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Diesel Films teamed up with the NFL in the production of Football Town: Valdosta, a 6-episode series for Snapchat, a derivative of the Network series produced by Tenafly Films & Magical Elves.

Converting a 16×9 show for TV into a vertical Snapchat show has presented us with some interesting challenges. As Snapchat’s platform continues to evolve, here are 10 things you need to know from the post production team at Diesel Films.


  • Dimensions: 1080×1920
  • Timing: Each Snap has to be less than 20 seconds
  • Format: H264 (.mov or .mp4)
  • Size: Each Snap has to be less than 32mb

[2] Start with less and build it out. When building a timeline, make sure your key sound bites are in there, and then you can build out and around them.

[3] Stay organized. First grab selects of audio and then grab selects of video and images. This makes it easier to build a story because you’ve already identified strong clips.

[4] To pique interest, make the first Snap of the episode shorter and lead with a good hook. Most episodes average between 12-15 Snaps (the average full episode is 3:30).

[5] Use See-Says. See-Says are basically fancy subtitles, designed in Adobe After Effects, and are key to a positive Snapchat viewing experience.  Many users are watching without sound so the See-Says bring context to the show without audio.

[6] Treat each Snap like a movie trailer. It was helpful to treat it like a trailer; realize you have to grab peoples’ attention from the beginning.

[7] Be mindful of buffering. For some users, it may take longer for each snap to load so you can’t cut up a one-minute scene into three Snaps seamlessly. Each Snap basically lives on its own so it needs to have a clean in and clean out, with audio and video.

[8] Every shot is different, so your pan and scan is usually never the same. When using video that was designed to be viewed in a horizontal format to create a vertical video you have to keep in mind the shots you use. Shots like outside establishing shots of buildings or extreme close-ups don’t work well because they often look like freeze frames. A solution to this problem is to place pans on those shots to give them a more dynamic feel.

[9] Your sound and image does not always match up, especially in such a small time frame so you’re not necessarily hearing what you’re seeing. With that said, both are related and compliment each other.

[10] Be creative. Think outside of the box when trying to get horizontal shots to look good vertical. We utilized split screens so when a play was happening, viewers could see both the quarterback and receiver simultaneously.

[* BONUS *] Like working with any emerging platform, expect a lot of notes. The Snapchat team knows their audience and the content they like most.

Be sure to check out “Football Town,” airing every Tuesday on Snapchat.

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