Useful Tips

How to make travel videos


You have a camcorder. This is a pass to your own world of cinema. But this world has to be created independently. And only on your skill depends on what this world will be like.

First of all, the article is addressed to those who shoots while traveling, to tourists, but will be useful to everyone who shoots something with a video camera in general.
It would seem that video equipment is so accessible that everyone can make a film. But an interesting film - still not. Just buying a camcorder and pressing the “record” button is clearly not enough.
Firstly, you need to master all the basic controls of the camcorder and their purpose, so that the fingers themselves run on the necessary buttons and levers, realizing the creative idea. Secondly, to master the shooting technique - what plan and perspective to choose, how to cope with lighting, what shooting techniques to use. And thirdly, the most difficult thing is to learn to see the interesting and learn how to shoot it. This is the hardest thing to learn, you need both a creative approach and experience that comes only through practice and a huge number of experiments.
But we will not go into theory much and get by with what is accessible to everyone. Just try to determine what you should pay attention to a novice operator when shooting on a trip.
Basically, tourists shoot everything - a chronicle of "where I was and what I saw." But often it turns out as in a joke - that I see this and I sing. Then it’s unpleasant to look, and it’s hard to mount something interesting. So how do you remove what will be interesting to watch? Let's give some simple practical tips.
First of all, shooting should be meaningful. Shooting is not an emotional impulse, it is an accurate calculation.
Rule one: before clicking on “rec” ask yourself (only quickly so that the moment is not missed)
“Would I like to see it myself a second time and show it to my viewers?”

But there may be too many interesting things, what should I do? After all, you can’t write a script for the chronicle in advance. Nothing to do about. We'll have to shoot everything that seems interesting, and even with a solid margin, in order to then choose the very best from this. But in order to unravel the tangle of impressions when editing the film, to build a sequence of frames, it is necessary to leave notes on what, where and when it was shot.
There can be many options for how to do this. Someone is more accustomed to leave a couple of lines in the notebook "today ... July twentieth and we go to see the Loire castles, in our program ...". Someone leaves their voice notes directly when shooting "... so, we arrived at Cheverny Castle." Well, someone carefully removes all the plates with the name of the places where the shooting was conducted, also a good option.
Rule two: document what you shoot.

There is nothing worse than looking at someone's loosely coupled snatches of impressions. Especially for the viewer who was not in the shooting area. His viewing is unlikely to cause positive emotions. Try talking to someone by swallowing every other word. They will hardly understand you. Do not be lazy to ensure continuity of narration. Remove fees and departure from home, return, surroundings, some everyday scenes. Even if these episodes seem insignificant to you, they will look organic in the film and allow the viewer to understand the logic of the events that happened ..
Rule three: the film should have a beginning and an end, as well as an even, without fail, middle.

There is nothing more boring than watching continuous landscapes in a film, no matter how beautiful they may be. Or solid ruins, or architecture, even of amazing beauty. But you won’t repeat everything early in the BBC documentaries (well, or repeat in many years). Your task is to convey your own attitude to what you saw, to show what you are personally interested in, and how you and your family and your friends look in the new environment. Shoot people, shoot close-ups, shoot emotions. However, if you shoot strangers, make sure they have nothing against it.
Rule Four: film what others will not film, film your attitude to what you see.

And in addition, they will help to convey their attitude - the details, as you know, the devil is hidden in the details. Details are spices, without which any dish will be fresh, tasteless. What can be details - interior elements, products of local artisans, a wave running behind the stern, seashells on the shore, even a foreign cat sitting under a foreign fence will find its place in the film.
Rule fifth: remove the details!

And a little more useful advice that will help to avoid overlays when shooting.
Before filming, stock up - with an additional battery, a sufficient number of cassettes or memory cards, and the notebook will be useful. And check the performance of the camcorder before your trip.

And it's all? No, not all. But the rest is your own creativity.
Of course, the work on the film does not end there, video editing, dubbing and much more remains to be done. But if the source material is good, interestingly shot, then be sure that the film will be great!

Good luck, and creative success!

© Sergey Rakhmanov, Studio UniFilm, 07/29/2010

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Choose format

Travel notes. Here bloggers share their general impressions, tell and show what they see and what they are interested in. The advantages of the format are the sincerity of the narrator and, as a consequence, the trust of the audience. Minus - high competition.

Guides. These are stories about cities and countries, tips on where to eat, how to find housing, how to get from one place to another. Advantages of the format: specific benefit for viewers who are looking for verified information. Cons: careful preparation and study of the issue is necessary.

Niche stories. The emphasis on the expert field of the blogger is important here. Yoga, cooking, photography, extreme sports, baby travel and any other topic that you can and want to tell interestingly. Pros - a clear definition of the target audience and, as a result, high conversion rates. Cons - the need to professionally understand the issue.

