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Vacation Filming Advice

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Kell Hymer
Vacation Filming Advice
on Oct 9, 2014 at 7:22:53 pm

Hi All!

I need some advice and I have been impressed with the Sony Vegas gurus here. I know Vegas is used for post production but I imagine many users here do their own filming in addition to post production. Some preliminary info: Videography and post production work is a hobby for me; I am not a professional. Most of my experience has been turning family videos and photos into nice video presentations. I use Sony Vegas Pro to edit/spice up videos and then Photoshop to design the Blu-Ray disc artwork. It is a little over the top for home videos, but I enjoy it and the family loves it!

We are leaving in just about 2 weeks for a vacation to Cambodia and Vietnam. I am bringing a GoPro camera with plenty of accessories and 4x64GB memory cards with the intent to shoot mostly in 1080p at 30 and 60fps. I want to get some wicked awesome footage so that I have plenty of great material to use in post. Unfortunately, I have almost zero experience filming, let alone doing it while on the move and without severely holding everyone else up. I am looking for advice for shots/angles, and any other tricks to help make the video varied and interesting. I also am curious as to how to identify a potentially good shot. While we will not be in big tour groups, I need to be able to do stuff on the fly as we will be on a tight schedule. We will visit the Angkor temples, Ho Chi Minh City, and spend 3 days on a small boat cruise in Ha Long bay.

Any input is appreciated!


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Scott Francis
Re: Vacation Filming Advice
on Oct 9, 2014 at 9:29:31 pm

What TYPE of footage are you shooting? Depending on what you are shooting will help us help you with ideas and such. The list of places really doesn't tell us what is there that will be filmed...

Thanks

Xavier (Scott) Francis
Mind's Eye Audio/Video Productions


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Kell Hymer
Re: Vacation Filming Advice
on Oct 10, 2014 at 12:20:26 am

Thanks for the reply. Ok, so I will be filming various things such as scenery, inside and outside of the ancient Cambodian Angkor temples, the street markets and sights in Ho Chi Minh City (day and night), and from a boat in Ha Long bay. I will also snorkel in Ha Long and will get some underwater footage. I just don't want everything to be POV and typical vacation footage where I follow everyone around and give a monologue about where we are and what we are doing. I want the filming to tell the story so to speak. For example, I have seen where someone places a camera at ground level and films just people feet as they walk by or simply filming the street signs or street lights changing. These otherwise boring shots break up the footage and make it more interesting when added to the film to break up scenes. These are the kind of tips and tricks I am looking for or anything else that would add variance to the video to keep it interesting.


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Orlando Diaz
Re: Vacation Filming Advice
on Oct 10, 2014 at 2:05:34 am
Last Edited By Orlando Diaz on Oct 10, 2014 at 2:11:41 am

What your wanting to accomplish is much the same for myself. Though I've learned a lot of the technical side of video and post editing, my cinematic prowess is lacking.
I try to watch lots of videos made by others to get ideas but they don't always translate correctly when I attempt them myself. In many was it's simply a talent but one that I fell can be learned to an extant through lots of practice and experimentation.

I started filming underwater when scuba diving and now I'm beginning to turn it to top side as well. A fellow diver who does the same starting producing some very good vacation videos while on his trips. He stated that what made a big impact on his style of filming was a book called "How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck". He uses a GoPro and came up with some really cool, entertaining stuff.

I've been meaning to give this book a read myself. It couldn't hurt.

Edit: I just bought it for my tablet so here I go.


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Kell Hymer
Re: Vacation Filming Advice
on Oct 10, 2014 at 4:58:34 am
Last Edited By Kell Hymer on Oct 10, 2014 at 1:57:33 pm

Thanks! I am looking the book up now.

Update: just bought the book and it seems like a great practical guide. So far it has quantified the things that keeps a video interesting that would otherwise be hard to pick up on just by watching films/TV.


