Tips for filming a road trip video

I recently went on a week long road trip around Ireland - Just me, my girlfriend and my sister's car. We had an excellent time (thanks for asking) and from the moment we started planning the trip I had already decided that a video would come out of it.

I decided not to overthink things at all so I didn't put much thought into the video other than it would be entirely shot on the GoPro. This was mainly due to its size and portability, but I will get back to that later.

Anyway, over a week of driving and around 4 hours of footage later, we made this:

It's a little rough around the edges but I'm really happy with the finished result. From this experience I definitely learned a lot and I'm keen to share as much as I can with you.

Bring spare storage

Okay, rookie error number 1 - I only had one SD card for my GoPro. I wiped it before the trip so I was ecstatic to see over 4 hours of recording time before beginning. As time went on that number rapidly dropped. Early in the trip I was recording 15 minute time-lapses of us driving through the Irish countrysides.

Had I thought ahead a little I would have purchased a second SD card for the trip but instead we spent some time deleting clips we didn't think would make it into the edit to save room.

So basically I am saying bring spares, even if you don't use them.

Travel light

I know I just said to bring spares, but that's not to say you should bring spares of everything. I highly recommend to travel light and travel comfortably. 

The GoPro is such a small camera that carrying it around all day in my bag was perfectly fine for me. Had I brought my Canon 7D, I know I would have been very aware of lugging it about a city all day.

Travelling light means that I was always keen to bring my camera, and keen to pull it out and film things as they happened.

Have fun with it

About 3 days into our trip we decided to make a little dancing video in a few locations that would later be edited into our video (as you may have seen above).

This really breathed fresh air into the constant filming and made us want to do more filming when we reached our next location.

Setting yourself little tasks like this to complete in each setting will really get the ball rolling on a daily basis - and loosen you up if you are doing plenty of driving like I was.

Creativity will overcome boredom

I became obsessed with trying new angles. One of my wisest decisions was buying a stick for the GoPro to reach high and get low. 

While it took me a little bit of time to get used to shoving a stick in the air to film, it resulted in a unique set of angles that wouldn't have been possible.

Be a team (if you're part of a team)

Sometimes it can be a little tough to film things alone. I found that when I was filming weddings and the same applies here.

As I was driving, my girlfriend was able to take the camera and have some fun with it, thus taking the burden from me a lot of the time. What I found was that watching someone else use your camera in an interesting way inspires you in return.

Whether they accidentally or intentionally put the camera in a new place, it reopens your mind to the possibilities of where to set your camera.

It's also nice to edit along with someone who experienced the trip as they will remember things that you forgot.

Watch your footage at the end of each day

We really loved spending a bit of time in the late evening of every day watching what we filmed that day.

This was good for us to laugh at, but it was also useful for me as the editor to plant an understanding of all the footage I had to play with. Editors often say you should watch all the footage twice before editing and I believe this daily review is that first watch.

Edit it fast

This is always my advice for editing. Edit it fast. By that I don't really mean you should only spend 10 minutes doing it, but instead I mean that you should not leave the footage on a hard drive for months before you look at it again.

If you get straight to the editing process (we did it within a week of getting home) you will remember every little gem of footage and make a great video. Waiting a long time may result in a rushed 'just to get it done' video.


Have you been on a road trip and made a video? Did you have any similar or unique experiences? I really would love to know!


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