Vertical video film projects have become a thing. Thanks to Instagram and YouTube, more people are consuming media on their phones. But Instagram, specifically, has altered the landscape of vertical video, forcing many video and filmmakers to produce (or at least have the option) to view their videos in a 9:16 vertical format.
Most clients these days want to be able to share their video projects on social media so as a video film production company or producer, you need to be able to deliver this without hesitation. If you’re wondering at how you can shoot a great quality project in this format, we’ve compiled three of the most common ways to achieve this 9:16 look, short of filming on your phone.
Create the Vertical Format in Post Production
This is one of the most common methods to use if you want to create a vertical format version of the video you created. Known as the center cut, sometimes, even the director or DP won’t know the client intends to showcase this on social media platforms requiring a vertical format. They’ll often just be asked for a 1080 x 1929 center cut of the final approved edit.
While it works and is often used, it can look claustrophobic because the framing feels tight. Unless the DP already had the idea of presenting the video in a vertical format, then it will have an effect on how everything looks. To avoid this, you need to plan ahead. If you do, you will get a decent image for a 16:9 and 9:16 aspect ratios. There are also helpful camera guides that can assist you in framing for both horizontal and vertical frames.
Flipping The Camera on its Side
To use this, you simply have to do a second take, but this time flip or turn the camera on its side. Of course, this will mean twice the work since you’ll have additional footage to edit.
Doing this will be time-consuming during post but it will give you a better option when it comes to doing a center cut. You’ll also be able to choose the right lens and proper framing for your shot. Of course, it’s not advisable you do this if you’re planning to create long-form video content. A 30-second commercial would be ideal or something similar so it won’t eat into your prep, shooting or editing time too much.
Stack Your Cameras
Retakes are a bit of a hassle, so if you don’t have time to do this or don’t want to do it, your best bet is to go the stacked camera method. While you’re doing your initial take, set up one camera for vertical and another camera for horizontal. You can attach a second camera alongside the existing one and shoot the footage at the same time. Ideally, there should be another person manning the second camera to make sure it’s in sync in terms of timecodes so the editor can easily edit both. But since some clients are wary of extra charges, attaching the camera to the side of an existing camera works well. A camera cage will work great for this and will allow you to focus and keep all the settings the same.
Regardless of which method you go for, there’s no denying vertical video will be here to stay. It’s become essential for many to consume their content over their phones and with vertical video, everything is made more convenient.