If you’re wondering how to shoot for IGTV and produce tailored content for the hottest new social media channel, don’t fret – this is the perfect blog for you.




In case you haven’t noticed it yet, IGTV launched in June 2018 as Instagram’s very own long-form video offering. Just as Instagram Stories took a leaf out of Snapchat’s book, IGTV now echoes YouTube’s functionality, and further develops Instagram’s reputation as a one-stop-shop for all kinds of visual content.

Any Instagram user can set up their own IGTV channel and post videos up to an hour long. With YouTube creators increasingly becoming disillusioned, Digiday has suggested IGTV might end up being a new home for influencers.

However, long format IGTV content is also perfectly suited to brands looking to embrace the storytelling potential of video, and further engage their readymade Instagram audiences.


Can I work with what I’ve got?

When it comes to IGTV film needs to be shot portrait rather than landscape. Of course, you can crop existing 4k footage to create the size needed, but the likelihood is you’ll end up cutting out certain elements of your original content and losing some of the storytelling.

Some brands immediately got to testing the new channel with repurposed content. Content originally created for Instagram Stories already has the correct dimensions for IGTV, and Louis Vuitton and Gucci have painstakingly stitched together short video snippets from fashion shows to create long-form content.

However, other brands are creating entirely new content for the channel. Our opinion on the matter? If possible, don’t try and shoehorn existing footage into new formats. As IGTV gets busier and competition builds, purpose-made content is most likely to win the day.


Working with what you've got


How to shoot for IGTV success

But how are you expected to shoot separate footage for your IGTV campaign – and any other campaigns across a whole variety of channels, come to think about it. What if you have a primetime TV ad taking all precedence over your time and budget?

For instance, Facebook headers can host video content now, but the 820px by 462px dimensions will be hard to come by if you haven’t planned ahead. Meanwhile, to shoot for IGTV you’ll need to use 1080px by 1920px dimensions. It’s a potential minefield.

Multi-tasking is your friend here. What you really want to do plan ahead specifically for your social campaigns, and shoot portrait footage on set to get the best quality content.

Here at the Gate Films, we sit down with clients ahead of project kick off and plan out a full list of assets required for a campaign. This allows us to cover off three key considerations:

1. Practical – this includes the composition of a shot and the story we’re telling within the frame. Do either need to be amended for portrait?

2. Organisational – how much time should we allow to get the shots on the day? In an ideal world, can we leave a little extra to allow for creative changes?

3. Creative – what graphics will be added to the finished product? Do we need to allow space for them, and do we need to re-think the creative to make them work?


How to shoot for IGTV success


What story should I tell?

When you’re thinking about how to shoot for IGTV, it’s important to consider your core brand message and the ways in which you’d like to interact with your audience.

Nike launched ‘My Crazy Dream’ series on its IGTV channel, sharing inspirational narratives from a number of unconventional athletes.

In stark contrast, Netflix’s IGTV includes an hour-long video of Riverdale actor Cole Sprouse eating a burger. Within just a few months, this video has amassed close to a million views.

You can literally do anything you want – so long as it reflects your brand values and captures your audience’s interest. When viewers willingly opt into the more in-depth nature of IGTV content, there’s a great chance your brand’s message will be welcomed, so make it count.

Answers also lie in linking back to the objectives which are dictated by your content strategy. Get into the discipline of not just following brand guidelines in your content creation but understanding how every film you create ladders back up to the marketing goal. Push your bosses or your clients for those objectives and clarify the KPIs upfront and you’ll have a hell of an easier time securing the next budget.


What story should I tell?


Who we’ve helped

The Gate Films recently worked with fashion footwear brand Public Desire to create hype around its newly-launched clothing collection.

“As a fast fashion business, we needed a partner who would move as quickly as we do, to create great content,” explains Steph, Marketing Manager at Public Desire.

“The Gate’s response to the brief was creative, yet commercial and done under tight time constraints. The shoot day and asset creation was all executed seamlessly, and so far the results around the clothing launch have exceeded our expectations.”

Our director Michael J Ferns also shot a whole Nespresso ad vertically (you can view it here).


Who we’ve helped


Michael shares his thoughts here –

“Shooting in portrait poses a number of compositional and geographical challenges.  Gravity necessitates that we live in a world that operates predominantly laterally, for example, we scan left to right naturally in the West. This new format can, therefore, seem counter-intuitive with regards to camera movement and framing, specifically headroom. But working bespokely across dressing and blocking can produce some really interesting results!”


Shooting Portrait is becoming increasingly necessary for a range of outputs beyond IGTV – Online banners, digital billboards, and pop-up ads all require content in this format. Therefore they require this different thinking.

Ready to produce amazing content for every social media platform under the sun? Get in touch with The Gate Films to hear more about our multiple-format shoot strategy.

Insight  IGTV