videos

Editing your Architectural Travel Film

ICA Travel FilmLast week we covered tips on making a travel film, now we will cover how to edit all those short video clips and make a travel film.  Before you get a head of yourself and just dive into making your travel movie the following are some tips to ensure your movie is as interesting to others as it is to you.

Likely you have all the software you need already on your computer. Software such as iMovie (Mac Computers) and Windows Movie (PC Computers) will stich together individual videos, add music or other sounds and add credits. Open Shot and Light Works are alternate software options.  However consider the following tips before you get started.

Plan

Plan your movie by choosing the theme. There are a number of themes or methods to structure your movie for example your movie can be about one building and it can be set up to duplicate your experience or it can be a compilation of projects in the same city or by the same architect. You could make a series of short movies, each focusing on a different building typology. A long movie can be short snap shots of each building you visited in chronological order. The themes are endless, be creative.

Timeline / Storyboard

Make a timeline and/or storyboard. This sounds cumbersome and overkill however it can be a really basic doodle or point form notes but having a plan will save time in the long run and ensure you are making a concise movie that tells a story and is not just random video clips stitched together.

Movie Length

Determine how long your movie will be before you start. It is advisable to try and keep it under five minutes if you want to send and share your movie online so the file size is still manageable. Deciding the length of the movie also helps know how much to edit and whether you have enough video footage.

Music

Trying adding music to your movie, perhaps a song from the region you traveled or a song you listened to while traveling. Another possibility is to narrate the movie yourself so you are able to speak to the footage with stories or interesting facts. This is another reason why determining the movie length is coordinated to a certain song or narrative.

Narrate

If you like the idea of narrating you can take it a step further and add yourself to the movie by adding clips of yourself explaining the projects or sharing a story of your adventure between your travel footage. This is a great way to be included in the movie since you are normally behind the camera.

Edit

Edit your travel videos. In film production there is a “10 second rule” which means that every 10 seconds something interesting should happen. Any shaky or blurry footage should be cut out and scenes that are boring should be reduced. Try to keep the video concise and interesting for your viewers.

Compress

To make your movie ready to share on social media for a DVD, for your travel blog or sharing it online compress your movie file and name it clearly.

Practice Practice Practice

Lastly, things always look easier than they are so practice.

 

Here is my first attempt at making a travel film, I definitely need more practice.

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Creating an Architectural Travel Film

Create your own travel movie from all your video clips to share is easier than you may think. Video can be the most amazing way to capture, relive and share your architectural experiences. There are a few advantages of video over photography such as the obvious sound, but video also replicates movement and time very differently than photography because it is capable of capturing what comes before and after. When visiting and documenting architecture although the subject matter is likely static the viewer is not and some buildings truly unfold and develop as you move through them, video is a perfect way to capture these experiences.

For the amateur film maker, like myself, your DSLR or point and shoot camera will have a video mode and that will be good enough.

Part 4 - Videos

Here are some tips on how to create your travel videos:

The idea

Have an idea of what you want your travel video(s) to be, for example do you want to create a series of videos of different architectural projects or will you compile a series of short snap shots of different buildings. Your video can take on themes similar to photography:

  • easily recognizable,
  • very objective
  • experimental,
  • detail based
  • snap shot of for comparison,
  • a story
  • artsy

Be sure your video has a beginning, middle and end.

Tripod

Use a tripod when possible, unlike still photography where shutter speeds can be increased to prevent blurry photos a video may be harder to prevent shaky footage. Many times a tripod is not permitted in public buildings so try to keep this in mind and use similar techniques for holding your camera as covered in the photography section.

10 second rule

In film production there is a “10 second rule” which means that every 10 seconds something interesting should happen. When filming architecture it may be difficult to get action is every scene. If your scene is uneventful you can edit the shot in post-production but at least you will have enough footage if you choose to add a fade or narration. An easy way to add action in your architectural film is to include people, they will give scale and show interaction with the space, also use light, the sun moves, and a long video can be speed up in post-production and be very dynamic.

Variety

It is a good idea to vary your scenes; this will keep it interesting and add interest to your travel movie. Try to capture less common vantage points, film the details and overall shots, ensure you have a variety of camera angles such as shooting low and high, on the side or on an angle. Remember, as per photography architecture reads better when photographed and filmed at chest height. All of this variety will help tell the story and keep your viewers interested.

Avoid

Try to avoid zooming in and out which will appear amateur and avoid panning your camera without a tripod since it will be very difficult to do it without shaking.

Separate audio

If you intend on using the audio captured in situ try to use separate audio devise such as your smart phone or tape recorder and leave the recorder running longer. This will let you match the studio to the edited video separately allowing you more control over the sound and no choppy sound bits. Ie: city traffic, people talking, religious chanting etc.

Equipment

Keep in mind that video will use up more space on your memory card and require more battery. It is recommended you buy an extra good quality memory card (they are not all created equal) and test the life of your battery, perhaps investing in an additional battery.

Observe

Pay attention when you are watching movies and film, there is architecture in most of them; notice how the camera angles are setup how the building is presented even if it is a backdrop. Often we do not notice the nuances of a craft until we try it ourselves.

This all sounds like a lot of work while in situ however a few seconds of film here and there can make for a fantastic short video but I would recommend some practicing at home or around your neighbourhood the first few times to become familiar with video if it is new to you.

Editing your Travel Film Blog post coming soon…