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Nigel O'Neill
Re: Vacation Filming Advice
on Oct 11, 2014 at 1:16:24 am

[Orlando Diaz] "I try to watch lots of videos made by others to get ideas"

Kell, that's pretty much what I do. I watch what others do, plus watch documentaries. You will notice that in addition to the usual set shots, they do a lot of cutaway shots, close ups, dutch angles, pans and wide shots to introduce variety. They don't need to be super long, but you do need to hold the shot for at least 5 seconds to be useful in the edit. I was also video the signage, plaques, arch ways and things that identify the location. If sound is going to be important to you, make sure you have a decent mic with some sort of dead cat to block out wind noise.

If there is a travelling companion who is taking still shots, you can also integrate them into your edit.

My system specs: Intel i7 970, 12GB RAM, ASUS P6T, Vegas Pro 12 (x64), Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, Vegas Production Assistant 1.0, VASST Ultimate S Pro 4.1, Neat Video Pro 2.6


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Kell Hymer
Re: Vacation Filming Advice
on Oct 11, 2014 at 5:34:11 am

Awesome info Nigel. Thank you! I am googling some of these shots now to learn about them. Unfortunately I am going to have to stick with the GoPro audio as I have no audio gear yet. I may buy a mic after the trip and do a number of test videos to learn to be proficient using the GoPro and mic quickly and effectively.


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Nigel O'Neill
Re: Vacation Filming Advice
on Oct 11, 2014 at 12:01:40 pm

Other handy hints:

Take a small bean bag with you to place the camera on for shooting when you are in a moving vehicle or perhaps even when you are walking. The bag absorbs small bumps and shakes.

A mini tripod or gorilla pod might be handy to have around for those shots where you want to use a tripod but don't want to carry around too much equipment. You even set it up so that you are in the shot occasionally :-).

I would experiment with these before the trip.

My system specs: Intel i7 970, 12GB RAM, ASUS P6T, Vegas Pro 12 (x64), Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, Vegas Production Assistant 1.0, VASST Ultimate S Pro 4.1, Neat Video Pro 2.6


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Scott Francis
Re: Vacation Filming Advice
on Oct 13, 2014 at 4:21:21 pm

There are a large number of mounts that GOPRO has that can REALLY add to your creativity as well. I purchased a ton on EBAY in several packs that are really cool.
I find POV view can me cool, also setting up the camera at various angles that are not common POV for people to see from. Waist height, on the ground, dutch angles from in a tree limb crook. If you are going places that have low walls, or big enough holes in a wall with rock or something, putting the GP in there may be cool. Also, if if get the clip mount, you can attach it to about anything that is 1.5" or thinner, which could be a tree branch or table, etc.

Gopros are really good for that, however they have like NO DOF and the fisheye view can be odd at times. I would be sure to use the WIFI app which can help you to get a view of what you are shooting from your smartphone. Also take a TON of batteries and a portable charger too with the proper electrical connections for the country you will be in.

As those above have mentioned, WATCH, WATCH WATCH to get ideas, and use your creativity!!!

Have a great trip!

Best

Xavier (Scott) Francis
Mind's Eye Audio/Video Productions


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Kell Hymer
Re: Vacation Filming Advice
on Oct 14, 2014 at 5:29:05 am

Thanks All for the advice! I have bought a number of accessories so I should be able to mount the GoPro almost anywhere. I have 5 batteries, 4X 64GB memory cards (Sandisk Extreme Plus and Lexar 633x). I am even bringing a battery pack to charge on the go. I have found that Vegas can remove the fisheye effect without a problem. I am just debating if I will film in 1080p or higher resolution. The higher res will allow me to stabilize shaky video in post at the expense of storage space.

Current System: Intel i7 3820 | Asus P9X79 Deluxe | Nvidia Quadro 4000 & 2000 | OCZ Revo 480 GB PCI Express SSD | Windows 7 64 bit | Vegas Pro 12 (64)


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