The evolving aesthetics of the moving image in vertical video online : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Media Studies at Massey University, New Zealand

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Massey University
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Contemporary transformations in the aesthetics associated with online vertical content are a prime example of remediation between mobile video recording technology, diversification of online distribution platforms, and creators’ enthusiasm to explore new video forms in exchange for higher audience reach and engagement. By deconstructing texts available on YouTubeVEVO and Netflix through the lens of Applied Media Aesthetics, this research examines the choices that professionals make while they utilise conventions associated with online vertical video and its consumption on a mobile screen. Additionally, through interviews with experienced practitioners, I survey the principal differences in production of widescreen and vertical content, and look at potential benefits and limitations of a smartphone as a primary recording device in the professional production workflow. Lastly, as I plan, film and edit six original artefacts, I reflect on the affordances of a vertical frame through the eyes of a cinematographer on set and editor in post-production. The mixed methodology provides a robust framework for examining the principal benefits and limitations of a vertical frame in a professional production workflow and for answering the key thesis question: how do framing, filming technology, and choice of distribution platforms influence media professionals' aesthetic decisions while creating online vertical content? Throughout the research, I re-examine assumptions about acceptable screen aesthetics commonly held by media professionals and provide insights into the remediation of widescreen content for a vertical frame.
Video recordings, Production and direction, Framing (Cinematography), Smartphones, video, vertical, tall frame, YouTube, Netflix, music video, social media, media aesthetics, new media, moving images