Innova Films is an audiovisual production company based in Cádiz. Based on our experience of Cadiz, my Secret (if you have not seen the video, we leave the link below), we will inaugurate the blog explaining how to make a travel video.
We believe that this type of format is very interesting because it allows us to develop our audiovisual language without more limits than our own creativity. A definitive exercise to explore new narrative techniques, perfect your photographic eye, spend more time with your camera… Learn at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. Without fear of being wrong also, since this is not a personal project without clients to which you have to be accountable. So you just have to fear your own anger if you realize back home that for some reason something went wrong. And you learn that too. It’s all advantages.
On the other hand, this type of video has become a catapult for many contemporary filmmakers. Creators who had some kind of connection to the audiovisual world and who, after capturing their traveling experiences, have seen their careers grow exponentially.
This is the case, for example, of Matty Brown or Leonardo Dalessandri, whose travel videos have not only had a great impact, but have also influenced Poderasomante in contemporary recording and editing trends. They have also managed to make an important hole in the direction of advertising and fiction at the international level thanks to them.
The travel videos, as we said, are therefore a fully creative exercise with countless ways to carry it out. We will explain the recentity we use for Cadiz, my secret.
- A destination.
- Recording equipment.
- A computer and an editing program.
Although for reasons of literary economy, Obviemos mention passport, underwear moults and other travel belongings, make sure you take everything you need for the journey. And if in doubt, always ask your mother. They know everything.
Next we will detail in simple steps how you should tackle the realization of the video before, during and after the journey:
As a vehicle idea, we will say that it is always important to give more laps to this type of videos or any other project before carrying it out. Reflection is good. Always.
Investigate the place you’re going to travel to. Its history, culture, society, most iconic tourist places… All that information will help you to have a better understanding of your place of destination. We believe that each place has its own identity, the fruit of its myths, its past, its people. The more information you have, the better you know what elements are important to capture and carry the meaning of your work. Elements that somehow enclose the essence of the place you are portraying and allow you to add layers of depth.
In the case that concerns us we must recognize that we did a bit of trap: we are natural of Cadiz, so we knew very well in advance our destiny. However, we do not stop doing the homework. Without that previous work we probably would have missed many of the images that in some way represent objects, places or characters relevant to the identity construction of the city.
2) Search references (or not)
All artistic creations are based on the recycling of previous works in which the author introduces his own vision of the world thus aspiring to produce a personal and original piece. Thus, we recommend looking for inspiration in the work of other filmmakers. However, there are those who might think that this search for references will condition the purity of our initial gaze. A debate where we’re not going in. It is up to the reader’s discretion to decide what to do about it.
Take paper and pen and write down everything you can think of. They can be blueprints, characters relevant to your movie, locations, colors, ideas about transitions, music, editing techniques… The more you notice the better. And the more disorganized as well. You’ll have time to order them. This is a process that can last for days, weeks, months. yourself. The important thing is to have the notebook handy so that you do not escape the ideas once they appear.
4) structure, tone and main IDEA
Once you think you have enough material, you have to structure it. Your piece must have a start, a knot and a ending. In the case of Cadiz, my secret tried to use a tone that thrilled, moved, but yours can be comical, ironic, dramatic… It’s all up to you.
You can organize your video in three acts and, for example, use black fades to separate them. Each act must be a unit of its own with internal cohesion.
In the case of Cadiz, my secret, we try to convey a positive main idea. Cadiz, unfortunately, has been a rather economically depressed city in recent decades with high unemployment and a significant loss of population. This contrasts with his glorious past, when he was one of the most advanced cities of his time. Thus, the fire, which begins and ends the work, is a metaphor of the regeneration of the city and a cry of optimism to return to what once was.
Please note if you need permission to record in certain places or scenes and, if so, contact the relevant decision makers to obtain authorization.
We recommend to bring a team as light as possible. It doesn’t seem like a good idea to throw your whole trip loaded like a mule. So camera, batteries, memories, card reader, a laptop and a hard drive, a pair of lenses, a small tripod if possible and little else. In our case we also had a slider and a second camera DJI Osmo, very light and of the best for this type of situations.
The previous work of reflection and preparation that you have already done will orient you during the filming and facilitate the mission. Remítete to your notes to know what to record and how.
However, it leaves room for improvisation. I’m sure you’ll see a lot of elements you didn’t count on when you thought about everything. Be flexible and allow those new elements to be integrated into your film if you consider that they will add value to your work.
In addition to good, we recommend that you record a lot. It is better to have resources in the editing phase to be missing.
