You’re doing “Cinematic” aspect ratios ALL WRONG!

You’re doing “Cinematic” aspect ratios ALL WRONG!

While I understand the desire to make certain videos feel “more cinematic,” just adding black bars overtop a normal video canvas is NOT the way to go about it. No no.



Just a couple notes for those jumping in the comments:
This video is a year old.
This is clearly referring to YouTube uploads. If you’re submitting to a client or posting elsewhere, do what you need to, of course. Web video is all about knowing your platform – IG/FB stories are best in vertical, feed videos are best in 1080×1350, and YouTube videos are best in widescreen with correct aspect ratios so everyone can enjoy them. Phones are commonly 2:1 aspect ratio now, so 16:9 with black bars is kind of sad to watch on there, too.

Yes, there are more “official” “cinematic aspect ratios. Use them if you want. No matter what, letterboxing does not automatically make your video “more cinematic” and many of us find it kind of funny that people think so. 2017’s obsession with LUTs and preset packs and letterboxing and gimbals and all this other nonsense shows that a lot of people know how to jump on trendy bandwagons but not actually make good content.

8:5 (16×10), 4:3, 17:9 (DCI 4K) and 2:1 (18×9) all work with End Cards, and wider format support probably coming soon. Would MUCH rather have a video that isn’t screwed up on my screens than have on-screen elements I’m not going to click and that 1-5% of viewers will ever see.
2:1 is a great middle ground of having a wider, more “cinematic” feel while still having end card support.
If you do the math, 21×9 is roughly 2.35:1.
If you want to view an example of why this matters, check this out. YouTube’s new layout allows for great 21:9 viewing, even on a 16:9 screen IF you actually upload 21:9 instead of letterboxing.

If they had letterboxed this to 16:9, the video would show with black bars on the top/bottom AND the left/right. Not cool.
Check out 21:9 Gaming to see it done RIGHT

Edited w/ Premiere Pro CC:

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