When you travel, there are times when you just don’t know what to shoot first. There’s just so much of wonderful sights! But, if you try to film everything, it will not do you a favor when you start editing your travel video. So, Thomas Alex Norman shares some tips with you that will help you make footage for awesome travel videos.
It’s not about gear or camera settings. It’s about changing your mindset so you can return from every travel with enough of usable footage you’ll turn into a beautiful video. Oh, and this works for photographers too, as it will help you return home with more of good photos.
I know how many times this has happened to me as a photographer: everything looks interesting, and I wanna have it all in my photos. If you are a filmmaker, you may experience the same feeling when you travel and start shooting. However, when you return home, there will be a few consequences of this mindset.
Problem #1: you’ll end up with way too much footage. You’re never gonna go through it, because it will seem intimidating to watch and edit all of it.
Problem #2: the video has no clear focus
Problem #3 (linked to #2): the video is directionless, lacking a specific message.
There is one single solution that will help you with all three problems I mentioned above: focus on one specific thing to capture. To illustrate the point, Thomas focused on “photographers,” and his short video revolves around this theme.
Before you start shooting, figure out a concept. This will give you a certain direction and keep you focused. Shooting with a clear theme in mind basically solves all three problems: you’ll have less footage, you’ll have footage that’s more focused, and it will have an idea and a story.
How to figure out the theme? Well, there are no limitations here. It could be within your techniques (for example, use a specific camera movement for your video). It can be a certain concept like “flow,” or a very specific subject like “water.” The important thing is that you remain focused on the theme and don’t wander around it too much.
As I mentioned, I often have this problem when I travel and get overwhelmed by the impressions of a certain place. Sometimes I just want to capture everything because it’s all so beautiful. When I let myself do it, I just end up with a bunch of “touristy” shots. Plus, I experience the intimidation Thomas mentions: I freak out when I open Lightroom and figure out there are a gazillion photos to edit. So, even as a photographer, I try to focus on a specific theme whenever I capture my travels. It gives me fewer photos to edit, yet more good ones I actually want to post. So, while this mindset helps filmmakers create better videos, I think it works for photographers, too.