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How to Create, Edit and Upload a Vertical Video on IGTV

Buttermilk Pancakes with Chocolate Drizzle at Ella's San Francisco. This is the cover shot for Lisa Hu Chen's IGTV video.

This is a step-by-step tutorial on how I made an IGTV 2-minute video. This is not an article on aspect ratio or why landscape viewing is better than portrait mode video viewing. Do I prefer creamy, dreamy, gorgeously toned DSLR-filmed clips pieced professionally together in Adobe Premier with clever titles and beautiful music underscoring the story? Yes, I do. But this is not my purpose for posting on IGTV and I have Vimeo for my family films. My intention is to create fun, vertically shot videos for easy viewing and enjoyment (no rotating the smartphone to watch), and to make editing and uploading as quick and simple as possible. I want my kids to watch it over and over again and honestly, they could care less about the quality of the footage or its production value. By the way, I am not at all saying that IGTV is not meant for those wonderfully produced, high quality films. There are superiors ones on there right now made by photographers and filmmakers who can do a much better job in that area than I can.

Man and kid drawing while eating breakfast at Ella's San Francisco. Lisa Hu Chen tutorial on IGTV videos.

I am simply sharing with you my process and what worked for me. And boy, was it a process. I researched different articles and watched videos and had to piece everything together while I was trying to edit my story. It took a long time for me, so by sharing this in one place, I hope to save you time.

Kid drawing while waiting for his breakfast order at Ella's San Francisco. Lisa Hu Chen tutorial on IGTV videos.

For the purpose of simplifying, I'm going to refer to my iPhone because that's what I use, but you can do this on any smartphone with similar capabilities.

What I Used

  1. Vertically-shot video clips on your iPhone. I recommend several short, 10-seconds videos rather than a few minutes long videos.
  2. iMovie app on your iPhone.
  3. Airdrop, Dropbox, iCloud or some kind of cloud service that you can use to transfer files quickly via your phone and your computer or laptop.

What I Did

  1. On your phone, open iMovie and create a New Project.
  2. Add each vertical clip into your movie editing reel. Each clip will be cropped and viewed as a square format.
  3. You will need to rotate your clips so that none of your footage is cropped out. In the Editing mode (scissor icon selected), highlight the clip (so the yellow border is showing) and rotate the image shown 90° counter clockwise. To do this, pinch the clip with your thumb and index fingers and twist to the left. Do this with each clip you add. You will be editing your video sideways.
  4. Once your video is complete (possibly with a kink in your neck from viewing, like me), save your finished video into your Camera Roll.
  5. From your Camera Roll, Airdrop (or Dropbox) the video from your phone to your computer or laptop.
  6. On your computer, open QuickTime Player, select File > Open File and select your video file (probably in your Downloads folder.)
  7. Once your video is open in QuickTime, select Edit > Rotate Right and your video will change from sideways landscape to vertical portrait mode.
  8. Save and name your newly oriented video onto your Desktop.
  9. Airdrop or Dropbox the video back to your iPhone. It will show up in your Camera Roll.
  10. Open the IGTV app and upload your new video from your Camera Roll. Make sure to have a nice vertical photo ready to select so you can make it your Cover pic.

UPDATE: You can now upload your IGTV video onto your feed from your desktop! That's huge, guys, because it means you can save yourself from Steps 9 and 10, avoid transferring you final video from your computer to your phone, and directly upload your IGTV video by clicking on the IGTV tab on your desktop feed. Yessssss.

Little girl smiling with a paper airplane in her mouth while waiting for breakfast at Ella's San Francisco. Lisa Hu Chen tutorial on IGTV videos.

That's it! It's not hard, but it's a laborious process since you have to transfer files back and forth. 

Let me know if any of the instructions are off by commenting below and I will check it out as soon as possible. Thanks for reading!