“Erasmus Guide“ is a project created for Erasmus students to show the most interesting things they found about Zagreb while living here. They did it by making videos about certain people, places and traditions related to Croatian culture. All their work was posted online, on Vimeo, as well as on the Erasmus Guide Facebook page. But the most important part was putting the best videos they made throughout the semester into a TV show called “Erasmus Guide“.
By making their videos they got a unique view on life in Zagreb and explored the culture in ways they probably never would by just staying here. That is why we thought it would be interesting to follow them as they create their stories and capture their reactions. We decided to do it using iPhones and it turned out to be a great choice for making a short documentary film, „Creating Erasmus Guide“. People usually get nervous and behave unnaturally when being filmed with camera, but with iPhones we didn’t have that problem. Except the fact that mobile phones are much smaller and therefore less noticeable, nowadays everyone likes to capture videos with their smartphones all the time, so people get used to it. That is why we got more natural and honest behaviour from them which is for this type of movie really important.
One of the biggest obstacles while shooting with an iPhone is capturing the sound while taking statements. We were using a Røde microphone which recorded the sound pretty well, but the problem was that while it was plugged in the phone, we weren’t able to also plus in the headset and check the sound. So the only way to do that was to look at on screen volume indicator. Most of the times it worked quite well, but some of the clips recorded in crowded and loud surroundings turned out to be unusable.
Another problem that we encountered was shooting while moving which in this case, since we wanted to capture people „in action“, was quite important. Smartphones are much lighter than the regular camera and even though it is a positive feature when it comes to carrying equipment around, in this case is was a disadvantage. When trying to shoot in motion with such light equipment, shots turn out to be very unsteady and shaky. In this case we found the handheld mono-pod very useful.
Surely there were other difficulties while making this short film, but these two most noticeable. In coping with them the most important was post-production. By using audio equalizer and stabilization in the editing we managed to neutralize some of the flaws of shooting with an everyday gadget.