I have spent the last few days scanning videos from IGTV and I must say that on the whole I’m quite impressed by this attempt to bring portrait video as a form of mass entertainment to the public.
One thing that struck me earlier on was the compression that Instagram uses on the uploaded videos to allow for seamless playback. It is quite aggressive but I do believe that most viewers, strangely in this day and age of 4K video, will not complain as they have been using the stories function on Instagram for a while now and have come to expect this level of picture quality and bit rate.
However, one thing that I feel won’t be tolerated is lazy editing.
Yes, we want to get our videos out there as quickly as possible and yes, we do want a constant stream of content but not at the cost of a little pre-planning and forethought.
It all comes down to three simple words from the legacy 4:3 ratio television days. Pan and scan.
The process was simple enough. In order to fit a cinemascope image from say a large Hollywood blockbuster movie for example to a square 4:3 television screen when the film was copied to video the machines they used to ‘video’ the film would move around the frame of the image to get the fit so you would see the actor who was talking at any given time or follow the action without it moving away from your field of view.
Mainly, this worked and we were able to enjoy the movie without wondering why I am hearing someone speak but I cannot see them.
I watched a segment from 5 News in the UK and whoever edited that video should know this. Throughout the piece, the two people being interviewed could not be seen but could be heard. This was an example of the very poor use of the IGTV platform.
Most video editing programs have settings and functions for not only the screen ratio but also allow you to zoom and across the images, you are editing and in a fluid way that will follow the action on screen.
Yes, it takes a little longer to edit but the results are worth it.
If you want to win in the world of content creation just a small change such as panning and scanning your widescreen footage (if you have not filmed in portrait) will create far more engaging viewing experiences.