Somersault - A vlogging camera for your phone.
I wanted to show off a preview of what I’ve been working on. It’s a better Camera App for vloggers. I call it Somersault.
I started a vlog about 2.5 years ago, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process of sharing stories and lessons. But it’s hard. It’s tough to craft stories on top of making great looking video. Adding music. Keeping the pacing from becoming boring. Avoiding the look of Blair Witch Project outtakes.
Through all that work I’ve learned a ton about making better videos. Lessons about keeping shots short, establishing where you are, talking to the camera vs watching yourself, editing in camera vs the extra work in Post.
And now, I can offer some of those lessons through a Camera App itself. So regardless of if you need Somersault, here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned along the way, and what I hope Somersault can help guide people to do better.
Keep your shots short #
One of the biggest reasons for Snap and Instagram videos success is that they force folks to keep videos short. We just don’t have the attention span to watch videos that drone on and on. If you closely watch most movies, you’ll see the camera switching angles or changing in some way about every 10 seconds or less to keep us interested. So the time constraints on Snap and Instagram automatically make us better filmmakers.
So the biggest advice to new filmmakers: keep those shots short. 10 seconds or less is great.
Somersault does it for you.
Break the fourth wall #
Somersault assumes a very popular vlogging style where we are behind the camera and in front of it “breaking the fourth wall”. So Somersault helps to shoot something establishing where you are or what you’re doing, then every 10 seconds, the camera flips from back to front, back to front, to shoot yourself talking to the camera.
If you want to short circuit the 10 seconds, swipe DOWN to change the camera early.
Look at the lens #
Somersault makes sure to place things that should attract your eye (the timer) close to the lens.
Edit in camera #
Controls in the camera are placed in a way you shouldn’t ever need to look at anything other than either what your shooting or the lens when you’re shooting yourself. There’s just a couple gestures to switch the cameras or to pause shooting. But you won’t need to fish around for them causing a lot of off footage you need to cut out in POST.
Shoot in landscape #
This is going to be a bit contentious in our Instagram/Snap worlds where shooting in Portrait is becoming more common. But for vlogging and putting together video you might publish in other channels like YouTube, your website, or even TV down the road, landscape is the preferred mode. So Somersault records in landscape. I may revisit this choice, of course, as I get feedback.
Never miss a shot #
Somersault starts recording as soon as you open the app, and by design has very few features, modes, or controls.
I never want to miss a shot because I was fiddling around trying to find the right button to get the damn thing to record. Also, a big lament about most cameras and camera apps I have is that they do far too many things. And because of that, when you turn your camera on, you can never find the control you need. Or the settings from last time aren’t the settings you want now. I’ve missed more than one shot because my camera was stuck in Photo mode or the camera was flipped the wrong directions while I fiddled to find the flip button.
So yet another camera app, but this one is made for vlogging. I hope you can get some use out of it. I’m starting a round of Beta testing now for iPhone users (Android will follow very shortly if there’s enough demand). If you’re interested, drop your email below, and I’ll send you an invite before I officially launch it! Any Beta testers can get the app free for life regardless of what it costs later on.
Want to Beta test the iPhone app?