Cell Phone “Portrait” Aspect Video Production

I’ve been pondering the options for a vertical aspect ratio for narrative films if the intended delivery is primarily mobile devices.

I’m preparing to do some teaching in Eurasia this fall to train young filmmakers to work with mobile devices in places where they have phones, but other resources are extremely limited.

And this past week I spent at a debate tournament with my daughter and noticed lots of parents shooting videos of events with their smartphones, held vertically in portrait mode. It got me wondering about the options for a vertical aspect ratio for narrative films if the intended delivery is primarily mobile devices.

Here’s a link to an article that also asks that question, along with a link to a cool little film shot vertically.

The Way We Watch: Cell Phone “Portrait” Aspect Coming To A Video Near You.

This clip works very well embedded on this particular blog site because of the white background field. It’s a bit odd on Vimeo on a laptop or desktop. However, when I view it on my iPad, using the Vimeo app and holding in vertically, it looks great and I like the composition possibilities a lot. When I’m in the story I don’t really notice that it’s vertical. Of course, if the film is viewed everywhere else it will seem odd – talk about letterboxing!