Not Sure Whether to Shoot Your Video Horizontal or Vertical? Try Diagonal

Not Sure Whether to Shoot Your Video Horizontal or Vertical? Try Diagonal

In the earliest days of cinema, there was one choice: 4:3. Through the evolution of camera and screen technology, formats have changed dramatically over the years, ranging from the super widescreen to completely square. With mobile technology now demanding vertical format, it can be hard to choose your ratio, so why not compromise? Go diagonal.

In 1927, the closing scenes of Abel Gance’s movie Napoléon was screened as a triptych making for a stunning 4:1. With the width of the frame giving a sense of claustrophobia in its narrower forms (think Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida) or expansive landscapes in its wider forms (think Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, or Christopher Nolan’s Dunirk), choosing the right format for your video can be a tough choice. Snapchat and Instagram Stories make that decision even harder as suddenly the vertical format has come along to throw an extra spanner in the works. Do you shoot horizontal so that it gives you a sense of space, or do you shoot vertical in order to give yourself a greater chance of your content being viewed and shared on mobile devices?

Fortunately, Randall Monroe (a.k.a. XKCD) has come up with the perfect solution: shoot diagonally.

For more of Monroe's incredible cartoons, please visit his website at xkcd.com.

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14 Comments

Clay Wegrzynowicz's picture

Shoot in square because..... idk we're all squares at heart?

Jen Photographs's picture

Is this a joke? *checks date* Not April 1st.

As stated, the article is referencing an XKCD comic.

michaeljin's picture

Yes, it is a joke as the HUMOR tag and the reference to an XKCD comic quite clearly infers.

Jen Photographs's picture

Evidently my post wasn't very funny either. =P

michaeljin's picture

I feel yah. We've all been there. The internet is a harsh wasteland of judgment. 😅

Simon Patterson's picture

We should only have humour once a year, now? That's not very funny...

Sean Sauer's picture

Sorry but vertical is never acceptable. It stands out as amateurish. It screams out that it was shot by someone who has no clue of what they were doing.

michaeljin's picture

Or it suggests that it was shot by someone who has no interest in conforming to your outdated standards. 🤣

Andy Day's picture

So when Nike shoots mobile content for Instagram and Snapchat in a vertical format, they're amateurish..?

Sean Sauer's picture

Yep. At the very least appealing to young people who don't know any better.

michaeljin's picture

Oh, you know, they might just be tailoring the content to their intended medium rather than depending on the consumer to change the orientation of their phone just to watch an advertisement (which nobody is going to do). Amateurish, in such a scenario, would be failing to realize that shooting horizontal video for a mobile advertisement creates an unnecessary barrier to reaching the consumer with your intended message.

Andy Day's picture

Those pesky kids who keep buying their products. Idiots! 😂Amateurish is a multi-billion dollar industry these days, it would seem. 😜