It’s finally here, the three-day weekend you’ve been looking forward to for months; you’ve had the bike ready in the garage for weeks, with a fresh oil change and lubed chain, and your camera gear is neatly packed to film the weekend ride.
But, after all of his planning, this Weekend Warrior hasn’t decided where to begin shooting, what the trip will be about, who will watch the footage, or even how to edit it.
Starting a journey is one thing, but having the knowledge, expertise, and creativity to create a video that you and others can enjoy is a challenge that many of us face and prevent us from even attempting.
I’m going to share my secrets and tips on how to make an amazing, entertaining, and fascinating motorcycle travel video that people would want to watch with you as a YouTube content creator with over 23 million views on my motorcycle trips and videos.
Storytelling – Every storey has a beginning, middle, and end, and you’ll need to use this structure to find a core concept, meaning, or message to convey to your audience in a memorable way.
People are fascinated by the human experience and what happens next, and they want to be amused when you show them rather than tell them about it.
My recommendation is to find something amusing to show, such as your struggle to change a tyre or that interesting character you met at the gas station; the key is to keep it easy.
Camera Equipment – There’s no reason not to film your trip these days, and you don’t need expensive equipment to do so, but you should be learning and improving at the same time.
At the start, your phone will take excellent video and photos; the next move is to invest in an action sports camera, such as a GoPro, which you can instal anywhere on the bike and on yourself. If you are vlogging on phone, get the best mount for your bike to record videos.
Don’t forget the sound is always overlooked, so a microphone upgrade should come next, followed by a point and shoot camera, then a DLSR, and eventually, if you’re brave enough, a drone.
The main concept is gold, not the camera equipment; note that most people can watch your online video on a mobile device anyway, so don’t waste money on costly 4K cameras or drones that take up space and need training.
What to Film- When shooting a motorcycle adventure, the most critical strategy is to not necessarily strap your action camera to your helmet and record the same angle for 12 hours. Remember that you’re trying to tell an interesting storey from various points of view.
This may mean getting off the bike and putting the camera on a tripod or the ground as you drive by, keeping the camera out in a selfie manner as you look through the lens and speak your mind or current condition to those watching, mounting it to your windscreen and other unusual places, or simply shooting B footage to fill in time or set the scene in your final video. You’ll have to play as you go through the filming process to find the best angles and techniques for you.
Editing- If editing is your weak point, don’t worry; you’re not alone; it’s probably the most complicated method of them all. There are two approaches to photography: “shoot to edit” and “shoot to show.”
Shooting to edit entails thinking like an editor while shooting, filming from various angles, close-ups, and varying the final product. When you have little or no time to edit, such as when you’re a run-and-gun news camera operator whose sole aim is to have little to no editing to do after the shoot is over, you’re shooting to record.
Don’t want to waste money on costly editing software? Free 30-day trials are available for video editing programmes such as Premier Pro, Corel, Vegas Studio, Final Cut, and even completely free video editing programmes such as imovie, Windows Movie Maker, Davinci, and GoPro Studio. If you don’t know how to use them, you can learn by searching for free classes and tutorials for each programme on YouTube or Google.
If you don’t want to edit your video yourself, there are programmes you can employ to do it for you for a fee, or you can hire a film student from your local film school or a freelancer from Craigslist.
The best solution to your editing problems are applications for your devices, such as Quik for Android or Splice for iOS, where you upload all of your clips and the app analyses, selects the best moments, and generates a short or long format video synchonorchized to the rhythm of your choice’s album. You can do a lot of customising in these apps to further polish your video, and it’s a lot of fun!
Keep in mind that any mission, adventure, or solution starts with the first step, which many of us are afraid to take. But if you follow these four steps, you’ll have the strategies, theory, equipment, and information you need to start documenting your weekend adventure while still making it a fun experience with the potential to create a piece of art that you and others will want to watch and experience!