Photography / Video

Mobile Filmmaking 101:
How to Shoot Like a Pro

Filmmaking tips from the crew of The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.

Red and blue neon marquee of NBC Studios/The Tonight Show at the GE Building in New York City captured on a Samsung Galaxy S10+ smartphone.

"There was a time when a stellar video production couldn't be achieved without breaking the bank (or our backs) on bulky high-end studio equipment. The good news is that times have changed.

Case in point: the production crew of The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon shot an entire episode throughout the streets of New York City on the Galaxy S10+. Here's how you can shoot your own broadcast-ready videos from your phone with cues from the pros themselves."

The crew of The Tonight Show featuring Jimmy Fallon behind the scenes on set
Behind-the-scenes video of the production crew of The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon sharing their filmmaking tips after using the Samsung Galaxy S10+ to shoot an entire episode

Use size to your advantage

First, take a load off – literally and figuratively. If you have a quality smartphone camera, you're already set to start shooting. Since you don't need to worry about navigating hefty camera gear, expand your shot list to consider cozy locations where it would otherwise be difficult to shoot. You could even grab your friends’ phones to use as additional cameras for varied angles and more intimate storytelling. The portable nature of the Galaxy S10+ allowed Fallon’s crew to shoot in a cramped taxi, and prop their phones up on the kitchen counters at Italian restaurant, Rao’s, to get in on some behind-the-scenes meatball making.

Samsung Galaxy S10+ records the kitchen staff at work at Rao's Italian restaurant in New York City

Get creative with perspectives

Point of view – or how your audience experiences your visual project – is essential in filmmaking. Switching up your camera lens can change the POV to take your observer on a ride into other characters’ journeys or even show the same scene in an entirely new way. For instance, built-in smartphone lenses like the Ultra Wide Camera lens helped the Late Night crew make the most of their favourite locations in the city by capturing the whole scene exactly as it appeared in person, even in tight spaces.

“Having an ultra wide is really helpful. You can get really close and capture a lot of the environment.”

– Chris Tartaro, Director

Director Chris Tartaro uses Galaxy S10+ to film Jimmy Fallon and The Roots singing "In the Still of the Night" under the Brooklyn Bridge
A video filmed entirely on the Samsung Galaxy S10+ shows Jimmy Fallon joining The Roots in singing a harmonic doo-wop rendition of "In the Still of the Night" acapella-style as the camera pans to the backdrop of a lit Brooklyn Bridge in New York.
Rearview photo of the Ultra Wide angle lens on the Samsung Galaxy S10+
Ultra Wide angle

A lens that’s wide enough to fit the whole crew in your frame.

Rearview photo of the Ultra Wide angle lens on the Samsung Galaxy S10+
Ultra Wide angle

A lens that’s wide enough to fit the whole crew in your frame.


Take it pro-level

Ever notice how buttery smooth those camera pans are in your favourite movies? Well, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve the same level of polish. Stabilising bumpy footage is one way to give your low budget film a high-end cinematic feel. While the Late Night production crew used several DJI-branded gimbals for some added steady one-handed operation, camera settings like the S10+’s Super steady mode can help smooth out the twitches.

“Super steady mode is a really great feature for anybody interested in trying to make more premium-feeling film or short films on a phone.”

– Chris Tartaro, Director

Piece it all together with a film editing app

Now comes the fun part: creating the finished product. Luckily, film editing apps like Adobe Premiere Rush make it easy for you to load your phone’s footage, edit, and share on your social channels on the go (no computer transfers needed). Don't forget to put your own spin on the video by playing around with different effects, throwing in some black and white shots or highlighting anything that can better capture the essence of your set and story.

Ready for your premiere?

Whether recording for your Instagram stories, vlogging your travels or even producing your own show or short film, use these mobile filmmaking tools to create your masterpiece from wherever you are.

Frontal view of a black Samsung Galaxy S10+ phone

Galaxy S10e | S10 | S10+

Purple stock icon of Adobe Premiere Rush logo (Ru)

Adobe Premiere Rush
for Samsung

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