We make it a habit to explore the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to video production and today we will focus on the ugly because we are seeing some really bad trends out there. Some of our picks might surprise you but we ask that you thoroughly read our explanations before reaching a judgement. Here are our top three bad trends in video:

Vertical Video

We see this on social media all the time. In fact, every single viral airline video which shows badly behaving travelers or flight attendants has been shot vertically, that is, the video is cropped showing only a very narrow view. This happens when you record video on your phone with the camera being held vertically instead of turned sideways. While we understand not much thought goes into shot composition for spur of the moment viral video opportunities, why not take the half second to turn your camera sideways? That way, the viewer can see a lot more of the action.

Some recent social media studies have gone as far to suggest that vertical video gets more engagement when it comes to social media. We don’t buy it. Turn the camera sideways and show us the full shot. The camera was designed to be used that way so why short change your video? When you buy a TV for your living room, do you buy the 65 inch or the 10 inch? Just saying…


Don’t get us wrong. We love a good time-lapse and continue to use the effect for some of our video projects. But time-lapse video is just that-an effect. it fails to tell a complete story. It fails to show the human condition. It usually does not convey emotion or feelings. Ask yourself this- the last time you watched a time-lapse video, how long did you watch? 10 seconds? 20 seconds? We would wager big money no one reading this blog has watched a time-lapse for longer than 30 seconds. Why? Because once you’ve watched for 10 or 20 seconds, you’ve seen all you need to see. So, yes, use a good time-lapse as a quick effect to add a cool visual to your video. But never use it as the foundation of your video.

Word for Word Transcript On-Screen

This is big on social media right now and even the news media is jumping on board too. These are the videos where the words are embedded on the bottom of the screen of the video. The idea behind this trending video production effect is that it allows someone to get a glimpse of the content while scrolling through your news feed, without the need to click on the video. The number of “views” goes up and the social media bean counters are happy. Here’s the problem-while the “views” may go up, actual engagement, clicking and watching the video, goes down. Why watch when you can read a few lines scrolling on the screen? Is that impactful engagement? To me, these text embedded videos look like power point slides. How many people do you know who love a power point presentation? Instead of word for word transcription, how about creating a visually powerful video with great video and/or sound? A video viewers will actually want to watch?

What a concept, right?