Travel videos are fun to make. Not only do you get to see the coolest parts of the world but you also get to share your experiences with your audience...who are absolutely not jealous of your life at all.
Fact is, though, that it can be really difficult to edit these things. Not only are there a ton of people out there doing them, making it nearly impossible to be original, but they're notorious for being tedious and time-consuming...unless you were weirdly judicious and conservative about shooting your surroundings, which...no.
So, here's a video from Jordy Vandeput of Cinecom that I think will not only help you make your travel videos more interesting, engaging, and creative but also help you edit them a hell of a lot more quickly and efficiently.
Use Sound Effects to Bolster Your Visuals
Sound and visuals go together like macaroni and cheese...or me and a nap right now. (I've got a brand new baby and that little darlin' doesn't like sleep as much as I do.) So, whether it's stock sound effects, your in-camera audio recording, or some foley you created in your garage (of shoot, all darn three of 'em), you can use them all to strengthen, inform, and stylize your video. How? There are a bunch of ways, but here are a few of examples:
- Add some trickling rain sound effects to a shot of some ominous grey clouds, and then cut to a torrential downpour. That's good foreshadowing.
- Throw some audio of two people talking about their shared love of muscle cars over video of them actually working on muscle cars.
- If you weren't able to capture any good audio of your subject walking in snow as they trekked a niveous bluff, stomping on cornstarch is a good substitute.
Establish a Clear Point of Interest
Your audience should always know what they're looking at (unless the point is for them not to), and composing shots so that they have a very clear point of interest is crucial for a good, high-energy travel video. But what about editing?
Well, if you know how you're going to edit your video, you'll know how to compose your shots...at least when it comes to how to frame your point of interest. If it's on the right side of the frame, it'll make it easier for your audience to locate it if the next shot you cut to also has it in the same general place.
I feel like I made that sound really complicated. Okay, to put it more simply, points of interest are easier to find when they stay in the same area within the frame...you don't want your audience searching around to find it after every cut, right?
Pancake Your Edit
Want to edit quicker? Speed up your workflow? Look no further than pancake editing. Yes, I am talking about pancakes because it's National Pancake Day, but also because it's a really helpful and effective editing technique.
There's not a whole lot to it other than stacking timelines on top of each other so you can 1.) easily scrub through and see what kinds of clips you have, and 2.) drag and drop chunks of one timeline onto another one. Some editors use this method to separate A-roll and B-roll, some do it for selects and rough cuts, you get the idea.
PremiumBeat's Jason Boone, who is also a No Film Schooler, talks about pancake editing in the video below:
Seamless Transitions - Movement
Okay, there are lots of ways to make transitions seamless, but this little trick is super important, especially because first-timers make this "mistake" all the time.
If you put two clips side by side where one clip has camera movement and one doesn't, it's gonna look like garbage. I know, I know...I'm 100% sure there are examples out there in which it doesn't, and what I have to say to that is I bet whoever made that choice did it intentionally because if it weren't intentional, it would (probably) look like garbage. /rant
So, if you want to include a shot that doesn't have any camera movement, you can always try to add a little to it. You can try to crop in and add some position keyframes, add some motion blur, and/or create some handheld camera shake in After Effects.
Find Your Video's Rhythm
I know you're excited to show your audience what you shot, but damn...you can't just bang! bang! bang! bang! until your video's over, man. That's too much. You've got to find a nice rhythm and flow. Maybe start out slow, gently ease your audience into the experience, then hit 'em a little harder and faster, ramp up the energy, increase the pacing, then bang! bang! bang! bang! until you gently ease it all back down again...then maybe go for round two.
Regardless of whether you're going for a high-energy video or a slow, introspective piece, finding your rhythm and pacing is absolutely important to keep your audience engaged and having a good time.
What are some other helpful tips for those making travel videos? Let us know down in the comments.