Have you ever been watching someone’s home video and realised something’s wrong. At first, you can’t quite place what it is. It’s just an unsettling feeling in the pit of your stomach, disturbing you to the point of distraction. You can no longer focus on what’s being played in front of you. What is it?!
Then suddenly it hits you. It’s shot all wrong. It’s not how it should be. Yep, you’ve just met someone with Vertical Video Syndrome. The poor chump has been shooting videos in vertical format, meaning the image before you is a tall and skinny – like a latte, only far less delicious.
And we have the proliferation of smartphones to thank for this dreaded curse to home movies. Because we tend to handle phones vertically – tapping out a text or making a call, say – some people simply do the same with videos. Point and shoot.
Nothing is worse than checking out videos on Youtube, only to discover the amateur Spielberg has opted for a vertical, rather horizontal position. All that wasted black space at either side of the screen makes the videos deeply uninteresting – disquieting, even – because literally half the screen contains no images. They may think they’ve got the best shot of Uncle Ron drunkenly dancing to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’, but just imagine being able to see the wedding party’s reaction to it as it happens too!
When shooting videos on your phone, it’s always worth remembering to switch your device to landscape. After all, when was the last time you saw a movie at the cinema playing in portrait? Never, that’s when. How about on TV? Same deal. And while it’s easy to rotate a photograph from portrait to landscape, that’s just not going to happen with video. Unless we all tilt our heads to one side.
Of course, these days, to quote a familiar advertising slogan, there’s an app for that. Head over to smartphone app stores and you can download apps which will always shoot in landscape, regardless of how the phone is held. Tech-site CNet has even argued that smartphone cameras should be, well, smart, and do it automatically.
But until that’s introduced, the best advice for anyone suffering Vertical Video Syndrome is… don’t. Not only are those videos missing out on a wealth of imagery and magical moments, it also looks pretty unprofessional.
Thankfully, given the way we hold actual video cameras, filmmakers who used old-school cameras rarely suffer from the debilitating VVS. So if you’ve got home movies on video – and want to watch them the way they were intended – we’ve got you covered. Here at Video 2 DVD Transfers we’re experts in VHS to DVD conversion. For more info on what we do, how we do it, and how we can help you, simply contact us on 0800 592 433 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be delighted to help.