A recent Santander advert illustrates very well what happens when you hold your phone differently when recording video. Here is the Santander advert:

Many of the video clips fill the entire screen, like this one here, and that’s because the mobile phone was held horizontally when the video was recorded.

Santander Horizontal Video

Screenshot from the Santander advert  featuring Jenson Button showing footage filling the entire screen.

Horizontal Video

Holding the phone this way to record video results in footage that fills the entire screen.

Vertical Video

However, there are some video clips in the Santander advert which do not fill the entire screen. Instead there are two black borders on either side of the ‘vertical video‘:

Vertical Video

Screenshot 1 of Vertical video from the Santander advert.

Santander Vertical Video

Screenshot 2 of Vertical video from the Santander advert.

Santander Vertical Video

Screenshot 3 of Vertical video from the Santander advert.

Vertical Video

The reason the video clips don’t fill the entire screen and have black borders on the left and right is because the mobile phones were held this way to record video footage.

Should Vertical Video Be Avoided?

Vertical video should be avoided if the platform that you are showing the video on needs your video to be horizontal. However, a recent post on Social Media Today, called 5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs to Start Making Vertical Video for Social Media, talked about Social networks becoming vertical video-friendly and stated that many social networks are embracing the vertical video format and publish videos with no black borders.

Indeed, in a recent post I talked about Square Videos and how these were becoming very popular on Facebook.

The problem presents itself when someone who has recorded vertical video then hands that footage over to a video editor and asks, “Can you make a video out of this please?” Yes they can, but the result will be similar to the Santander advert with black borders. Some people try to make it look better by creating a blurred video to fill the black borders, like in this screenshot from the YouTube video, “How to Edit Vertical Video Footage“.

Editing Vertical Video footage

Another problem with recording vertical video is when people pan horizontally across a room which frequently results in awful video footage because of how quickly they moved the mobile phone.

No post that mentions vertical video can omit the video from Glove and Boots about Vertical Video Syndrome, so here it is:

If you would like to understand more about getting the best out of your own videos then ask about my training courses.