The virtues of vertical video

There's been a bit of debate here in the studio about the future of vertical video. It may be great on today's vertical mobile screens but could it really reach the cinematic level? I always thought 'no, it's too weird a shape, physically, for a cinema space to adjust to'. Then I saw two things that changed my mind: this photo of a vertical screen working perfectly in the space of a church, and the short film in the link, 'Impact'.

So what is good about flipping the script on aspect ratios?

  • It forces you to frame things differently. The traditional two-shot for example simply cannot exist in this format, it has to look different. And constrictions can lead to fantastic creative solutions to tell your story, as demonstrated in Impact.

  • New is cool. It's often true that new ways of doing things get attention and respect—think "the world's first this or that", and it's safe to say that film is due a bit of a shaking up…. I mean, they're still making Star Wars movies! (controversial…)

  • It works better where it's viewed. Most people view your content on mobile, that's a widely acknowledged fact these days, and vertical video is literally designed for this behaviour. We don't turn our phones to landscape, so when we watch video over 50% of your screen real-estate is wasted—not true when shot vertically. In fact Snapchat, which fully heroes vertical video, says that its users are nine times more likely to watch a vertical ad to the end versus a horizontal ad (source).

  • And for other screens, yes, vertical is the wrong shape. But the church example above promises a fantastic experience, if the format ever does cross over into more cinematic pieces.

We can't wait to produce some!

Watch this example, ‘IMPACT’