There was a time when a video shot vertically, as when one might hold a cell phone or flip cam, was acceptable, if not, at least understandable. In the golden era of digital cellphone pictures and video (the mid 2000′s) most would not think twice about holding a camera in a certain manner to get the most appealing shot. Shooting video was just the natural progression of talking pictures with the same tool on which you made calls. Horizontally or vertically, nobody really cared. It was convenient, fun and spur of the moment.
Vertically shot videos are visually challenged.
Nowadays, thanks to less expensive equipment and video distribution and sharing sites like Facebook and YouTube, what was just a fun, casual activity has blossomed into a world-wide phenomena. And as the capture capabilities have improved, so has the level of expectation. Everyone with a smart device seems to have the potential to be a broadcaster or film studio. There is a lot of power in that. But just as desktop computers made for desktop publishers (many of them crappy) the same goes for what has happened in this digital camera revolution.
Television monitors are horizontal and so too should be our video. A 90 degree shift can make it all better. Granted, the consequences for not heeding this warning are light. There is no penalty for shooting vertically and you won’t get put on a list… but we will talk about you and you will get plenty-o-side eye! The fact is, your shots will look a lot better and carry more impact if a few basic tenets to filmmaking and video production are followed (which we will be covering soon in a series on shooting fashion video on Androids and iPhones)
These guys explain the woes of vertical video better than me:
Creativity Done Vertically: Video Portraiture
Like with most things done in the creative realm, there will be those that flourish by breaking conventional rules. Video artists are no different when it comes to contrarian techniques. There happens to be a motivated and innovative movement, some of them experimental videographers, some photographers new to the world of HDSLR video, that are producing some vertically impressive pieces. Below is a short list where more information and examples can be found.
Video School / Lessons / Let’s Get Vertical on Vimeo
Portrait Orientation Videos on Vimeo
TallScreen Video on Vimeo
Weekend Project: Vertical Vids | The Vimeo Blog http://bit.ly/MIHTsB
40′s Style Vertical Video Booth on Vimeo
The Photographer™’s Videos on Vimeo
If you do any cool portraiture video shot vertically, send us a link and we will feature it in our video section!