Vertical video. It’s the scourge of the cinematic existence, but it’s also the hottest trend for content creators on the internet. And why? Because apparently mobile filmmakers are too lazy to hold their phones horizontally to get the proper aspect ratio. It’s so huge, that social media companies are putting big bucks into content creators who are dedicated to the genre. And now, we get word that ARRI is embracing virtual video with a new adapter plate that will let filmmakers create instagram stories, snapchats, and other content with their Alexa Minis.
As much as I can’t stand vertical videos, I have to accept that with social media driving much of what we do these days, the genre is going to have an impact, especially with the younger millennial generation who have grown up with smartphones practically sewn into their hands. So really, all ARRI is doing is providing the next generation of filmmakers with the tools they need to make their Snap Chats and Instagram videos more cinematic. Moreover, with InstaGram TV now joining the social media game, there will be yet another portal for vertical videos to be shared online for hyping that next great project, actor, or film.
But I’m still of the opinion that vertical video is more of an infection, than a bonafide genre. One that if left unchecked, could create the nightmare scenario hysterically depicted by Glove and Boots on YouTube:
OK, so maybe we won’t get Star Wars: the Skinny Edition, or youtube streaming multiple videos on one channel to save on bandwidth, but vertical video is rather annoying for those of us who grew up in a movie theater, especially in the heady days of the 80s where blockbusters from Lucas and Spielberg cut our teeth on widescreen epics with Dolby sound, that eventually filtered into our home theaters.
But most kids get their content on their mobile phones, and that’s why vertical video is a thing, I guess. Consequently, it’s smart for ARRI to create the Vertical Format Adapters for ALEXA Mini and the Compact Bridge Plate system. And from the looks of it, all a cameraman will need to do is unscrew a lever, turn the camera vertically, and hit record. Used to emulate the vertical look of mobile phone and tablet footage, these four identical adapters screw into the separately available MAP-1 or MAP-1 adapter plate. This will enable the ALEXA Mini to rotate 90° from its standard position.
The good news is, that filmmakers can also use the new system for shooting green screen, where filling the image sensor with more subject and less green will provide for a much cleaner plate to key out. So at the end of the day, this vertical video system can have legitimate cinematic applications as well.
- Enables “portrait” mode with the ALEXA Mini camera
- Rotates the camera 90° from its standard position
- Set of four identical adapters that screw into the MAP-1 or MAP-2 plate (available separately)
- Compatible with most camera accessories
The bracket will be available in a few weeks at B&H for $240. The cinematic world will end shortly thereafter.
Hat Tip – DIYPhotography