Solo Euroasia bicycle tour – How to film it?

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    • #37595

      Hi All

      I am new to video making and I dont even have my first camera yet (bought a Canon HFS10, in transit).

      I am about to start my bicycle tour on the 11th Aug, it will be from Beijing to Amsterdam via Silkroute, central Asia, Iran, Turkey, Mediterranean coast, France.

      Obviously I need some advice about how to make a good video, or documentary, I dont even know where to start, I searched youtube butthe effort was in vain, I think I have keyed irrelevant keywords.

      Can someone please help?

      Thank you for your time.


    • #166736

      Wow! Big trip! Filmming your own trip is quite hard because you have to do a trip at the same time. I will be filming my trip to Nova Scotia in a few weeks…

      You will be alone right? That makes things a bit more complicated. You won’t be able to get shots of yourself biking unless you waste your time setting a tripod. (this could be done a few times) You might want to buy a helmet cam or set up your camera on your bike. These shot can get boring after a while so try to concetrate on your other activities. Visiting, eating, sleeping, your daily pains… etc.

      To make the video more interesting, it would be cool to have an animated map to see your progression. You can add some fades to show the map and yourself at the same time.

      An important thing for a trip like this is to plan your video. What’s the final lenght? That makes how many minutes per day? At the beginning of each day, you can recordyourself saying “Day 1” or “Day 2” etc so you won’t be confused when you edit. You can also label each day with a subtitle. What editing software will you use? You will need a bit more than the basics to edit your video…

      Hope that clears things a bit. Good luck,

      <span style=”white-space: pre;”> </span>Antoine

    • #166737

      Hi The Shooter.

      Yes, I will be travelling alone

      and Iwill be travelling with a tripod and a quikpod, which you can setup the camera on a stick and hold the stick with your hand, the camera will beabout 600mm to 900mm away from you….

      I have not thoughtabout the final length, I suppose that will be post production? I havnt even thought about the subtitle thing yet…

      I might get one of those video camera mount which clamps onto the bikes handlebar instead of the helmet mount cos it sounds like another equipment require $$

      Thanks again!


    • #166738

      Hey Online,

      You’ll need two to three really inexpensive cameras, two mounts (1 for your helmet, 1 for handle bars) and a really lightweight tripod. I also recommend shooting it on tape merely because it will be more accessable to pick up tape on the road. If you’re truly ambitious bring a laptop that you can do basic editing on as you’ll want to digitize your footage as you go. Shooter’s right, as you will need to do some setup shots of you coming and going. The handle bar mount will allow you to point the camera at you while riding if you desire to give active narration and you’ll be able to turn it to the road ahead and so on to break things up. having a helmet mount is good but remember you’re going to be moving your head a lot. Use the tripod for your set up shots. To get a good feel of how to do this, check out ‘Survivorman’ on Discovery Channel. Les Stroud has mastered the technique of shooting and ‘performing’ simultaneously.

      Don’t be afraid to use gaffer’s tape (not Duct or Gorilla tape) to mount stuff on the quick. Gaffer’s tape is a little bit more expensive, but it won’t pull anything apart or leave that hard to get rid of super-sticky residue like Duct or Gorilla tape does.

      Another reason you’ll want to use tape, solid-state media is great but you get to some countries and customs will give you a hard enough time with your cameras. The last thing you want is to have your flash cards ‘confiscated’ for whatever reason gets dreamed up. Make sure whatever gear you take with you, won’t cause you any real grief if it gets lost, stolen or taken by public officials.

    • #166739

      Good ideas composite.

    • #166740

      Hi Composite

      Thanks for your input, I am taking my laptop with me but I dont think I have time to do the editing on the way, will be too busy riding and writing the journal.

      you are absolutely right about the Solid state drive anduse of thetape. having thefootageconfiscated is a total disaster. but I have reasons not to use tape, mostly due to the storage…

      Why do I need more than one camera to shoot some footage? I am just an amateur here…. I am yet to receive my first camera too…

      Thanks all.

    • #166741

      One camera, one accident, one expense, setback and even a well-planned documentary video goes away. Primarily composite is noting that in the way of camera, power, media, availability and redundancy of backup is important to the success of the effort. Accidents can and will, and do happen.

      A LOT of good stuff has been brought to focus here. I only add the following from the perspective of a jealous fellow video producer who CRAVES being able to do special documentaries or travelogues, but I just don’t see it happening in my remaining lifetime. Ah well, there’s plenty more to do with video – I’ll get by.

      If I were blessed with such an opportunity I’d (as I am sure you have) map out my journey and know where I am going, what I am going to see and perhaps pin down an underlying topic string that can carry throughout my trip. Harking back to redundant backup mentioned earlier, I’d also make it a habbit and plan a way to back up copies of my media (tape, SDHC whatever) upon acquiring specific footage, or especially priceless accidental GREAT stuff, then make it a point to ship either the originals or digital duplicates to where I want them to go. Things can still happen to that stuff, or go wrong, or whatever, but at least you stand half a chance of having your hard-fought footage available upon your return to edit. One tape, one card, lost, destroyed, confiscated or somehow trashed and again the tears will flow.

      Back to knowing where I’m going, where I plan to be at any given time, the things I want to collect on footage, I would plan a shot sheet, make notes and keep that diary or journal (or journals – one for writing, one for video planning & narrative concepts, ideas and facts) with me at all times. I would be the type as well to either do carbon copy, or double up on the writing and ship that home along with my daily video footage.

      I would want to get the scenics, the specifics, the moving elements, the stand and pans, as well as the bike footage, perhaps even incorporate the assistance of friendlies along the way to help me get a few feet of me in situ, to include in the finished production. Also, another thing I would do is set aside specific times and moments to set up the camera/tripod and reviewing my notes, or speaking in the moment, or extemporaneously do daily, or twice daily on camera narratives that will be invaluable to me in post.

      Just a jumble of thoughts about what I, as an independent professional video services provider who YEARNS to do documentaries, would do if I were to have the opportunity to do something like this. Good luck. Hope we hear about it when all is said and done, and that you have every possible success, safety and good experience.

    • #166742

      Thanks EarlC,Your thoughts and commentswere extremely helpful, I now have a better idea, know what to prepare and I guess I will just need to practice my video taking techniques

      I might get in trouble with carrying more than 1 camcorder as I am going through Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran, I have read other travellers journal about being harassed by police in Uzbekistan. They might get suspicious when I cross the border, I will definitely burn the footage onto a CD and sent them homewhen there is a internet cafe available.

      Thanks again!

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