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Anyone shooting vertical video? (deliberately ;) )

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I shot my first proper vertical video on the weekend - getting setup to film PR videos for my fiancé's new business in the social services sector.

The videos are targeted for FB and my fiancé informs me that people don't tilt their phones for these type of videos, so vertical is the way to go.

The setup we got to after about 5 iterations was Canon 700D tilted 90 degrees so the flip-out screen was above the camera where the talent could see it, tungsten key light, practical fill from ceiling light and white bounce, and two small LED kicker / hair lights positioned off to the sides and slightly behind the talent.  

When you white balance to the tungsten the LEDs go a bit blue creating some colour contrast and the colours straight out of the Canon are very pleasant.  9:16 looks very tall and narrow and looks very strange in Resolve, but fills the screen of the iPhone, so I'm informed that it's the right aspect ratio.

I'm still yet to work out how to make lower third titles look half-decent though.

Anyone else shooting vertically?

[Edit: forgot to mention the Canon 50mm f1.8 lens, which on APSC is 80mm equiv.  I had it set to f1.8, but after seeing how much the codec obscures detail I might back it off to make focusing easier]

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

The advantage with vertical shooting is that people's expectations are much lower and it's much easier to stand out among other vertical videos. I have shot some vertical videos (with a proper camera) for facebook, and I would definitely recommend it for short facebook content.

Most people keep their cell phone vertical while watching video on their cell-phones (except for netflix perhaps), but whether you should film vertically or not depends on how well the app which the video will be played from supports vertical resolutions. As an example, YouTube supports vertical videos well in full screen mode, but people watching it on their phone will most likely either turn it horizontally it for full-screen, or watch it vertically with comments underneath, which would remove the whole point of filming vertically. 

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This video was from a square video for social media (and as they're sitting at a table, there is thus a TONNE of headroom with this aspect ration, thus why I had to stand on a box even though I'm quite tall):

 

Also shot this on the side, so as to squeeze a little more resolution from the BMPCC for VFX:
 

 

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I'm actually forced to do this a lot - or, more specifically, shoot in 4K with center framing for an instagram crop, because I do a lot of commercial food videography and most of that is going on instagram or FB. There's definitely a need for vertical video in some productions.

Artistically, I've repeatedly pondered about shooting an art film on a 5D vertically, so I'd have high resolution and sort of a portrait aspect ratio. I do most of my hobby photography in portrait AR and the stuff you can do with framing would lend itself for some interesting atmosphere in video as well. I think it would work well for an artsy/oppressive atmosphere.

 

 

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On 20/02/2018 at 10:49 PM, UncleBobsPhotography said:

The advantage with vertical shooting is that people's expectations are much lower and it's much easier to stand out among other vertical videos. I have shot some vertical videos (with a proper camera) for facebook, and I would definitely recommend it for short facebook content.

I suspect you're right about expectations, and even straight-out of camera it sure looks pretty nice when you look at it on the phone.

18 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Also shot this on the side, so as to squeeze a little more resolution from the BMPCC for VFX:

Cool - that's lateral thinking at its best!

7 hours ago, Matthew Hartman said:

I would be careful shooting vertical merely to fit a social media platform.  

It's not about a social media platform, more that people don't rotate their phones unless the content is deliberately cinematic (eg, Netflix).  In terms of longevity, these are PR videos that are designed to be part of a larger narrative, and thus have a very short shelf-life.

I've heard some of the leaders in social media marketing saying that telling your personal story on social media about how you're trying to build your business (or whatever project) is on average likely to be worth more because of the social following you're likely to attract is worth a certain amount, whereas the average business fails miserably.

I've also heard that some large proportion of videos on social media are consumed without sound(!) presumably because the person can't untangle their headphones from the ball of cable that their pocket or handbag turns them into.

It's a brave new world - social media creators are shooting basically disposable content on real budgets, sometimes RED cameras, with pro sound, lighting, the works!

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43 minutes ago, JBraddock said:

Apparently, square videos generate more engagements according to this experiment.

Interesting article - thanks.

Pity they didn't include vertical video too!

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I've shot a ton of vertical video for green screen, but that was not for social media reasons. You just end up with more usable resolution shooting green screen vertical.

I did produce a square video for a client for social media. In the end no on really liked it. The second video of that series we ended up going with a 4:3 ratio which was so much nicer. 

