished visiting professor at the EFJ School of New Journalism in Paris and at FH Wien School of Journalism and Media Management in Vienna where he leads Mobile Reporting and Story Lab workshops to promote entrepreneurial storytelling. Montgomery was awarded the Lisagor prize for his work with investigative reporting teams uncovering government corruption in Chicago. He resides in Berlin and travels the world as a professor, consultant, and avid outdoorsman. Since 2005, Montgomery has trained more than 10,000 storytellers in mobile journalism. He founded the Smart Film School in 2014 to develop online certificate courses in video storytelling.

    "Robb Montgomery is a true mojo-master. Hands-on, easy to read and tested on the terrain, this book is an essential guide to get you started with your smartphone. Packed with hands-on tips and clever hacks, it will make all the difference when you go out in the field to shoot your own stories."

    Ezra Eeman, Head of Digital, EBU Switzerland

    "Robb Montgomery’s easy-to-follow instruction can take a journalist from novice to pro in a matter of a few videos. There’s something to learn on every page. Who knew that a pair of sneakers were the only zoom a mobile journalist could ever need?"

    Katie Wadington, news director, Asheville (N.C.) Citizen Times

    "Robb does a great job of organizing this book and the important topics related to mobile journalism like framing for vertical video. Additionally, the sample videos, shot in various locations around the world, and exercises will make this text an excellent choice for media educators to use in their courses."

    Kim Fox, The American University in Cairo, Egypt

    "An immensely smart and useful guide for the amateur and professional alike (I learned a few things, and I've been shooting professional narratives for almost 20 years). Technology is changing so rapidly these days, it's incredible that you can accomplish so much with the device we all regularly carry around in our pocket. But many people still lack the basic storytelling skills to make a rich and watchable narrative. This book will help people organize their story, compose and shoot like a pro." 

    Erik Olsen, Quartz, USA

    "500 years ago, Gutenberg’s printing press changed the world.

    That piece of technology meant that anyone could now publish and share their ideas.

    Literacy became essential.

    10 years ago, another piece of technology did the same - the iPhone.

    It is the Gutenberg’s printing press of our own digital age, and it does the same- makes it possible for anyone to publish and share their ideas, but in video.

    Essential to both is literacy. Print literacy for the press, video literacy for the smartphone.

    Smartphone Video Storytelling is a great way to become ‘video literate’ in a fast and easy to understand way."

    Michael Rosenblum, Founder - TheVJ.com, USA

    "This is an essential addition to your toolkit If you have been considering creating videos using your smartphone. Providing practical advice and helpful checklists, whether you are new to mobile video creation, an experienced videographer or a mobile journalist, the guidance provided will help you improve your video content creation."

    Krishna De, Digital Communications Strategist, www.Krishna.me

    "As a journalism professor who teaches in an international university I can comfortably say that this book is easy to use for diverse students from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. Using examples from around the world makes readers feel that author is addressing them wherever they are. In addition, the technical instruction is straightforward and to the point and equipment used is readily accessible. To boot, this book with it’s up –to-date techniques can be used for training emerging professionals too. This author is ahead of the curve when it comes to teaching how to create fact-based visual storytelling using simple skills and methods."

    Dr. Naila Hamdy. Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication and Graduate Director.

    The American University in Cairo, Egypt

    "With a mobile phone, everybody can be a film maker today. With the web and social media apps, everybody can become a broadcaster. Not everybody though has got film making skills and experience, until today. Robb Montgomery shares his best practices in the Smartphone Video Storytelling and he promises to make every one of us a professional film maker. The only part missing now is a story. What’s yours?! "

    Grzegorz Piechota, Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford

    "When TV was invented 90 years ago we handed control over production to the media and never asked for it back. Now smartphones give everyone the chance to produce high quality stories that look and sound professional. Be video literate! All you need is a phone and this book."

    John Whyte-Venables, phone video trainer

    "Smartphone Video Storytelling is not only for the "bookshelf", but an important item worthy of being part of one’s storytelling kit. Readers will learn the foundations of storytelling and then apply the advice and techniques through -practical exercises to help tell better stories. Be prepared to be challenged and motivated."

    Len Clark, PhD, Irish 101

    "Smartphone Video Storytelling is an excellent and very practical guide for everybody who wants to start storytelling on a mobile phone; students in media, journalists, and public relations. The book is very well classified in chapters with a fixed format and guides you step by step through the knowledge. Via examples and exercises, you are able to develop the skills you need as mobile storyteller. Because of the structure, the book is very suitable for trainers and lecturers in media and journalism."

    Rob Freijssen, lecturer in Media and Journalism University of applied Sciences, Trainer In Smartphone Storytelling , and editor in chief

    "Robb Montgomery’s superb book goes beyond the standard to have at its core that vital element of good journalism: how to tell a story. This, combined with authoritative instruction and practical exercises, delivers precisely what I need my mobile students to know. "

    Rob Layton, Head of Digital Journalism, Bond University, Australia