Teaching mobile video filming and editing a year ago, I was sticking to landscape and telling my students to do the same. But I have to say, that has now completely changed and if you are not creating or commissioning video in square and portrait then put quite simply, you will not stand out to the scrolling eye.
That means if it is going on the newsfeed, you HAVE to go square or portrait if you don’t want to look like:
1. You are low budget.
2. Not making any effort with your message . So these are my top five tips for going SQUARE if you have never done it before.
1. If your video is for a website, blog, or TV, i.e. a long form consuming platform like YouTube, then carry on with landscape. However, if you are trying to catch someone’s attention on their device, which lets all be honest is where most people view social media videos. Then you need to go SQUARE or PORTRAIT. These formats take up a lot more space as you are scrolling down and stand out to the audience you are trying to reach.
2. There are editing apps like KineMaster which enable you to repurpose your landscape videos into square. You simply select a different aspect ratio 1:1 and crop the landscape video into a 1:1 square template. But this does not work if you have landscape graphics or text on the screen, only if you can afford to drop the left and right side of the media.
3. When shooting fresh rushes (footage) you can either edit these in portrait and square or landscape and square. You cannot do all three. You have to choose two. So basically if you shoot in portrait you can edit that into square. If you shoot in landscape you can edit that into square.
4. When people click to play your video, if you have filmed and edited in portrait your video will go full screen (on all platforms except Instagram). So there is a lot to be said for sticking to portrait when filming.
5. There are occasions when portrait and square just does not work, for example you have a large crowd of people, a panel of speakers or two people being interviewed together. It is better to do these kind of videos landscape. However if you are working on an advert or short promotion which is image based (ie no interviews) then stick to square. Square storytelling with music and text and you will be on to a winner. Good Luck!
For more information on these different types of formats for creating your own video for social media, then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for course dates and in-house training schedules and prices.