10 simple rules to film your next adventure like a pro

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I’ve just finished working on the adventure documentary ‘The Crossing’. It's about an expedition I did in the arctic a few years ago with Chris Bray. Without giving too much away, we tried to walk a thousand kilometres across Victoria Island when we were just 21 years old. After a couple of months we only made it a third of the way across before running low on food and the onset of winter. We returned three years later and finished the job. Making the film has been a steep learning curve, and I’m incredibly proud of the end result (you can watch a sneak peek of it here). Because I work in the film industry, and I also go on the occasional adventure, I get asked for filming tips quite a lot. To save you the pain of learning on the job, here are ten handy rules I use to film any adventure like a boss.

Transcript of 10 simple rules to film your next adventure like a pro

  • 10 SIMPLE RULES TO FILM YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE LIKE A PRO
  • 1. CHARACTERS ARE KING
  • It doesnt matter what the films about, it has to have interesting characters that the audience can care about.
  • 2. FILM LIKE NO-ONE WILL EVER WATCH IT
  • You can always choose what goes in or gets left out of your film, but you can never use it if you didnt film it.
  • 3. DONT SELF CENSOR
  • The audience arent stupid. They know if youre not being genuine. Just be yourself. I cant stress this enough.
  • 4. DONT CREATE DRAMA THAT ISNT THERE
  • Drama is a great tool to create a story arc in your film. Just dont try to film drama that simply doesnt exist. Honesty is key.
  • 5. GO THE EXTRA MILE
  • A little bit of effort every so often will make a huge impact on your film. One example of this could be adding a couple of hours to your day to walk to the top of a nearby hill and film a super wide shot of your team in the middle of a vast wilderness panorama.
  • 6. SHOOT ON THE RIGHT GEAR (not necessarily the BEST gear)
  • Sometimes the most appropriate equipment is not always the top of the line camera. Think about how youll be using it, what youll be filming, under what conditions, what constraints and choose accordingly.
  • 7. SHOOT OFTEN
  • Film consistently and in small bites. Lots of little shots each day add up to a lot of footage at the end of your trip. I try to average 15-20 minutes of footage a day (usually filming a few minutes at a time).
  • 8. SHOOT THE BAD STUFF
  • The worst times for you are the best times to film. Stop being a wuss and prolong the pain for an extra couple of minutes to get those shots youll be glad to have later.
  • 9. SHOOT SEQUENCES
  • Films are made up of sequences, not single shots. Theres no point filming something awesome if its not useable in the wider context of a film. Get wide, medium and close up shots from various angles, intros, outros and anything else to give your shots some context.
  • 10. BE SYSTEMATIC
  • Plan ahead and make a check list of shots you know youll need to get. This could be travelling shots, wildlife, daily chores and video diaries. After that its a simple matter of ticking off the list and then filming anything extra that happens along the way.
  • READ MORE AT www.AdventurePlaybook.com