How To Make Travel Videos That People Actually Watch

Published on June 12, 2018 by Chris

10 tips for how to make travel videos that are fun, informative, and entertaining. I often get asked how I make my travel videos, and I’ll be sharing my process. I’ll start with ideas, research, writing the script, filming, to ultimately editing and putting the video on Youtube. No discussion of drone shots here! Follow Yellow Productions on INSTAGRAM:

1 – Coming up with an idea
Starts with a trip — where am I going? What other videos have I made? Whats interesting at this destination? What else have people already done?
I have some “classic” themes, 10 things to know, cheap eats, how to ride public transit

If its an idea for a live stream — then its something I can talk about for an hour, and hopefully something that encourages dialogue.

2 – Research
To make an informative travel guide (or even just have a good trip) requires research. Youtube, Wikitravel, Blogs, trip advisor, Flyertalk, and even books. Rick Steves are my favorite for Europe. I put this all in to a few documents in Google Drive/Google Docs.

3 – Writing the “script”
Nobody wants to watch a constant stream of consciousness… it has to be a story. So this is where some more “thinking” comes in, as to how to weave whatever in to an interesting story, with a beginning, middle, and end. Even if it’s “10 cheap eats” or “10 things to know” — there has to be an order to those things.

Usually a bulleted list of notes.

Destinations I’ll put the name, address, “neighborhood”, Subway stop, website link. Sometimes pictures.

The things I really want to go to, I put in to Google Maps as a “star” or a “heart”

4 – Preparing equipment for the video

Camera, Batteries, More Batteries, Microphone, Lens Cleaner

2nd Camera? Go Pro? 360 Camera? External Audio Recorder? Lights?

Tripod, Gorillapod, Selfie Stick

5 – Prepping to roll on scene

Not always in order that you see it. And often not a flow in the same video. Might shoot one clip of one video, and another clip of another video back to back.

Review my notes before the scene.

Find a good angle where you can see me, and whatever I’m talking about, not noisy, OK lighting, won’t bug too many people, where can I put my tripod? Where won’t security hassle me.

Is the sun bad? Might have to come back at a different time of day

6 – Shooting the main scene

Lights, Camera, Action!

I try to pretend it’s a conversation, just with a piece of glass instead of a real person.

Often requires multiple takes. Might even redo the same blurb in different locations. Make sure audio was capture, and that it is understandable

Standing shots, Walking Shots, Walk on to the shot, Walk off the shot, Intros, Conclusions

Always make sure to get a few extra seconds of video at the beginning and at the end

7 – Shooting B Roll

This is the stuff I insert on top of me talking so it’s not always me.

Steady shots. Pan shots. Time lapse shots. Something that would be interesting. I always capture WAY more B-Roll than I use.

Sometimes this has to be as a picture, because pulling out my camcorder would be too noticeable.

8 – Downloading the video

So I come home, I transfer all the video off my camera, phone, etc. To 2 different computers that way I’ve always got a backup.

I generally use Sony/Magix Vegas for Windows. Or Final Cut Pro for mac if I’m traveling

Then I categorize all the video shot in to groups: topics/destinations, what video it will be in, scenic shots (B roll). Delete the stuff that just isn’t good.

9 – Let the editing begin!

10 – Render and upload


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