I first picked up a camera over two years ago now and from the beginning my ultimate goal was and is to travel the world and make epic videos for brands and people - telling their story and sharing my own also. Along the way I've learnt some basics that helped me create some pretty sweet videos on my travels and I think it's about time that I share my knowledge with you.
It goes without saying that I am still learning and improving every single day and I also feel like I've barely scratched the surface. If you want to share some tips on how you create your travel videos I'd love to hear them and learn from you, have your say in the comments below.
An example of some people who really inspire me to create some really great travel content are: @jayalvarrez, @samevanslife and @samkolder. If you've seen their stuff before you'll see that they all have their own style and way of sharing their life with the world and I think that's what separates them from 99% of the travel videos these days (because it is so saturated now - this isn't a bad thing).
Jay Alvarrez might not do the same crazy cinematic effects or colour grading in his videos as Sam Kolder but the uniqueness they each have is incredibly effective which is why so many people watch them. I think it's so important to find your own uniqueness, we are all unique and we all have something to offer. In saying this it is okay to derive inspiration from people you might look up to but add your own twist to it, be your own person because that's what will draw people to you.
I can already hear you asking 'what is sound design?' Essentially, it encompasses every aspect of sound in the creation of your video and it's an extremely undervalued aspect of a travel video. From the actual track song to the sound of a cat meowing in the streets of Egypt, waves breaking on the shore of Hawaii or the sound of a helicopter flying through the air - it is all known as sound design. I so often see people just slap a track they like onto a video they're making, match the beat of the song to the video and leave it at that.
Literally go on YouTube, search 'wave breaking sound effect' (for example) and use a YouTube to mp3 converter so you can download it and use it in your next video. Take your audience on a journey. You need to ask yourself, 'what can I had to this video to help people feel like they are right there with me?'
Get Great Shots
To get a great shot might not mean using a $5000 camera with a DJI Ronin (basically expensive gear) recording someone running along the beach or climbing a mountain. It might mean an unplanned rough, shaky shot of you laughing with friends at sunset. Although both of these kind of shots have their place in the making of a great video you need to remember that the single most powerful way to connect with an audience is to make them FEEL something (emotion) and to take them on a journey (storytelling). It's your job as the director - coz that's what you are - to nudge them in the way they should feel and to tell a great story.
My second piece of advice is to film first, and learn later. You'll learn as you go. Don't let your lack of knowledge stop you from filming. The more you film, the more you'll learn. Your first video won't be the best you ever make and your 100th video won't be the best you've ever make... The goal is never to be stagnant. What separates a good videographer from a great videographer is their constant progression, hunger to learn and creative drive.
Colour Grading is basically the process of altering and enhancing the colour of a video and is one of my favourite parts of making a travel video. It is easily one of the most impactful tweaks that you can do before you finish your video up. By artistically changing colour you can change the entire vibe of your video. I think it's also one of the hardest parts of editing your video because you can easily destroy the look and finished product on what you worked so hard on by simply overdoing it. Subtly is essential when it comes to colour grading. Do you research and look into how different colours effect how we perceive an image.
The GREAT Travel Video Essentials
Now I've gotten the ambiguous tips out of the way this is a list of stuff that will actually be essential when you wanna create a great travel video (or any video in general).
1. Set your framerate to 24fps for general filming
A lot of films use this framerate (actually 23.976 but close enough). This is the standard for filming and you should definitely use it as your own. It is also the lowest framerate the human eye can see without seeing individual frames
2. Set your framerate to 50fps+ for slow motion footage
A lot of people starting out tend to film everything at 50/60fps (myself included) but try not to do this, only swap over to higher framerates when you want to capture that particular shot in slow motion. The higher the framerate, the more you can slow down your footage and get smoother slow-mo. For example if you shoot at 120fps you can make the footage up to five times slower because 120fps/24fps is 5 - this will give you an equivalent of 24fps.
3. Add anamorphic croplines
These are the blacklines that go above and below your video. By no means are they absolutely essential but it will definitely add to the whole cinematic feel of your travel video. It's easy to excessively use them just 'because' so please take this piece of advice with a grain of salt. If you would like them so you can add it to your next travel video you can download them here: Anamorphic Crop Lines Download.
4. Use Effective Titles
A great travel video uses powerful titles that compliment the video. Introduce your video and even use some subtitles throughout your travel video to take it to the next level. Check out an example of Sam Kolder using his iconic title to introduce one of his videos. You can download loads of great fonts off of google for free.
I hope this blog post has helped you guys! If it has please leave a comment below and I'd love to hear how it helped you. I'm going to be turning this blog post topic into a mini course where I go ALOT more in depth than I can here so keep an eye out for that.
For now, stay safe but not too safe,