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Best Ways to Film Vertical Video for Your Video Project

When video is filmed vertically it has the ability to be seamlessly posted on Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook with ease. However, many aren’t familiar with the best steps to produce vertical video content. As such, we’ve outlined the best ways to film vertical video for your video project to help you get the most out of your vertical video production.

Option #1: Center Cut Method

The center cut method, also known as the post method, is the most common method of production vertical video. This method involves a center cut of the final approved film to be captured, usually upon request, during post production. Often times this occurs without the knowledge of the DP or the director as the center cut takes place “post” production.

Unfortunately, center cut vertical video tends to feel a bit like too much was pushed into the viewable area, thus the video may seem claustrophobic. Avoid any sense of framings feeling off or overly tight by properly planning for the video to be framed in both aspect ratios before production. Custom guides and overlays are available to help you with shooting vertical video while still also capturing horizontal frames too.

Option #2:  Flip the Camera on It’s Side

If you’re just learning how to shoot vertical video, this option is likely the simplest. With this method, you will shoot the vertical video as a secondary version with your camera on its side. Doing so provides the additional footage necessary to provide the desired output.

This may sound time consuming, but taking additional vertical video takes will go pretty quickly if you are prepared. Simply do one more version, with camera on side, after you have managed to perfect the take and you’re happy with it.

You or your editor can then use the footage in a separate cut so that you have videos in both aspect ratios.

While this will add additional time in post production, vertical videos that are planned in advance and recorded with such in mind have a much nicer finished project when compared to those that are Center Cut to appear vertical.

Unfortunately, this method may not be ideal for longer productions. Filming vertical video with the camera on side method is ideal for things like 30-second commercials and basic Instagram or social media posts that don’t take a lot of prep, shooting, or editing time to accomplish and perfect.


Option #3: Stacked Cameras for Vertical Video Filming

The last option to help you get the perfect vertical video shot is to use two cameras simultaneously. This method allows you to avoid “unnecessary” retakes while saving time too. All you have to do is record the takes both horizontally and vertically as the same time.

This method of vertical video production involves either attaching the second, vertical camera to the main camera and shooting both at the same time or having the two cameras side by side and using one horizontally and the other vertical.

As a rule of thumb, and also a best practice in cinematography, we recommend adding another camera person to the crew to operate and sync the second camera via timecode so that editing can be done as one. Unfortunately, some are worried about the added costs associated with having two cameras filming the production and having multiple cameraman working on the set too. As such, attaching the camera to the side of an existing camera is one of the best options that reduces the need for a secondary operator and balances costs.

Of all the options available, these are the best ways to film vertical video for your video project. Whatever method you choose, familiarize yourself with one, or all of the methods above, as vertical video seems to be with us for a while.

DIYCameraGuy filmed a quick video about shooting vertical video and repurposing horizontal video for social media: