Vertical video: Flipping mobile on its head

Vertical video? Not turning your phone to landscape used to be a sin punishable by meme. But now the perspective is changing, and though it may hurt the hearts of seasoned videographers, we ask: is it time to switch to portrait first?

Vertical video? Not turning your phone to landscape used to be a sin punishable by meme. But now the perspective is changing, and though it may hurt the hearts of seasoned videographers, we ask: is it time to switch to portrait first?

Dubbed Vertical Video Syndrome (VVS), forgetting to turn your phone before filming used to be a sin punishable by meme.

Earlier this month, members of Text100’s EMEA team attended Eurobest to share ideas and be inspired by leading creatives and experts. One session reignited our thinking around thumb-stopping video content with insights from News UK’s Milton Elias, Facebook Creative Shop’s Kat Hahn, and Grant Munro of Shutterstock Custom.

Thanks to the rise of mobile, more digital content is now consumed on the go than ever before. Comscore statistics show 61% of time UK consumers spend online is now via mobile. Surprisingly, 85% of all video is now watched without sound.

Apps like Instagram and Snapchat are all embracing vertical video; Even Youtube has banished the black bars from their mobile app.

Vertical video takes up more real estate, making it harder to scroll past. It feels more natural for users and Snapchat themselves have said that vertical video ads have up to nine times more completed views than horizontal video ads.

How do you move to vertical video?

It may sound obvious, but Hahn says when you’re creating vertical video, there are two key considerations:

  • How to shoot; and
  • How to edit.

In many cases, shooting vertical footage for social in addition to horizontal for TV and other platforms raises issues around budget; particularly if horizontal content already exists. The panel suggested running each scene twice while filming; once in vertical and once in horizontal and setting safe zones for playback. Of course, there are clever ways around it in the edit suite.

By using techniques like tiles, you can split up horizontal content to fit a vertical display. Segmenting and reframing, or splitting and stacking footage means you can tell your story in more than one frame at a time. It also helps keep your content short and sharp as well as fit for platform.

Finally, when reviewing content made for social, it’s best to do so on the platform. Things often look entirely different on the big screen than they do on mobile. What looks garish in a PowerPoint deck may be spot on for social.

Keep it short, keep users front of mind and most importantly have some fun with it.

Because as our Global Creative Director, Richard Parkinson, will tell you, creativity’s worth the risk.

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