Define an idea

Without an idea, your friends will watch your video at best. Therefore, think over the main idea or write a story.

Storytelling Today is extremely relevant in various fields. It is unlikely that the viewer will be interested in changing photographs of even very beautiful places. And a story that evokes emotions is a win-win option.

By the way, the author does not have to be the protagonist of the story. You can talk about a local resident or speak on behalf of him, use a media character or invent a hero. Be observant, because when traveling you come across such incredible stories that there is no need to invent.

Remember that every minute the Internet is filled with thousands of photos and videos from around the globe. To captivate the public, stand out! A great example is Matt Harding, who has been traveling the world for many years and has been dancing his own dance in different parts of the world.

Choose a smartphone

The problem, than to shoot, is always relevant. Today, even the simplest and cheapest gadgets have the function of shooting video. On the other hand, the more you shoot, the better and more expensive you want the technique. But just as sneakers for $ 1000 do not turn a runner into a champion, so equipment for $ 100,000 will not make you a successful video blogger. Start simple, and you will understand in which direction to move.

Travel videos can be shot on different gadgets, but the smartphone wins, because it is always with us, which means you can quickly capture an interesting moment. Shooting on a smartphone does not require preliminary preparation, moreover, there is no need to carry heavy photo equipment with you. And video editing applications for iOS and Android allow you to easily and functionally process videos and immediately publish finished material on social networks and on YouTube.

The minimum set of travel blogger equipment:

  • iPhone or any smartphone with the option of shooting in HD.
  • Several memory cards with 32 il 64 gigabytes, cards sometimes get wet and break, it is better to have a reserve.
  • Extra battery for smartphone.
  • Stick tripod, budget and quality option - Xiaomi Selfie Stick Remote.
  • A computer with programs for processing and editing video. You can start with free software: Movie Maker, Shotcut, Lightworks Adobe Clip, or Quik. Of the paid programs, Final Cut, Corel VideoStudio Pro X10 and Wondershare Filmora are convenient and functional. In the absence of a computer, limit yourself to the functionality of smartphone applications, which will be discussed below.

Decide when to appear in the frame.

Decide whether you want to be in the video or not. Viewers believe the plot much more if they see the narrator’s face and emotions. You do not need to constantly be in the frame, but a sincere smile and eye contact for the audience is more important than beautiful pictures.

If you are not sure of your own charisma or are afraid of a camcorder, use a voiceover voice. A good move is to take yourself off as an ordinary pedestrian walking slowly along a colorful street or looking into a shop or restaurant.

Collect material

Alas, determination and ideas are not enough to make a good video. You will need material. Always keep your camera or smartphone at hand, because during the trip, anything unexpected can happen at any time.

Shoot anything that might come in handy. Interest and excitement come during video editing, so it is better to have material from which you can choose. Unusual architecture, beautiful nature, faces of local Aboriginal people hunting for anaconda, recipes for preparing traditional drinks, preparing for skateboarding, a spontaneous market with exotic fruits - everything can come in handy.

Do not forget about the audio. To complement the video with sea noise with screaming pelicans or a children's song of the Quechua Indians is a good move. Both the highlight and the copyrights are respected.

Create timekeeping

Introduction - no more than 10 seconds. This is the most important part of the video, in which you need to captivate the viewer so that he definitely wants to watch your story to the end. Tell us about yourself, attract attention with something extraordinary or ask the theme of your release.

Logo - 3-5 seconds. Create a name, slogan or logo for your project and use it at the beginning of each video for catchy music.

The main unit - no more than 7 minutes. Do not make the video too long and detailed, it is better to leave only the most vivid and interesting. Do not be afraid to cut back!

Call to action - 10 seconds. At the end of the video, invite viewers to subscribe to your channel, share the entry and tell us what the next episode will be about.

Experiment with effects

Timelapse - The effect of accelerated shooting, where a video is created from several photos taken by a static or slow-moving camera over a long period of time. The effect allows you to "fit" the day in a couple of minutes. Timelapse is suitable for shooting sunsets and sunrises, as well as for travel stories. Time lapse requires a tripod.

Slow Motion - effect to emphasize the mood and emotional coloring of the video. Some smartphones have a built-in Slow motion option. If not, choose shooting at 60 frames per second and 1080 pixels or activate the “60 fps” option. Then during installation it will be possible to slow down these moments by half without sacrificing quality. Otherwise, slowing down a video shot at 25-30 frames per second will look fragmentary.

Ken Burns effect - slow zooming. Use this technique to process videos with beautiful landscapes taken from one place, instead of walking with a camera in your hand, causing viewers to get seasick.

On-screen porridge - The effect of overlapping black bars in the lower and upper parts of the frame. Cache stylizes the clips for the film.

