The folks at Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) have shot their first full documentary specifically for the vertical format. They’re goal was not to make it look good on the mobile phone, it was to make it look the BEST on the mobile phone. I have to be honest and say I’m one of those who yell “Turn the phone sideways!” when I see folks shooting vertical video. But who knows, maybe they’re onto something here. Video tailored specifically to the mobile audience displayed how they like to hold the phone.
The process involved some hacks and the author suggests that a “camera tailored to vertical filming” would be quite useful for this technique. In particular placing the camera controls in such a way that they can be conveniently accessed with the camera in “vertical mode.” Honestly, we just need camera tripods that have a flip out top like the cheap still camera tripods have. Rotate the camera vertically and keep shooting while having full access to the controls. In the fashion industry they have been shooting like this for years as it’s much easier to show the model with the full garment in vertical mode without all that extra space around him / her. I’ve received Panasonic Varicam footage shot vertically so there must be some sort of tripod attachments already available that will turn the camera vertical. Now we just need more of that for more cameras. This could really be something for the tripod manufacturers to jump onto now. Secure, stable, convertible tripods.
Most importantly though, NRK didn’t forget the golden rule: “One thing does not change, no matter which way we hold our phone. A good story is needed to make a good documentary, so this is where we started.”
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