Are we ready for an "Upright Film Contest"?

A forum for sharing views on the art of film, video and AV sequence making as well as on competitions, judging and festivals.
User avatar
Dave Watterson
Posts: 1662
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:11 pm
Location: Bath, England
Contact:

Are we ready for an "Upright Film Contest"?

Post by Dave Watterson » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:51 pm

Many people shoot something on their smart-phone holding it upright so the resulting footage is in portrait format. Do you think the time is right for a special contest to see if anyone can make that awkward format work?

Michael Slowe
Posts: 618
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:24 pm

Re: Are we ready for an "Upright Film Contest"?

Post by Michael Slowe » Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:00 pm

Absolutely not Dave! Speaking personally I abhor this practice of shooting video on things like iphones, I'm a terrible snob of course, regarding matters 'i'. If only Apple would keep to their original agenda which was making good computers (which they are threatening to stop) then the world would be a more sensible place.

As an iphone owner, much to my shame, I'm horrified at what some people can do with the wretched things. Mind you it helps if you are ten years old! Heaven forbid the making of films on them - although as we all know it's not necessarily the camera that makes a film but the artist.

tom hardwick
Posts: 825
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:59 am

Re: Are we ready for an "Upright Film Contest"?

Post by tom hardwick » Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:05 pm

People give me such footage and ask me to put it onto DVD for them. I have to explain why it looks so strange on their huge plasma ... and tell them next time to film in landscape format just like that nice Mr Kubrick does.

User avatar
Peter B
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:43 pm
Contact:

Re: Are we ready for an "Upright Film Contest"?

Post by Peter B » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:10 pm

Portrait format is great, for portraits. For anything else it just seems wrong. If someone really wants to make a film in portrait format they're welcome to try, but it's bound to look odd when shown because TVs and projection screens are landscape.

I'm mainly a stills photographer and I rarely take portrait format shots for the simple reason that it usually means I can't use those pictures in any AV sequence.

When it comes to using a mobile phone as a camera, I'm quite impressed with the video my Samsung takes, but I wouldn't use it to take stills, unless it was the only camera I had with me.
My attempts at videos & AV sequences can be found on my website- http://www.dragon-sanctuary.co.uk

User avatar
TimStannard
Posts: 932
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: Surrey

Re: Are we ready for an "Upright Film Contest"?

Post by TimStannard » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:22 am

Peter B wrote:Portrait format is great, for portraits. For anything else it just seems wrong. If someone really wants to make a film in portrait format they're welcome to try, but it's bound to look odd when shown because TVs and projection screens are landscape.
However many "films" nowadays (basically adverts) are made for digital signage which may well be vertical - at bus shelters for example. Do we consider this an art form that should come under the movie making banner? My gut instinct is not, but that's probably because I have a bias towards a film being something you sit down and watch on a cinema screen or TV.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

tom hardwick
Posts: 825
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:59 am

Re: Are we ready for an "Upright Film Contest"?

Post by tom hardwick » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:59 am

Peter B, you don't say what model Samsung you have but l can tell you that I'm mightily impressed with my Samsung Note when used as a camera. Its lens is very sharp, suffers from no visible distortion, it feeds an 8MP CMOS chip and the amount of control you have over the manual settings is remarkable. On top of that the image stabilisation enables low light shooting at slow shutter speeds and the vertical and horizontal panorama stitching is first class. I'm impressed - did you read my Positive Image writeup on this amazing camera?

tom.

User avatar
Peter B
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:43 pm
Contact:

Re: Are we ready for an "Upright Film Contest"?

Post by Peter B » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:56 am

Hi Tom, My Samsung is a Galaxy Ace 2.
My attempts at videos & AV sequences can be found on my website- http://www.dragon-sanctuary.co.uk

User avatar
fraught
Posts: 535
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:54 pm
Location: Basingstoke
Contact:

Re: Are we ready for an "Upright Film Contest"?

Post by fraught » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:05 pm

Is this an upright film? Interesting ratio anyway...

Only Boring People Get Bored
http://www.fraught.net

User avatar
Dave Watterson
Posts: 1662
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:11 pm
Location: Bath, England
Contact:

Re: Are we ready for an "Upright Film Contest"?

Post by Dave Watterson » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:28 am

The latest FVM raises the question of whether we should accept portrait format films on the basis that huge numbers of people now watch movies on phones or tablets held that way.

Do they?

In trains I reckon most of the people watching films or tv are holding their devices landscape style.