Color correction - The effect that transforms the video, adjusts contrast and color and neutralizes midtones and excess shades.

An example of using color grading and screen porridge

How to shoot a beautiful video. Life hacks

Good light is an important component of success. Try to shoot video in the daytime or in well-lit places. Remember that at dawn and sunset, the best lighting with soft shadows and a winning image.

Do not forget about the sound. Shoot videos in quiet places, try to avoid extraneous noise. Where this is not possible, go as close as possible to the source of the desired sound and slightly, do not completely cover the phone’s microphone with your hand. And never record your speech on the go: shaking and sound interference cannot be avoided. If the plot allows, audio can be recorded separately from the video.

Shoot horizontal video. The vertical format is acceptable, but it limits the view, is not convenient for cutting and is often negatively perceived by the audience.

Switch every 7 seconds. It’s better to shoot several static videos in 10-20 seconds than one long one with a constant camera movement. A tripod and a selfie stick are indispensable for spectacular transitions and dynamic shooting. However, if they are not, fix the smartphone with both hands, putting your elbows on the body or on the external support.

A close-up looks advantageously when shooting people, plants, monuments, buildings. A close-up helps to achieve the effect of depth when some objects are close to the camera and the main subject is at a distance.

Do not be lazy and do not hesitate to come closer to the subject of your shootingThen the sound and picture will be of high quality.

Brevity. Viewers prefer videos no longer than 12 minutes. Do not rush, choose the best angle and spectacular composition. There is no need to produce hundreds of terabytes of videos from which you can not mount a spectacular movie.

Be original, look for your inspiration and do not copy successful travel blog videos.

Popular video processing applications

  1. Replay - A popular free editor for iOS with over 20 effects for video processing.
  2. 8mm Vintage Camera Is the best vintage iOS app with dust, scratch, grain effects, etc. A video with such effects resembles an old movie.
  3. Kinemaster - An Android application with which you can glue audio and video files, work with fragments, adjust color rendering and brightness settings, apply filters and special effects.
  4. Action movie f - Itunes application with a wide range of special effects, allowing you to easily arrange an explosion, add monsters and turn your movie into a blockbuster.
  5. Vidtrim - A very easy to use editor for Android. With the click of a button, you can apply effects to the video or cut unwanted pieces.
  6. iMovie - The most popular video editor for Apple. With it, you can not only impose presets and filters, but also edit the sound.
  7. Camu - An application whose chip in applying filters and effects to the movie in real shooting mode to immediately evaluate the result.
  8. Hyperlapse - Editor for Apple from Instagram developers, including the ability to apply the effect of "time lapse".
  9. Lumyer - A free application where more than 100 animation effects, such as raindrops, falling confetti or flowing hair, are easily and simply superimposed.
  10. Artisto - An application that allows you to add unusual art effects to videos.

IMovie iOS Video Processing


After you learn how to shoot interesting videos, you need to do promotion. Gain live subscribers, share posts on social networks, participate in affiliate programs with other popular bloggers and look for your own style. Then one day you wake up popular, and your video blog will be a good source of income. Charismatic people who are always on the go are interesting to advertisers, and you can find a customer even if you are among tropical palm trees or in the ice of Antarctica.

Travel blogger Yekaterina Vizovskaya in the Fan Mountains, Tajikistan. Photos from the personal archive

A popular Russian travel blogger, Vladimir Druganov, said: “To bring cool photos from a trip is cool, but to bring a stunning video is to bring live emotions with which you can charge your friends, family, or even the entire Internet.”

We told you about the rules, your task is to break them and not be afraid to try.

How to make a movie about your own trip

Any of us can take everything away, except for our impressions and memories. And captured on videotape they are doubly stronger. Therefore, I think you do not need to convince anyone of the advantages of creating your own video archive. Moreover, now it’s not difficult to do this, because there is a camcorder and a computer in almost every family, and these are the main tools of “home Hollywood”. But often we, having got a camcorder for personal use and pressing the treasured “rec” button, passionately capturing everything around, then we are very irritated and disappointed when demonstrating our works. And in order to smooth out the awkward situation, we start commenting on our film, explaining to the audience that, supposedly, I forgot to turn off the camera, and here everything is really beautiful, it's just not visible, and we see the bored faces of friends who literally say the expectation of an early финала этого видео.Faced a similar situation ever? I was just told the other day about such a situation, and in general persistent invitations to watch a video about vacation have already destroyed more than one friendship, because not everyone can watch a poorly shot boring vacation film for two hours and not everyone can make a joyful appearance, especially since such a viewing it can be completely different, because travel is a time of discovery and enthusiasm, a time of rest from everyday life. So, a film about him should convey these emotions, and not inspire boredom. So how to achieve this? You just need to know some rules, understand the logic of each stage of video creativity in order to make the right decisions based on this.

Where to start?

