When it comes to shooting videos with smartphones, people often wonder: is it better to shoot in vertical or horizontal orientation? On the one hand, video content is often consumed on laptops, monitors, and of course, TVs, which is why many users choose to shoot horizontally. However, mobile-centric video platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok are designed for vertical viewing—which means that you should shoot certain videos in vertical mode.
And with the aggressive growth of this type of video content, Apple has released a 9-minute short film as part of its Shot on iPhone series. However, things are a little different this time—the entire film was shot in vertical orientation. With that in mind, you’re advised to watch the following video on your smartphone for the best experience:
“A journey through cinema history is reimagined for the vertical screen in Damien Chazelle’s “The Stunt Double,” a short film Shot on iPhone 11 Pro. Watch as classic genres are flipped on their side, from action movies to silent films, spy flicks to westerns, reframing and modernizing the movie magic we know and love.”
The Stunt Double was directed by Oscar-winner Damien Chazelle, known for his work on the critically-acclaimed movies, including Whiplash and La La Land. During a behind-the-scenes video, also available on YouTube, Chazelle explained that part of the fun of “Vertical Cinema” is playing around with the different aspect ratios of vertical videos.
The team also talks about the different quirks and advantages of shooting vertically, while Chazelle says that Vertical Cinema is also about “trying to encourage people to think outside the box”. There are also a couple of tips on using the full range of camera capabilities on the iPhone 11 Pro Max (used to shoot the film), including the wide angle lens.
It’s certainly an interesting short film, as most of the vertically-shot content I’ve seen has been limited to TikTok. This is probably one of the few times I’ve seen a vertically-shot video look so… cinematic, in fact. Shot with the iPhone 11 Pro Max, you’ll probably be able to get similar results with other phones in the series—along with a couple of years of practise and film school.
What do you think? Are you on team vertical or horizontal?