World's first vertical format blockbuster begins shooting next week

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Deadline reports that prolific Russian producer and director Timur Bekmambetov is working on a new flick that’ll be presented as a vertical video – you know, like a clip shot on your smartphone when holding it vertically rather than horizontally.

V2. Escape from Hell, will tell the story of a captured Soviet pilot that leads a daring escape from a German concentration camp during the Second World War.

Vertical videos have been the bane of many for years yet despite the critics, they’ve picked up momentum among social media users and on video sharing sites like YouTube. With a major motion picture now in the works, it looks like the technique is here to stay.

This won’t be the filmmaker’s first foray into vertical videos. Bekmambetov, who served as a producer on the aforementioned Hardcore Henry, also shot a miniseries for Snapchat that was shot exclusively in the vertical format.

“Visually, the film is built around a person—this is a story about a man standing up and straightening his shoulders in spite of the circumstances. And about a rescue plane soaring up into the sky,” Bekmambetov said.

Filming is expected to start in Russia next week with plans to launch early next year.

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TS Evangelist
I can't stand any videos people share that are vertical. It drives me nuts. There was a guy recording a stage performance and he was recording vertically and panning left to right constantly. He couldn't speak English so I held my phone up next to him horizontally and the lightbulb turned on. He records horizontally now. lol


TechSpot Paladin
So whats going to happen when trying to watch this on anything but a smart phone or that rotating portrait mode TV that was launched last year? Huge black bars that will look hideous on anything without localized back lighting?

Honestly for a film maker to be branding a movie as "And even this movie is.. in your hands" must mean he has no interest in audio fidelity or quality, because face it if the target audience is people watching on their phones the audio might as well be 128kbps mp3 quality without any sort of surround sound. Why bother even releasing it in theaters come to think of it, who in their right mind will bother to see a movie that takes up a third of the screen.
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TS Maniac
Some people will accept this because someone says it's cool and is "the thing" now. Some people are still trying to adjust to widescreen from standard.
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TechSpot Addict
I'm beginning to see why they have those TVs that rotate to vertical. They were slightly ahead of themselves but now they will have some content to show. :)
No, not really "ahead of themselves", just perhaps people who have done still photography. They don't call it, "portrait mode", for nothing.

TV makers probably realized that with the advent of 4K in resolution, that more and more people were using their TVs as monitors, and added the flip feature, since true monitors have had it for more than a decade.

I'm still waiting for somebody to write a video driver than allows you to have one monitor in landscape, and another in portrait mode.

Then, when you run a slideshow, the pictures will take up as much of the screen as possible.

Portrait oriented photos look like crap with the monitor in landscape mode, and vice-versa.

Photographers learn to compose best in the format in which they normally work. For me, that's 35 mm's 3:2 aspect ratio. I can't even imagine how frustrated photographers who worked in 2 1/4" square (6 x 6 Cm) must be with 16:9.

The only thing I can find useful about 16:9 used in portrait mode, is that it has approximately the same aspect as a legal pad. Which is why I run my internet box with the monitor in portrait mode.

It allows me to write my "TL;DR" posts with reckless abandon.... :laughing:


TS Redneck
They may be a hit. I will never watch a vertical movie. Short Youtube clips are one thing, but full length movies are another. There is a reason TV's went from 4:3 to 16:9 or even wider at 2:1.


TechSpot Addict
They may be a hit. I will never watch a vertical movie. Short Youtube clips are one thing, but full length movies are another. There is a reason TV's went from 4:3 to 16:9 or even wider at 2:1.
Well, the whole point of widescreen movies, is to assist viewers in believing they're in the place the movie is taking place. "CinemaScope" is 2.35:1.00. I believe, "Lawrence of Arabia:, was shot even wider at 2.70.:1.00 . Imax carries that even further with 180 degree surround. So, in an underwater scene in Imax, you're almost literally "swimming wit da fishes".

Now what we have here with this "portrait mode abomination", is a narcissistic, self indulgent a**hole, who fancies himself a "pioneer in cinematography".

All this can possibly accomplish is cause an entire generation of cell phone addicts to believe what they've been seeing in their phone screens, is in fact, reality, and then implode even further into the damned things.
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TS Booster
The amount of people that would come into my shop and say they have this video shot on a phone and it upright, how do I change it to fit on my tv? I tell them 2 ways, get a video program and rotate it. to which they reply that's too much hard work, and the second? shoot it properly in the first place!