Capturing the Essence: Tips for Creating a Memorable Indie Travel Documentary

how to create a good travel video

Are you an aspiring film-maker with a passion for travel? Indie travel documentaries are popular because they don’t try to sell anything to the viewer. The purpose of these films is to inspire viewers to travel or teach them more about a country’s culture.

Tips for Creating a Memorable Indie Travel Documentary

So, if you’re looking for a way to reach into the depths of your viewers' emotions, there are elements you need to consider for your travel documentary. As an independent film-maker, you have the freedom of creativity to produce a memorable film that will captivate your audience. Here’s how you can get started on your indie travel documentary.

#1. Know Your Story Well!

An excellent travel story starts with a question and comes to an answer at the end of the documentary. For example, if your documentary features Australia, you can approach the film from various angles like what language the locals speak, what their traditions are, or the food they eat. Each scene should work towards answering a particular question and provide new and exciting details to keep the viewer engaged. Knowing the message you want to convey will help you stay focused and allow you to only film relevant scenes. This will also save you time on editing.

#2. Get to Know Your Camera!

Whether you’re recording or taking pictures for your travel documentary, it’s imperative that you know how to operate your camera. If you don’t know how to work your camera, you may miss important moments or scenes because of technical difficulties.

how to make a travel video

Test your camera before starting your documentary, and make sure you can record or capture images in low light conditions and various weather conditions. It’s also recommended that you take many pictures along your journey so you can showcase them on social media when marketing your travel documentary. Look at high quality stock footage to see how other film-makers have captured their travel content so you can draw inspiration from them.

#3. Show Your Story Unfolding!

Viewers will be more interested in your travel documentary if you show the story unfolding as opposed to telling the story. Your audience may not be able to picture landscapes or scenes if you’re trying to explain what they look like. They want to see real-life experiences in travel documentaries. Furthermore, you’ll also need to show characters in your documentary. If you don’t have a team, the character will be you. Practice getting comfortable in front of a camera so you can narrate your experiences as you travel.

#4. Experiment with Unique Camera Angles!

Although you can draw inspiration from other indie travel documentaries, you want your film to be unique when it comes to the visual aspect of your footage. Consider using a drone with a high-quality camera to capture a bird’s eye view of an open plain. Drones are also perfect for recording footage of places that you can’t get to safely.

how to make a good travel video

Using different camera angles adds depth and dimension to your travel documentary. Various points of view will help you capture the natural beauty and unique features of the place you’re exploring.

#5. Connect With the Right People Through Networking!

Although you’re making an independent documentary without the assistance of a production company, you may still need others to help with your project. For instance, a cameraman can be helpful when interviewing locals, and an editor can piece your story together. You can connect with the right people by going through various network channels. Professionals in the film industry can give you proper recommendations that will help you make a winning travel documentary. Through networking, you can connect with like-minded people who have a passion for travel and film-making.

#6. Learn How to Conduct Interviews!

Indie travel documentaries don’t only show the viewer what a place looks like but they can also be a way for people to learn from the locals that live there. As an independent film-maker, you must learn everything there is to know about interviewing people.

how to create a travel video

Before travelling to your destination, conduct research on the locals so you can remain respectful. Learn how to ask questions that will teach the viewer facts about the place you’re exploring. Write down your questions so you don’t forget them when conducting an interview in your documentary.

Wrap Up: How to Create a Memorable Indie Travel Documentary

Creating an indie travel documentary can be a challenge because you have to do all the preparations, editing, and funding of the film yourself. However, you also have the creative freedom to produce a travel documentary you believe will draw in a large audience. Consider the tips in this post to help you along your journey.

What about you, how do you make your own travel videos? Feel free to share any tips & advice below!

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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