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How To Make Travel Videos: 3 Easy Hacks

By on November 6, 2017

How’s it going? Today I’m going to be giving you three hacks/tricks/tips for your travel videos. These are the three things I’ve pin pointed down throughout my recent teaching experiences that keep coming up.

When I tell people these three hacks, the travel videos they’re making immediately get better, very quickly.

But the main problem is, you need to honestly listen and digest the information. In the past I’ve told people these important tricks and it’s taken them a while to get into it. They’ll kind of ignore it, because it sounds obvious, but then they’re still not doing it. So I have to tell them over and over again until they finally get it, and that’s when the magic really happens. So three tips right now:

01 – Lower Shooting Angle

The first one was a tip that I discovered through teaching in the Travel Video Academywhich is my monthly membership program. People kept on sending in different travel videos that were good in some aspects, were bad in other aspects, and generally had their strengths/weaknesses… but there was a consistent theme that kept coming up:

Everything was being filmed from eye level.

So most people when they’re walking around with the camera… it’s just their instinct to kind of hold it at eye level and just film stuff there. And that’s about it. You know maybe they’ll get a couple different angles, but most of the time they’re filming from eye level.

If you ever see me whenever I’m filming, you’ll always see that I’m pointing the camera about from waist level. I’m usually trying to film everything with my screen slightly tilted up. You don’t have to if you don’t have a tilted screen, for example if you have an iPhone (at your waist) or a GoPro. Essentially what this does is it puts a constant low angle shot on the world around you.

This makes the world look bigger, more epic and more exciting because you’re literally seeing it from a child’s point of view.

Remember when you were a kid and you’re seeing the world like an exciting huge place? That’s essentially what I’m replicating when I film from down at my waist. It’s a great little trick to make your shots look more epic.

That’s number one. When I started telling people to do this inside the Travel Video Academy I noticed the people who were doing it, their videos really stepped up.

02 – Careful Use Of Movement

Hack number two is movement. Now I’ve kind of developed this rule that I really want to hammer home. The rule is to use cinematic movement or don’t use movement at all.

This means that if you’re going to be moving your camera, pick your movements strategically. Either be moving side-to-side in a cinematic way… forwards… maybe backwards… maybe up or down.

Just don’t walk around pointing your camera randomly at stuff, like you’re drunk!

This is not what you want to be doing and it instantly results in an amateur looking video. Instead, what you want to do is look around you… observe. Pick your shot… Then move in a way, if you’re going to move, that is cinematic. Replicating cranes… replicating dolly’s… replicating gibs or glidecams… these kind of movements look really nice. Either do that or don’t move your camera.

So that would literally be using a tripod and eliminating all shake, which is absolutely fine as well. It’s not necessarily better or worse. Some of the most beautiful documentaries in the world mainly use tripod shots and they look absolutely stunning. So you can just use tripod shots.

I’m making an overemphasis. Rules are made to be broken, but this is a rule that I want to set upon you – especially if you’re just starting out – because it’s going to help take your videos from beginner to intermediate very, very fast. It’s going to take you above that plateau because you’ll start seeing the world and picking your shots.

Picking the movements that you’re doing… rather than pointlessly aiming and shooting.


03 – Maintaining Flow

The third rule is flow. Flow is mainly an editing point, I actually learned this in the Travel Video Bootcamp Live. This is a program that I put on in Barcelona one month ago that was really awesome. We had two guys fly out.

One of the huge things that I learned from the whole weekend was flow.

So for example, one of the guys was filming my friend Laura at a table and she was doing a little dance move, just being silly. Then my friend filmed her and got a shot of it. She was sitting at the table eating… then she suddenly started dancing… then she stopped. Then in the edit he had this cool shot of her doing that, but he started the shot before she started dancing.

So somebody else was eating… then he cut to the next shot of Laura kind of still… then she started dancing… then he cut to the other shot.

This is not a great thing to do because it suddenly breaks it up as things are stopping and starting. You don’t want to do that, as in your travel videos, generally you want to have a really nice flow.

If you go on YouTube and look at any of the travel videos out there, you’ll see that things are flowing together.

There’s no kind of stops and starts. Everything’s always constantly flowing and happening. So I told him ‘Hey look, start your clip when Laura is already dancing and finish it before she stops dancing.’ That way it kind of conveys that she’s already dancing and it flows really nicely into the next shot of somebody else. Rather than somebody sitting there… then starting to do something. Otherwise, it’s kind of jittery and you don’t really know what’s going on.

So those are the three tips/hacks/tricks. They’re very easy, just go and start doing them and you’re going to absolutely smash it out of the park.

Keep filming!

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