All about the content - iPhone training at St. Joseph's Hospice

A friendly greeting and a light and airy lobby welcomed me into St Joseph’s Hospice in East London  - I was there to run what is rapidly becoming our most popular course of iPhone filming and editing.

Anna, Head of Marketing and Communications at the Hospice had booked us in to teach a number of their staff how to film, interview and edit on their phones.  Whilst we concentrate on the Iphone or iPad, the techniques and approaches we bring to the course are applicable across all devices; from a simple phone camera to a £20,000 film camera. Knowing how to interview, to set the interview up, thinking about the background, light, audio  and the context of the interview are all key in delivering a higher quality film than just pointing a camera and asking the first questions that come into your head.

The importance of content

One of the key things we emphasise throughout the course is the importance of content – having the best shot, with amazing light and crystal clear sound is great, but it won’t get any views unless the content is strong and relevant to the audience you are targeting. During the course I often relate a story from my early filming career (which in this case had a relevance to the group we were training),  - back in 2001 in Northern India I was filming in a hospice where my battery light had failed, it was very dark and very noisy but the strength of the story and emotional depth of the material I was getting was so strong that when we returned, these were the shots that the broadcaster were very keen to use. I cringe when I look at the technical quality of the footage, but the story comes across powerfully.

students practise filming during training courseWe had arranged with St. Joseph’s to film a couple of case studies – one showcasing the role that a staff member played in the hospice and one focusing on a patient having respite care.  We focus the trainees on looking for the questions and quotes that get right to the heart of the story  - what can your interviewee say that no-one else can? The team found a very willing interviewee in the patient they had selected and she was able to articulate the positive difference that respite care from St. Joseph’s had made to her life. The resulting footage and edit was so poignant that they’ve made a decision to not just use this for training but put the film out on their website, which they will be doing soon. Watch our twitter feed to find out – we’ll post a link when it goes live.



Claire Learner, PR manager at St. Joseph's said it was "one of the best courses I've ever been on, fun and interactive. I've learnt things about my phone that I didn't even know were on there".

We’re always keen that trainees leave the course with a project in mind and get filming and editing as soon as possible. Keep an eye out for our updates on what all the various trainees from our courses have been producing.

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