How to Make a Killer RIB Video With Your Smartphone

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You’ve bought a RIB and you want to share the experience of RIBbing by making videos.

With smartphones getting better at shooting videos and taking photos, I think these 5 tips and tricks will help you at making a killer RIB video many people will appreciate.

So how do you start?

1 Keep it short!
2 Always film horizontally (landscape)
3 Buy a smartphone gimbal
4 Use video editing software and royalty-free music
5 Things not to do!

Keep in mind who is your audience. This may come as a surprise to you but the longer your video the more boring it gets. I’ve also made that same mistake. I will bet on in, you’ll leave the video before it’s over.

While you are immensely passionate about your RIB and the trip you’ve been filming, viewers aren’t necessarily.

Unless you’re creating a real Hollywood movie keep in mind that a video of 1 to 2 minutes, 5 at max is a good concept. If it’s longer than that you need to have a lot of different footage, from many different angles and positions and a script.

So keep it short and to the point. If your audience wants to replay it, you’ve reached your goal. Advertising videos use around 30 seconds to convince you to buy the product and their product is named three times (at least). Count the seconds before the brand or product is named …

I see a lot of nice smartphone footage, shot while holding the smartphone vertically like you’re calling someone (portrait). It doesn’t do credit to the subject at all.

Holding the smartphone horizontally (landscape) gives that much sought after cinema feeling. It makes it also much more easier for you to focus on the subject. It gives you a kind of space.

Imagine you see a movie like Star Wars filmed vertically. It will make you sick and you will stop watching it.


RIBs ONLY - Home of the Rigid Inflatable Boat

So far so good but if you really want to make a difference, buy a smartphone gimbal. I found an amazing one on the DJI site. This device does wonders for your video quality.

Especially on a moving RIB keeping your smartphone steady is nearly impossible. This results in jerky footage spoiling the experience for your audience. Not with this device! I’ ve been using a gimball for many years now and I’m very satisfied … as is my audience.

A gimbal compensates these movements and vibrations and your video will look stunning. You can buy these already from € 50.

I suggest buying one from DJI, the company that made its success with the Mavic drone.

A good gimbal is independent from the smartphone dimensions. The DJI Mobile is such a device. It has even more features than just keeping your smartphone steady. I’ve already tried some others but I was not satisfied with the manipulations and the result.

Remember also that when you use a gimbal the selfie camera is mostly of a lesser quality than the camera on the back of your smartphone.

If you really want to impress your audience, you can edit your footage with video software.

I used to work with Adobe Premiere and Final Cut from Apple. These are quite expensive solutions and they have a long, steep learning curve.

I you can afford it and don’t mind taking some time to master it, I’d go for Final Cut on a MAC.

Luckily there are other video tools like Movavi (Windows or Mac) and Pinnacle (Windows only) to get the job done.

RIBs ONLY - Home of the Rigid Inflatable Boat

Movavi has a nice range of video editor tools. You can use trial versions and the prices are very democratic. It’s fairly easy to use and deliver quick and very nice video results.

On top of that, you can download a free video editing version for iOS an Android to edit directly on your smartphone.

RIBs ONLY - Home of the Rigid Inflatable Boat

Pinnacle I’ve used many many years ago in the days when Hi8 video was a real breakthrough. It is a bit harder to master, especially when you buy the Pinnacle Studio 22 Ultimate. They offer a free version as well.

There are a number of good ‘free’ editors around but with a ‘commercial’ version you often get good support.

YouTube and other video platforms will be banning videos with ‘official’ music you have no permission to use. This means that all the above is a waste of time. But there are a lot of sites out there that offer you an alternative.

On Youtube you’ll find some good copyright free music.

I did some research and Shockwave Sound is by far the best. It’s not free but it has good music and you can select a full music track of even nicely derived versions at a lower price. I was really impressed. Visit the site by clicking the image below. You won’t regret it.

RIBs ONLY - Home of the Rigid Inflatable Boat

Don’t forget to start your video with a title and eventually mention your name. And avoid centering these on the screen.

End the video with music credits, your smartphone model, the year you’ve made the video and if you like it give a possibility to contact you. You can use an e-mail address for instance.

These is the stuff that is so easy to fall into. So absolutely avoid these things:

  • Talk a lot while filming (unless you’re interviewing someone)
  • Pan from left to right and back
  • Pan from bottom to top and back
  • Lean on a railing while on board and filming
  • Make sudden movements
  • Use every video transition in the editor
  • Use a lot of special effects available in the editor

I hope that these 5 action points will help you to create killer RIB videos for us all to enjoy!


About the author

Karel Overlaet is a family man, Business Development Manager, creator of bingel (European market leading e-learning platform), owner of Medianaut, chairman Varen voor Autisme vzw (npo), nautical journalist and photographer, passionate about RIBs. – Berchem – Belgium

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