There is no use doubting the power of YouTube. It’s a wonderful way to connect to your target and a superb lost cost marketing avenue that just about every business should leverage in one way or another.
However, one of the most annoying things to hit the Internet (aside from those duck face selfies or getting Rick Rolled) is that many of us are shooting video all wrong. Too many of us are shooting videos in portrait mode when a sideways flip of the phone could solve this dilemma and save their viewer some frustration.
Video should ALWAYS be shot and viewed in landscape mode — that’s the “long way” instead of the “tall way,” or as I like to say “hamburger” not “hot dog.” Here’s why.
Landscape orientation fits a theater screen, your HDTV, computer monitor and virtually every other device known to mankind without excess wasted display space on the sides. Videos, unlike photos, are almost universally presented horizontally. There’s a reason for this: it’s how our brains are wired to view the world. Since we live on a perceptually flat world, our vision developed to allow us to see more to the left and right than top and bottom. Luckily, that is where the majority of interesting stuff is happening so every thing works out.
That is until you shoot a video on your smart phone in portrait mode. You’re violating not only the industry agreed upon video standard, but also the laws of nature as they pertain to human vision. Every time we see a video shot in portrait mode on YouTube (or anywhere else), we all should feel as if we’re not getting the full story from a person that just didn’t realize their $800 smart phone also works when rotated 90 degrees.
The question remains, can we teach ourselves how to shoot video so it fits properly into the same shape as the TV they watch in our homes and incidentally the very phone we shoot video with? Here’s an idea . . . just think about hamburgers.