Always shoot video in landscape, always…  apart from when it’s better not to.

This mantra used to be law when we first delivered essential video skills workshops.

However, I was reminded that my colleague Steve’s law has softened over the past 18-months.

If you are shooting content for Snapchat or Instagram Live then it is fine to be upright. It’s how the platform works.

Here’s an example of a really good video shot using a mobile phone upright that’s been re-purposed.

This Oxfordshire fire station at Eynsham shot a mannequin challenge of the consequences of using a phone while driving. It’s arresting content. The fire crew scrambling to assist. The victim on the floor.

It was posted upright to the Facebook page. It’s a great video and perfectly shows that with a smartphone you can shoot good content that will engage people.

Others ripped the video and re-presented it adding captions and making it look horizontal.

While the original had a perfectly respectable 135,000 views it’s the millions that others have got from it that make it stand out.  The Standard video has been shared more than 150 times, for example. The Oxford Mail and others have used it. What is striking about several of the others is that they present it in a wide format.


Shouldn’t people just come to the fire station Facebook page? No. It’s perfectly fine that others re-post it. Getting the message out is the most important thing.

But to help you create content for others shoot it wide. And above all don’t be tempted to hold your phone while driving.

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