12 tips for making better Motorcycle Adventure Videos

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Motorcycle Adventure Videos

12 tips on how to make yours better

Seems like everyone is a videographer these days. With the advent of YouTube and HD cameras at affordable prices everyone is jumping in and making movies of their rides.

For the most part they can be fairly boring. Without editing skills, hours and hours of one camera, no-edit videos are hitting the web to bore anyone who will sit through them.

We went to a professional video editor to get his take and advice on how to make better videos for use on the internet. Rotciv Oediv is a motorcyclist and fourth generation Russian filmmaker and videographer currently working freelance. His great grandfather worked alongside Sergei Eisenstein during the editing of the Battleship Potemkin in 1925 and the rest is history…

Here's what Rotciv has to share:

  1. Write a simple treatment – There is no reason to write a script per say, simply take a piece of paper and make three columns. In the first column number each part of what you want the final video to look like, before you ever leave for the ride. In the column next to that describe the camera and still photos you'll want to include for the respective part. In the third column list any narration or music you'll want to insert. This will make your final editing go much faster and make your entire product better as a whole.

    Of course, your treatment will change as things happen along the ride and you can update it before editing.

    Be sure to read all twelve of these tips before you scrawl out your first treatment.

  2. Capture the situation – It seems like few motorcycle rides go by without some unplanned scenario happening. Capture it. A flat tire, breakdown, navigational error or otherwise. Insert it into your video to show the viewer you didn't just go for a planned motorcycle ride.

  3. Use multiple cameras – Your GoPro helmet cam should be just one camera of two or three you have along. You can also carry a more portable camera that will allow you a lens difference. You can even use a phone cam to add to the variations. A simple pocket cam mounted to your handle bar can be very useful if you spot wildlife or other things along the way that you might stop to look at. The handlebars function very nicely as a tripod.

    Remember, you just want to post your experience on YouTube or some other online source. This isn't going to be a Discovery Channel documentary.

  4. Try for multiple angles – If the only moving video you have is from a helmet cam mounted to the top of your head, the video will become very boring very fast. Try moving the camera to different places on your bike to change the angle, then edit the various angles together back in your digital editing studio. Make an effort to get off the bike and capture riders coming toward you and going past you. If you are shooting a situational moment, such as repairing a flat tire, interview the rider and use a few different angles to do so.

  5. Use a tripod – When you are not on the bike, use a tripod to film. No one wants to watch a video guided by your shaky hand. It makes them feel seasick!

  6. Add some Interview – Riding motorcycles is a lot of fun, taking trips on them with others is a lot of fun too. Take some time with others in the group to interview them about their experience so you can share the highlights with the viewer. And if your camera's built in microphone is noisy or crummy, get an external one. Preferably one you can mount to the person you are interviewing so the voice is clear and well defined.

    Now that you have all your video shot, let's move into the digital editing room …

  7. Keep it under 5 Minutes – When the internet was invented it didn't come with extra time in the day. Humans only have 24 hours in the day no matter how fast technology flies. So keep your video under 5 minutes and use the techniques here to make it all fit in that amount of time.

  8. 10 seconds per edit MAX! – No edit in your video should be longer than 10 seconds, not 10 minutes. Keep your edits short or you will loose the viewers' attention and the video will immediately become uninteresting. Only the great directors can make longer edits that are compelling. You are not Alfred Hitchcock (Rope), or Francis Ford Coppola (opening sequence One from the Heart) and you never will be, so edit, edit, edit and keep each one short.

  9. Add some narration – Help us understand more about your ride and the adventure you had by adding some narration to the video. Of course we don't all sound like great announcers, but something is better than nothing. If you have a friend with a good speaking voice, call them in.

    You could also add some subtitles in places you think they may help, just remember they can degrade during MPEG compression when you upload them to wherever the video service.

  10. Include some still images – On many adventures, people are snapping still photographs in addition to taking video. Use a few stills in your video the way Ken Burns does in his documentaries to break up the monotony of moving video and add a different texture to your piece.

  11. Add a little music – Everyone is so scared about putting music in their video because YouTube or someone might shut it down. Use your search engine to locate "Free Royalty Free Music" and add music to your heart's desire.

  12. Allow 1 hour of editing per each minute you publish – To make a good video you'll need to volunteer about 1 hour per minute you plan to publish, minimum.

So there you have it. Go make a great video and email us the link when it's done.

Rotciv Oediv/Fall 11

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