McGill International Cellphilm Festival

Cellphilm Tips

How to make a Cellphilm Video?

Cellphilm Resources

Want to carry on cellphilming with youth?

A Working Guide to Cellphilming With Young Participants

Want to learn more about cellphilming?

Cellphilming; A Tool For Addressing Gender Equality

Are you organizing a cellphilm festival?

Facilitating a Virtual Cellphilm Festival; A Comprehensive Guide

These videos (both in French and English) show how to make a cellphilm as part of a research project:

Videos in English

Cellphilming: Introduction (ENG)

Cellphilming 1: Brainstorming

Cellphilming 2: Confidentiality

Cellphilming 3: Storyboarding

Cellphilming 4: Filming

Cellphilming 5: Sharing

Cellphilming 6: Discussion and reflection

Videos in French

Cellphilming: Introduction

Cellphilming 1: Tempête d’idées

Cellphilming 2: Confidentialité

Cellphilming 3: Faire un storyboard

Cellphilming 4: Tournage

Cellphilming 5: Partage

Cellphilming 6: Discussion et réflexion

How to cite the video series of ‘How to make a cellphilm’:

Thompson, J., Macabena Perez, R., Paquette, C., Levitt, B., Holland, N. (2020). Comment faire un cellphilm/How to make a cellphilm [Vidéo]. Montréal: Myriagone Chaire McConnell-UdeM en mobilisation des connaissances jeunesse.

More tips to make a Cellphilm:

Here are some handy tips to think about before and while you make your cellphilm!


  • Don’t hold back, anything goes at this point!
  • Write/sketch/record all your ideas down
  • When you feel that you have exhausted every option, go back and pick one or two ideas to make your cellphilm about.


  • Cellphilms are generally pretty short (for this festival the limit is 90 seconds) and to the point.
  • Shorter films can be tough to make, because you have to make sure to use the time wisely.
  • Shorter films are easier to show because the are smaller files that people can send phone-phone, phone-computer quickly and because if people are busy, the short film will not disrupt their day too much.


  • Sketch out the different ‘scenes’ your cellphilm will have. There is a storyboard template you can use here.
  • Make a note of any props, costumes, ideas for dialogue, music, or sounds that you need in each scene.
  • You can even make a note of the type of filming you will do to capture this scene (e.g. close up, panorama, holding phone above looking down).


  • If you have people speaking in your cellphilm be sure to film with the phone’s microphone as close as possible to the person.
  • If you are trying to capture someone speaking or a particular noise in your cellphilm, try and cut out all background noise.
  • You do not have to include any sound or music in your cellphilm.
  • You can use movie-making software (e.g. iMovie) to include music after you have finished filming.

One-Shot Shoot Method

  • A one-shot shoot cellphilm is when you film everything in one take.
  • Press record. Record all your video in one go. Press stop. Your done!
  • This is a great way to make a cellphilm if you have limited access to other editing software or if it is your first time making a cellphilm.
  • Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this technique. One-shot shoots can make very powerful cellphilms.

Record-Pause-Record Method (‘No Editing Required’ approach)

  • Many cellphones let you pause mid-record. This lets you stop and start the cellphilm without making a separate video file. In the end, the pause acts like a scene change in your cellphilm.
  • If you have this function on your phone, this is a great way to make a multi-scene cellphilm without having to use any movie editing software.
  • Of course, if you make a mistake in the middle of your movie that you want to fix remember you have to start at filming from the very beginning again.

More References to read: