Five Pro Tips for Editing Vertical Video

There are some ways to give your footage more life when shooting and editing vertical videos. Justin Odisho shows us how in this video, focussing on IGTV and Instagram Stories. 

I love 16:9. It's what I was raised on, what the greats used in their films and it's the ratio that, according to me, best suits an overall viewing experience, with our two eyes being next to each other and all. But the medium of content viewing has changed, and so has its ratios. If you're making social video, you might consider a 9:16 ratio, and by doing so, can give you some good ways you could use it to your advantage, to create some pro level videos to share. 

I recently made a short concept video for Instagram, and took the ratio of the screen into consideration. It's said that the portrait ration photos and video get a lot more engagement due to it filling more of the mobile device screen. 

How I did it

I didn't use the zoom-in or panning effect explained by Odisho, but they are good tips. I shot the video in 16:9, created a composition and edited this one clip. I applied warp stabilization, nested it, and added some speed-ramping in Premiere Pro. I then created another sequence — the main sequence — to import the first sequence, copy and rotate it, and create the reflection-effect as seen above. 

What I learned

  • I could've applied a slight blur to where the two clips join so the water was more seamless. 
  • In the next video I will pay a lot more attention to sound. I should've gone closer to record the sound of the actual train, and not traffic, but time was not on my side. 


Short conceptual clips are a great way to showcase your skill-level, and it doesn't take that much time to do. I imagine a visual idea, and then see how I could make it. It gives me more consistency with producing short videos, and it's quite fun to challenge yourself at least once a week. 

Log in or register to post comments


Someone HAS to say it: for viewing, you can rotate a d4mn phone/tablet (to horizontal), but it's quite awkward to rotate a computer screen to vertical (even those with pivot).
So, first and only pro-tip for editing vertical videos: DON'T.

I'm thinking we'll eventually have vertical screen movie theaters. There have been some movies made on iPhones, but they were horizontal as far as I know.

One advantage of vertical movie screens is that you could most likely double the screens per theater. Of course you'll have more stairs to reach the middle.

I've always wondered with all the tech in a smartphone, wouldn't it be possible to implement an option to just record horizontal video while you hold the phone vertically?

Leigh Smith's picture

I've always wanted this. Just put a square sensor in the phone and crop as necessary. Use the accelerometer to not even allow the the user to film vertical. I HATE vertical video

Leigh Smith's picture

Pro tip 1: Don't

I blame millennials for finding something else to ruin.

There's no eloquant way to put it. Vertical video as mainstream is stupid. I can't believe accommodations are continually being made for it. I'll never forget the look on the face of the videographer when I showed up to direct my first vertical video years ago..."you want me to do what with the camera!?" All I could do it throw up my hands and say "its what the client wants."

I'm about to drop $100K on a production that will be shot 100% vertical. Talk about painting your self into a corner on how it can used and distributed.

All about chasing those likes and thumbs up. Completely statistic driven.