Shooting with a phone is easier upright, but with a tablet? They are too big to keep steady unless you used both hands ... which tends to make you hold it sideways (landscape).

My main concern is that my two eyes are for most of my waking hours horizontal to one another, so my natural field of view is landscape.

Umpty score years ago the late Sir George Sewell showed an AV sequence in portrait format ... trees, spires and so on. Interesting but uncomfortable to watch.

So the issue is whether we can (a) persuade smart-phone users to hold their phones sideways when filming or (b) build-in an app or lens system which records landscape even when held portrait.

By the way there is sense in holding a phone upright ... it lets you keep one eye on the screen and the other on the street you walk down, person you are having coffee with etc.

tom hardwick
Posts: 825
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:59 am

Re: Are we ready for an "Upright Film Contest"?

Post by tom hardwick » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:32 am

Ohh this portrait filming lark really bugs me, indeed it does. Is there some sort of Isis rule that states that you MUST film the rubble in the middle east in portrait mode? It doesn't half look stupid on every TV in the world.

ned c
Posts: 759
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:39 pm
Location: Dammeron Valley USA

Re: Are we ready for an "Upright Film Contest"?

Post by ned c » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:52 pm

Ignore it at our peril. Yes; it looks awful but many people seem to be happy with the results. Have a section for"vertical images" in BIAFF and we will have a happy band of friends; probably young "shooters". Sweep them away and confirm that amateur film makers have minds closed to something different.

ned c

tom hardwick
Posts: 825
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:59 am

Re: Are we ready for an "Upright Film Contest"?

Post by tom hardwick » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:38 am

Last year at the NEC photography show I attended quite a few lectures. There's lots to choose from, but I was intrigued by the one claiming that you should promote your photographic business using social media, as it was without doubt the way ahead.

The lecturer was enthusing about the photographer's sites in general, and Instagram in particular. Mic'd up, he was talking about his work as a landscape photographer, and showing his work on big TV screens.

I could hardly contain myself, and in the Q&A I stood up to ask why on earth all his landscape photography was shot in the portrait mode. It just looked so silly on the great big TVs, where 9:16 images left vast acres of the 16:9 screen black.

People turned to look at me, convinced that I must have a Nikkormat around my neck. Instagram (I haven't been to check) is a phone-orientation app they gently explained. If you shoot landscape mode your pictures appear tiny on today's very slim 18.5:9 phone screens.

If you shoot landscape then your pictures fill the punter's screens, and consequently have far more impact. You can't turn your Instagram screen to the horizontal mode; it's not designed for that.

There, I was told. I didn't feel foolish, I felt they were. I'm sure they're not, for it was he lecturing to the crowd, not me. But it does go to show why, perhaps, so much is shot in portrait mode these days, and why it simply doesn't occur to people to film in landscape mode. Oddly, they carry on even when they find they have to hosepipe the scene in portrait mode to show whatever it is they're filming.

Bizarre I call it. They'd soon complain if the cinema started showing portrait orientated films, or if their dashcams only recorded half the lane they were travelling in.

User avatar
TimStannard
Posts: 932
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: Surrey

Re: Are we ready for an "Upright Film Contest"?

Post by TimStannard » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:28 pm

Perhaps the portait mode makes sense for the news channels. Instead of putting rolling news, captions, titles, and logos along the top & bottom, they could put them in the spaces either side of the image.
Actually that's screen-real estate they could sell as advertising space.
Screens get bigger, but the actual image we watch stays the same size....
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

Michael Slowe
Posts: 618
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:24 pm

Re: Are we ready for an "Upright Film Contest"?

Post by Michael Slowe » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:22 pm

Tom, these people are talking rubbish (I think!), because I have just made a film shot entirely on an iPhone, in landscape mode -that's turning the phone sideways on. The 16:9 aspect looks perfect to me and nobody has commented otherwise. You may see the film at BIAFF (no results yet) so look out for "Down The Douro" and see what you think. it's the aspect ratio that counts, so why are those people complaining about the small screen when in 'Landscape' when it's the same size in 'Portrait'? Am I missing something here?

tom hardwick
Posts: 825
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:59 am

Re: Are we ready for an "Upright Film Contest"?

Post by tom hardwick » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:28 pm

It is indeed aspect ratio that counts Michael, and you've correctly made a movie in 16:9, an aspect ratio that will suit 98% of all TVs in the land.

What we're complaining about here is people who shot movies in the 9:16 aspect ratio and show them on a 16:9 screen, leaving nearly ⅔rds of the screen black.

Post Reply