Point of departure:


Any film begins long before filming, namely with an idea, that is, with an idea. The film should be about something: to talk about something, to express something. Going on a trip, try to imagine and describe in advance what you would like to film and when and how you can do it. It is useful to study the tourist guide to collect some material, decide what you want to include in your future film. For a film about travel, it is certainly difficult to write a script in advance, and this is not necessary, because unforeseen surprises can make the trip itself and reporting about it much more interesting. But it’s still worthwhile to define the concept in general in advance in order to plan your shootings more accurately, so as not to shoot too much and, most importantly, not to miss out on the valuable for your film.

Conventionally, concepts can be divided into three types: chronological, thematic and dramatic. A chronological film about travel is concentrated on the route and is determined by the order of the trip itself. At the beginning, you can remove the map and build the entire film through it, indicating your location. The thematic travel film is not so dependent on movement and route, but is focused on the chosen topic, whether it be nature, local cuisine or shopping. A version of the dramatic concept needs a story and heroes that you yourself can be. Such a film focuses on you and what you do. Here, for example, is a fairly simple but effective concept: if you are traveling to a country that is widely heard by many, you can take the most famous facts and verify them, which is said to you. This, of course, will be interesting to everyone you show, because someone’s personal experience is always attractive. And this concept can be applied to all your trips until you get tired of it, and as a result you get a whole series of your own about your personal geographical discoveries.

At this stage, it is important to formulate it, in the future you will make adjustments, because the specifics of the travel report will require you flexibility and speed in making decisions about filming on the spot. But you need to have some kind of support in the form of a concept before departure. So, first we think, read, look, fantasize and. write down what we came up with.

We begin the preparation with the following points:

1. Break your route into several places where the action will take place.

Look in advance for photos of these places on the Internet. Choose from them the most interesting ones that differ visually from each other. These will be your future sub-stories in the film.

In each scene (at sea, in the mountains, in the city), shoot a story with several plans: large, medium, general, distant.

2. Remove the application plans for the scene.

Usually this is a long-range plan of the place where you are, or interior details.

If you are shooting in a new city, take as much as possible a general plan of its central square. In addition, you can take large-scale details of sculptures decorating the building.

When shooting a storyline at a new scene, be sure to capture the emotions of your heroes: the joy of arriving at the place, laughter, fun. During installation, these moments will be the culmination of your storyline, help convey to the audience the happiness that you experienced during your trip.

If on the road you get into the rain or another memorable adventure happens - be sure to shoot! The story of how you overcome difficulties can be one of the most striking in your film!

3. Try to remove the "synchronization"a short story from the scene of the hero about how he feels at the moment.

Upon returning home, be sure to record a full interview with the characters in a calm, quiet environment.

Ask them: which places they liked the most, what exactly, what situations caused a smile and why they were remembered.
Do not interrupt, keep silent and listen with interest.

4. Select music for editing.

Try to find the melody that best suits your storyline on emotions.

If the pace of your narration is slow, you shot in a meditative calm place (for example, in a museum), then choose the music that suits you - calm, smooth.

If you have been actively tracking or jumping from rocks to the sea, pick up active, dynamic music that conveys the cheerful mood of the story.

You can use several musical compositions, choosing a separate one for each subplot and location. Or take one song for the entire mini-movie about your journey.

In this case, try to start editing each subplot with a new musical part (couplet, chorus, loss, etc.)

During the installation, the subplots can be connected by captions with the names of the place of action or separately shot frames of the map with the marks of the places you visited.

5. Interweave the installation of interviews and “synchronized” characters.

They connect them with different sub-stories-stories. Each plot during installation, start and end with distant plans or details. This will allow the viewer to plunge into the story gradually.

Toward the end of the film, put on the most emotional plot where the viewer will see the greatest joy and happiness of the characters.

If you climbed a mountain, this will be the moment you reach the top. If you most wanted to visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris, these will be the frames on which you look from its height at the panorama of the city.

If caught in the rain - use the footage where you dance barefoot through puddles, and then drink warm cocoa in a cafe and laugh!

6. During the first screening of the film, create a festive atmosphere for its viewers and heroes!

Mark your little premiere with a glass of your favorite drink and delicious cake :).

Do not limit your imagination! For example, if your journey passes through the places of the Great Silk Road, you can write captions on shreds of silk and shoot them on video.

After completing all these points, your scenario plan will be ready! It remains only to shoot the material and connect it in the installation program.

How exactly and in what sequence to shoot frames and mount them in the editing program, I will talk at the webinar on March 1. Register here.

I look forward to commenting on your scenario travel plans! I remind you: those who complete all the tasks of the marathon will receive a 35% discount on our online course "Film about the family."

In April, I will go to Tuscany to conduct two intensive studies in Italy with my students :)

As an example, videos from our last trip: