Although it would be super-cool if everyone that filmed video on their mobile devices just shot the footage in landscape already, that’s not always realistic. Rather than mutter and moan, you can be pro-active and use one of the little tricks that the Internet offers. By taking a couple of seconds to install the following bookmarklet, you can transform any video on YouTube that’s been filmed in vertical into something much more watchable – hurrah!
No More Black Bars!
Bookmarklets are very handy little things that give the user a shortcut to a feature. They couldn’t be easier to install either, it literally takes a couple of seconds. Just click on this link, and drag the ”Vertical Video’ button up to your bookmarks toolbar. Now, try it out for yourself using this excellent example of the art of cat-sliding:
As you can see, the black bars disappear and the video is enlarged. Using this bookmarklet won’t add footage that has been missed in the original shot – but it’s definitely less distracting for the user.
How to Avoid Filming in Vertical on Your Smartphone
There are a ton of iOS and Android apps that you can use for filming that will correct your filming – as you film. Video apps like Horizon ensure that you always shoot your video in the proper widescreen orientation. So, no matter how you hold your phone (which isn’t always the first consideration when you are in a rush to film something), apps like Horizon correct the video orientation as you shoot.
Filming in vertical isn’t the end of the world, but if you are planning to release the footage to the outside world, then you need to be cognizant of the user experience. Or, you could deliberately use that format to create an amazing video, just like filmmaker Dan Toth. Shot on an iPhone using portrait orientation, Dan filmed an homage to his local neighborhood as a triptych, fusing three different vertical shots together. If you insist on filming in portrait, then try to make it as good and as innovative as this guy did:
H/T to Lifehacker