Get Vertical Ready with Dissolve

We all know that vertical footage is on the rise, accelerating to keep up with growing demand and increased smartphone use. As mobile phones become ubiquitous, we’re constantly using them (you may even be reading this on one) to capture and share content online and with each other. Since we hold our phones vertically 94% of the time, it’s only natural that the majority of user-generated footage is captured and viewed vertically.


Vertical video is challenging. Inherently it demands more polished footage, cropped closer than horizontal formats (plus, it’s typically watched on a smaller screen, within a shorter time frame). These tight shots and the social platforms they’re on are made for immediacy, intimacy, and interactivity. The video is made to be shared, to create an impact, and to tell a story. With this in mind using purely horizontal footage, on social media in particular (looking at you IGTV), just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Going from vertical ready – to vertical now

So what’s the solution? Likely, to keep up, you’re going to need vertical footage, but who has the time or budget to go out and shoot everything in this format right now? So the question becomes, how do you adapt the footage that’s currently available to meet the need? That’s where we come in.

Everyone is working on this right now, and we’re no different. Since Instagram’s IGTV launch on June 20th, 2018, the race is on to adapt to and explore vertical video in every application. So, while we have our contributors out capturing fantastic vertical footage, we’ve been busy finding ways to go from 16:9 to 9:16 painlessly and in style. Here’s what we’ve got so far.

Getting started

We found the best clips are FullHD or 4K, which have content that is centered in the frame. The most important thing is to select a clip large enough, with the right composition, so you can crop it without losing the main message or storyline.

For a really authentic, user-generated feeling, we’ve found that tracking shots are fantastic. These clips can be a bit harder to crop, but when done correctly, the effect is well worth it. Done right, the frame closely tracks its subject, mirroring the effect of someone organically filming on a handheld device. Following their subject up and down as they move and interact with their surroundings helps convey a sense of intimacy that feels really natural and organic on story platforms.

Other great, easy to use clips depend on viewpoints and angles. An aerial, bird’s eye view, or worm’s eye view shot can work well, and bonus points, they’re easy to use. To make it work you only need FullHD as they can simply be turned 90º thereby capturing the effect without losing the full impact.

Now that you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to have some fun and experiment with these techniques yourself! Save yourself the search and get in the game now with our curated gallery of clips, shot horizontally and hand-picked for 9:16 formats. It’s all about capturing the power and impact of horizontal shots on a mobile screen with ease, without sacrificing quality.

Check out the first of many Instagram TV and vertical footage experiments we’re working on and share your own vertical techniques and results with us and others at @dissolvestock on Instagram. Let’s crack this thing together!

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