Create Collaborative Videos from your iPhone


I remember the first “movie” I made. I gathered the neighborhood kids into two groups–good guys and bad guys–and we had an epic chase scene. We cut through yards, crashed through fences, and jumped over walls, all while I was editing the video as I went. And by editing, I mean pushing the record at precisely the correct time. I had to quickly learn how long it took for the play head to start rolling, or we would miss the beginning of each cut. At the end of the day, we gathered around my parents’ TV, plugged the camera into the VCR, and pushed Play.

In a pre-digital era, this feat was impressive. Super impressive. Dare I say, stinking impressive. Just a few (or more) years later, we have phones that can record video. And not just record, these devices edit, upload, and share video. I believe the next step of making videos is to record and edit collaboratively. Here are my three favorite ways to create collaborative video.


Yesterday, I wished a teacher happy birthday. I knew it was her birthday because Facebook told me. She commented, “Some people didn’t even say Happy Birthday. They just wrote ‘HB.'” This is a seriously lame problem on Facebook. Luckily BirthdayGram is here to the rescue. You record a birthday greeting, and convince other friends to secretly record their own greetings. BirthdayGram edits everyone’s videos together, and posts it to your friend’s wall. I had given up on Facebooking birthday wishes (yes, I used Facebook as a verb) until this app.


Vyclone is an app that combines everyone’s clips to create one movie with all the angles cut together. It automatically synchronizes and edits all the footage. Of course, everyone needs to have an iPhone and needs to record an event using the app. But, if that’s the case, you can instantly create a multi-camera masterpiece. It’s like having your own production studio.

YouTube Mobile Upload

Here’s the basic workflow for uploading video from a mobile device.

  1. Go into YouTube Settings, and enable mobile uploads. Copy that email address.
  2. Record video on a mobile device.
  3. Email the video to your YouTube mobile upload address. It will looks something like:

If you share this email address, other people can upload videos to your YouTube account. You can take this a step further and switch the license from standard to creative commons. Now, people can edit the videos they just created using the YouTube video editor.

I’ve used this with my ed tech video students. They lived far apart from each other, so I asked them to film a local geographic region (CA third grade social studies standard: geographical features in their local region (e.g., deserts, mountains, valleys, hills, coastal areas, oceans, lakes)). They shot video, and uploaded it to my class YouTube account. I had already changed the default preferences to be creative commons license, so my students were able to instantly begin editing each other’s videos.

Here’s the workflow to collaboratively film and edit:

  1. Film on a mobile device.
  2. Email that video to your YouTube mobile email address (like
  3. It will appear on your channel (like the EDUC 514 YouTube channel).
  4. Change the permissions to Creative Commons so that anyone may edit them.
  5. Add a tag so that it’s easy to search for (like 514week5)
  6. Go to (Here is a tutorial on how to use YouTube’s video editor.)
  7. In the editor, search for the video (like 514week5).
  8. Edit all the videos together into one video.
  9. Add text or music.
  10. Publish to your channel.

When I was a kid, I imaged that the future would be filled with flying cars and talking dogs. I didn’t foresee the ability to create a multi-camera project in real time or shoot a video with classmates that live 200 miles apart. Between those two futures, I’m glad we’re in this one. Although talking dogs would be pretty cool.