Don’t forget the importance of sound. It would be ideal to have an external audio recorder with which you capture the sounds of the locations you are recording to add later in the montage. In this way the audiovisual experience will be much more immersive. If you don’t have an external audio recorder or an ambient mic for your camera, you can use the microphone of the camera itself or even the audio recorder of your mobile.
Be ordered by ingesting the files on the hard drive. Create a general folder where you say, for example, Trip to WONDERLAND. Inside a subfolder called FOOTAGE. And within it, create another subfolder for each day of recording: Day 1, Day 2…, and dumps in each of them the material corresponding to what you have recorded during that day. If you have more than one camera create a folder for each of them.
It is highly recommended to create a backup copy of all the material you have recorded on a second hard drive or on your own laptop.
Once back at home, the time has come to shape all that material. Inside the WONDERLAND Travel folder, create a subfolder in which to save the project from the editing program from which you are going to mount your video. You can call it PREMIERE or FINAL CUT.
Dump the material in your editing project. We use Adobe Premiere.
Then check all the resources and make selections. To do this you can create sequences or timelines according to your needs in which you place the most important images. For example, you can call them transitions, city, countryside, people, portraits, night… Although this depends on your needs and the particularities of your project.
In the case of Cadiz, my secret, due to the volume of images we captured and our meticulousness during this first phase of post production, we were practically a week organizing all the material, Revisándolo and selecting the best shots.
Once you have watched your images and have a good idea of what you have in your hands, you can start editing properly.
Choose the music you are going to use for the video and it will be consistent with the rhythm, tone and idea you want to communicate. Make sure you don’t violate any copyright rules with your use. We usually use these websites to buy music for our videos:
Also consider if you are going to enter a voice-over or some other sound element in your work.
Again your notes will be of great help and will guide you in the process. If necessary, re-enter details about the structure you are going to follow.
Probably the most orthodox way to mount is to create a first skeleton or assembly, an initial body of images on the music but no sound effects. The necessary adjustments and perfections are then introduced.
We, on the other hand, prefer to edit making sure that each plane works with the previous and the rear, working both image and audio, so that in addition to the music we put sound effects.
As for the transitions between images there are a number of elements that you must take into account and that will make the cuts in the assembly are much more fluid: movement (either of the subjects in the plane or the movement of the camera) , color, action, content, or drawing composition. If an image and the immediately subsequent one have some of these aspects in common, the cuts will be more pleasant in the eyes of the spectator.
The assembly phase is fundamental. Take your time. It gives shape to everything you’ve done. If you are inspired and everything flows, in a couple of days you will have enough time to finish the edition.
Insert sound effects (SFX) If you haven’t already done it. In addition to the audio you recorded in your locations, consider introduce external SFX from libraries. Sounds of blows, buzzes, environments… You will be very useful to exalt the impact of your work. We use SFX of bookstores that we bought previously. However, there is infinity on Youtube that you can use for free (be sure to follow the rules correctly on how to attribute the authorship if that were the case). Even if it’s not especially the bomb, we’ll leave you a playlist here.
Even if it’s not your forte, work a bit at this stage to get an offline version as solid as possible. Delegate to someone with more experience who can help you with this if necessary.
Once happy with the result, share with your friends. It’s good to know what others think of your work. If you see that several opinions coincide on the same point, consider their modification. These comments are only indicative. You decide whether or not to follow these indications.
We advise to park the project for a couple of days. Forget it for a while. When you pick it up you will have a fresher look and you can make the final assembly decisions more correctly.
Let’s say you’re already completely satisfied, that you’re sure that’s the best video you can do. If so, it’s time to approach the online edition. This is basically composed of matching, visual effects (although we will obviate it not being really usual in travel videos and we do not need them in Cadiz, my secret), sound design and audio mix.
The matching is to correct the colors and luminosity of your images, so that there is an aesthetic cohesion, and to add a style of color to the whole piece. The most used software for this is Davinci Resolve. In Cadiz, my secret, however, Etalonamos inside Premiere using the effects Lumetri and Magic Bullet.
It’s really complicated to etalonar well, so if you don’t master this technique, we recommend that you delegate to someone with more experience. You don’t want your video to have good colors after all this effort.
And finally the audio mix. You have the music, maybe voiceover, and sound effects. Now you have to make sure that the levels are correct and the appropriate mix. We did it also using Premiere. Again, if you don’t look very shower in these terms and you know someone with more knowledge, ask for a little help. On the Internet you will find many tutorials, such as this one.
And that’s it. We hope you’ve been helpful. Travel, record, ride and be happy.