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Need Filming Ideas for Southeast Asian Vacation

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Kell HymerNeed Filming Ideas for Southeast Asian Vacation
by on Oct 9, 2014 at 5:36:32 pm

Hi All!

I need some advice and it looks like the Event Videographers forum would be a great place to start. 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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Mark SuszkoRe: Need Filming Ideas for Southeast Asian Vacation
by on Oct 10, 2014 at 4:43:18 pm

Look to shoot a mix of wide establishing shots, medium and closeup shots. Think about reverse-angles and try not to just shoot the people in your party from behind of the side; get ahead of them and shoot them coming towards the camera. Keep an eye out for very tiny things that could be shot in extreme closeup, that set a mood or hint at an activity or location, something...iconic, like a hand-made crafted object in a market, that stands in for the marketplace as a whole. Tiny creatures, unfamiliar bugs and beasties. Trucks and Cars you don't have back home. Details of motorcycles and bikes. Aspects oh houses and businesses, parks and gardens and temples. Contrasting the tiny scene-setters against the wider shots will look great and help tell a story. Biggest mistakes amateurs make include "tromboning" zooms: (constantly zooming in and out) or panning too much and too fast. Use tripods or a monopod or any handy flat surface to place a camera, frame a shot, then LEAVE IT ALONE for at least ten seconds, preferably a minute. Where the sounds are unique, roll a long time on a time-lapse-like shot, to capture that audio. Think in terms of story: you need establishing shots to tell the beginning, action from various angles for the middle, and something for the end that sums up or wraps up the story.

Pack a tiny "gorilla pod" mini tripod that can attach to many surfaces for one of the go pros. Have a hiking stick or umbrella or cane fitted with a mounting screw, maybe several, to act as a monopod, where tripods are too much. The monopod/hiking stick could also hold a gopro at arm's length so you can take video POV "'selfies" with you in the shots as well.

Recruit one helper to shoot with a separate go pro/video camera from the opposite side of your group to get more b-roll and cut-away/reversal shots. And then you'll be in more of the footage as well.


Not all great shots happen at eye level: think about occasionally shooting from very low angles or high ones, looking down on action from above.

Look up and use the Rule Of Thirds in composing your shots. Not every shot needs to be framed dead-center.

Play with rack-focus shots, changing the point of focus from near object to distant background, and back again.

Shoot some sky/clouds/stars/sunsets/rises/moon. Also waves, trees in wind, traffic. These are mood setters and connecting link footage.


No raw shot should be shorter than six seconds. Count out six seconds before you make a camera move like a pan or zoom, then count another six to ten seconds when the move stops, and just keep running in the framed shot a bit longer.

Don't forget to put the gear aside sometimes, be present in the moment and just enjoy the trip from time to time, and don't spend every minute on the job as cameraman, hoping you can catch up what you didn't experience by playing it back later.


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Kell HymerRe: Need Filming Ideas for Southeast Asian Vacation
by on Oct 11, 2014 at 5:39:15 am

Thanks Mark! I have been paying attention to videos/TV now and seeing how film is used. Most shots really are short!


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Graham TeesRe: Need Filming Ideas for Southeast Asian Vacation
by on Oct 11, 2014 at 5:53:59 am

That was brilliant advice from Mark, and this section is really great:

Quote; "Don't forget to put the gear aside sometimes, be present in the moment and just enjoy the trip from time to time, and don't spend every minute on the job as cameraman, hoping you can catch up what you didn't experience by playing it back later."

This is so true - you can get so wrapped up in filming that you miss a lot of the atmosphere of the experience. Step back "and just smell the roses sometimes".


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Kell HymerRe: Need Filming Ideas for Southeast Asian Vacation
by on Oct 14, 2014 at 5:31:59 am

Thanks for the advice. My wife told me I better not hold everyone up lol. I am not Vietnamese, but I speak a fair amount of it so this trip will be fun as I have never been to Vietnam or Cambodia. I would love to get spectacular camera shots, but I will also likely get a bunch of POV or "selfie" angles with an extension rod so that I can focus on having fun too.

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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Kell HymerRe: Need Filming Ideas for Southeast Asian Vacation
by on Nov 3, 2014 at 10:10:06 pm

Hi All,

Thanks again for the advice! I got almost 125GB of video and photo. The trip was amazing! I was unable to get all of the various shot types i wanted as I only had one camera and myself for filming and I did not want to leave the camera unattended in urban areas. After using some stabilization software, the footage should be spectacular though.

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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