Sharing Your Films: Instagram

So you’ve just received your films… what now??? This blog post is all about helping you take your new films (brand and/or social media films) and share them with the world!

STEP 1: Get them onto your phone

In order to share a video clip on Instagram, you first have to have it on your phone.  When we share final films with clients we share via both Vimeo (link to where we’ve hosted it on our Vimeo channel) and Dropbox. So we recommend using the Dropbox app on your phone to get the films to your phone.

When you open your Dropbox app you can view files in various forms (see the bottom of this screenshot), but once you’ve accessed the folder we’ve shared (which we always title ‘Final BDLB Films’) you’ll see your films there.

Once you click on the film, the next step is to select to DOWNLOAD. You can do this using the ‘Save’ icon in the top right corner (see the green circle in this screenshot).

Select ‘Save Video’ and it will begin exporting to your Photos app on your phone. Note, this may take awhile. And sometimes, it will save your Export failed. It does this to me all the time, and I find the odds go up of a successful export when I leave the app open while exporting.

Once it finishes, open your Photos app and you will see the video (see screenshot below, and please do not judge the number of #tobsteroven photos currently on the phone).

STEP 2: Upload to Instagram

Next, you’ll open up your Instagram app and click the post button (bottom of the center, looks like a plus symbol). You’ll then select the video from your Photos and it will appear like this.


STEP 3: Undo Crop

When Instagram adds a video to a post it tries to crop it into a square. This might work for personal videos, but for a professionally made film it’ll throw off the composition of the film, and often crop out important part of the visuals. But no worries! This is a super easy fix. All you need to do is click the two arrow button in the bottom left and it will undo the crop.

With crop


Once you remove the crop.

STEP 4: Choose a cover image.

Once you post a video to your Instagram it will then become a permanent part of your ‘grid’. This is the visual aesthetics that someone sees when they first go to your profile… take a look at our grid below to see what I’m talking about.

To some people their grid doesn’t really matter at all, especially if they’re using Instagram just for personal use. For businesses, however, this can be important. Your grid is your visual brand identity, and especially for visual artists this is a form of portfolio. For these reasons, selecting a cover image is an important part of the process. If you don’t select one, Instagram will pick for you, and if there’s a fade at the beginning or end of the film this might just be a black screen.

But again, no worries! Super easy fix. Just select ‘Cover’ in the bottom right of the second screen and you’ll then be able to scroll through the film to select any frame you’d like as the cover image.

STEP 5: Please don’t use a filter…

I know filters are super fun to use (trust me, I use them on my personal Instagram all the time!), but it’s a little trickier when it’s a film made professionally by a videographer (or a photo taken professionally by a photographer). Color and exposure are two things we obsess about in the editing process, and we can sometimes spend hours getting them just right. A way that’s both true to life and true to our artistic style.

Instagram has made it super easy to undo all that with just the click of a button, and to allow others to share work of an artist that isn’t truly representative of their style or skill.  We know that when it does happen it’s with good intentions, which is why we like to share exactly why this can be so hard for photographers and videographers who create work for you.


STEP 6: Create a caption and hashtags

The last step! You’re almost all the way there, and the last step is to write a caption, add hashtags (where helpful) and share!