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There are very few serious people doing vertical framing. That said, there are currently a number of vertical music videos (note that vevo does not upload them properly on youtube, they trap them in a horizontal frame):  There are a number of "tips and techniques" for vertical scattered around: https://twitter.com/i/moments/869264936232304640 You can find more on my page http://exit109.com/~dnn/ or @walruswinks on twitter mostly.

 

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8 hours ago, kidzrevil said:

I am interested in this as well ! How would you set up your sequence and export it ? 

I do everything in Resolve.

I imported the footage into Resolve onto a 1080x1920 timeline, and then the first thing required is to rotate it so it's the right way up.  I'm not sure if the camera doesn't support orientation sensing in video or if Resolve doesn't support it or if I tilted the camera the wrong way, but it's a simple fix.

Editing and colouring were as you would expect, just with a vertical image.  One amusing thing is that the thumbnails shown in the nodes in the Colour page are tipped on their side :)

The export process was as normal too.  I haven't uploaded a vertical video yet so that part I can't speak to.  I expect that the codec bitrate and compression challenges are all the same as for normal aspect ratios, but in a sense they're less important if you're aiming at smartphones because the phone is less revealing as a display device and the nature of these videos is different.

In terms of it being different, I didn't see any difficulties, or at least not yet! :)

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I think absent in this topic is what I elluded to previously. Vertical composition sends the viewer a subliminal message, which is a long used convention in the art photography and science of composition for many ages. It can be challenged of course, but it can't be ignored or absent from this conversation. 

It's more than just orientation for Facebook, Instagram, etc. It makes sense in terms of green screening because you are most likely compositing the key on a horizontal frame and you need that vertical headroom. This is only logical. 

When you have a vertical frame, leading line and weighting become very different as opposed to an horizontal frame. 

If you don't understand the narrative of what your frame denotes you should probably not consider shooting vertically because you may be unwittingly sending the viewer the wrong subliminal narrative that's opposite of what you intend.

Know the rules and conventions you're breaking, because you will be asked to justify them at some point in your career. If you have no answer to this question you will look foolish and arbitrary in the eyes of the industry and lose credibility. Your clients don't know this. It's your job to inform them, you're the expert. 

Composition absolutely matters, and you'd be hard pressed to find a working professional that would disagree. 

 

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@Matthew Hartman I believe you have a point and that I'm not quite understanding it.  I do agree that vertical vs horizontal composition will of course have artistic and psychological connotations / implications.

Could you elaborate on what the subliminal messages are for vertical compositions?  I'm keen to learn more.

Personally, I wouldn't output a vertical format for anything except social media posts where a single person is talking to camera. From that point of view, the goal is to show their face and hands, which if you do it vertically fills the whole screen, if you do it horizontally the person is barely the size of a postage stamp, and square aspect will be somewhere in-between.

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8 hours ago, kye said:

@Matthew Hartman I believe you have a point and that I'm not quite understanding it.  I do agree that vertical vs horizontal composition will of course have artistic and psychological connotations / implications.

Could you elaborate on what the subliminal messages are for vertical compositions?  I'm keen to learn more.

Personally, I wouldn't output a vertical format for anything except social media posts where a single person is talking to camera. From that point of view, the goal is to show their face and hands, which if you do it vertically fills the whole screen, if you do it horizontally the person is barely the size of a postage stamp, and square aspect will be somewhere in-between.

I'll be as brief and summary as possible. It's not hard to get into the thick weeds when talking about composition/framing. Some of it is science, some subjective. 

What do you feel when you see this?

220px-Pfarrkirche_weissenbach_an_d_Triesting-kirchenplatz-point_de_vue-wi_-spring.jpg

 

What do you feel with this one?

A_View_of_Uetersen_Rosarium_HP_16622_edit.jpg

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composition_(visual_arts)

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I shoot vertical video when creating content that is specifically aimed for social media (either instagram or Facebook).

I did a series of videos for the San Diego Chargers, and after doing a couple square videos and traditional widescreen 16:9, the square ones got more interaction on Facebook.

I find this to be the same case on Instagram, where a vertical video takes up more real estate in the feed and thus demands more attention. For Instagram feeds though, video can only be 5:4 not 16:9. or you can go square of course.

Several people I follow have gone from shooting standard youtube vlogs to shooting just for Instagram stories, and walk around with vlog setups but have the camera vertical (https://www.instagram.com/jessedriftwood/ probably being the best example). I've shot a couple videos like this while on trips and some commissioned work for music festivals, but it's just kind of a bummer that all the footage can only be used for one specific purpose. It obviously looks awful if you try to share vertical video anywhere on the web.

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