Recently I have been tempted to take a course on MatadorU for Travel Video production. The main reason being is that I believe I can get better at this and the instruction at this website seems to be far above what many others seem to offer. However, it dawned on me that I probably didn’t even need to do this; I could in fact create my own video production course from freely available resources.
There is a plethora of excellent tutorials available on YouTube. Sure, you may have to wade through some of the bad channels to find some good examples from experienced people who know their craft. The channels I am going to point you to be what I consider to be some of the best around. Of course, I may have missed a few and if so please do let me know so I can add them to the list.
Now, of course you will not get the one on one feedback from a structured course but this should get you going to where you want to go. After you have practiced on your own you could then sign up for the MatadorU course to see how well you learned these concepts. The point that just about every channel and YouTuber seems to drive home is just use what you have available and not get bogged down by your lack of equipment or knowledge. Practice here is what seems to really make a good videographer above all else.
Below is a bunch of channels I have found useful in learning how to create better videos for just about any medium. You can translate this into your travel videos and also you could create a side business as a wedding photographer/videographer from what you may learn on these channels.
The folks at FilmRiot are pretty hilarious. Using humor as a tool to help you learn is something that many youtubers don’t seem to realize is highly effective. Since these are film makers they don’t necessarily use the same techniques you would see if you were to become a full time travel photographer/videographer.
However, if you plan on making your travel videos with some flair and some extra bit of effort you will learn quite a lot from this channel. The equipment that they are reviewing now will probably be out of your price range if you are just starting out, however, these tools are certainly aspirational and would add quite a bit to your videos and cinematography.
Ultimately when you are creating travel videos you want to tell a story. These people will help you do just that; you may even want to script out some scenes while you are out and about and see how that goes. I am going through this channel and I learn quite a bit from them every day. Each day I just watch one or two videos and take notes to expand on what I have already learned. Eventually, I will be able to put these tools and techniques into practice to make some pretty interesting videos.
Definitely check these people out if you have the chance, it is time well worth spending.
This is yet another youtube channel that has some interesting tidbits to learn about making better videos. Many of their more recent videos seem to be teasers for their own courses on film making. That is all fine and well but you will be able to find a few good things to learn from these folks.
Going deeper into this channel is certainly a learning experience. The videos teach you how to do basic film skills and should get you started on your way to making some compelling travel films. Clearly if you have had no knowledge in the past about these sorts of things you will learn a couple items with each video. If however you already have a degree in filmmaking then you may not learn quite as much, although you may pick up a trick here and there.
The manner in which this channel teaches is pretty standard and there is nothing wrong with that, being too funny is distracting after a while. Overall the content in this youtube channel is certainly worth a giving it a go and you will be able to expand on your knowledge of how to create the perfect shot no matter where you may be filming.
This is an interesting title to a very interesting youtube channel that supplies quite valuable information to those wishing to up their video production skills. Clearly, you can see that the tips and tricks he provides are going to come in handy regardless of the genre you wish to record. Basically, you could learn more from this channel and some of the other channels combined than you could if you went to professional film school.
As a disclaimer I never did go to a film school so I have no idea if that is an accurate assessment but it just sounds good. However, with the amount of free information supplied by these various channels I am curious as to why anyone would go to a film school other than networking as many of these video tutorials seem all you need to learn.
If you are into using DSLR cameras than this channel will come in very handy as some of the tips and tricks mentioned and shown in this channel can be used to make your videos look outstanding. Later on I really hope to show the efforts of my work and to prove that my film skills have improved.
The shots on this channel are beyond stunning. It is really fantastic work. That is why I listen to what the man has to say when he reviews products. Clearly, you can learn a lot from just watching his videos and seeing how they are edited together.
Product reviews on his channel are deep and show a depth of knowledge I really aspire to one day. It is apparent he puts a lot of effort into his craft and that is why you should subscribe and listen to what the man has to say on this subject.
Dave Dugdale – Learning DSLR
This channel is packed with tips on what else but learning the DSLR. It is most assured that you will be using a DSLR camera on your travels, or for whatever you wish to shoot later on in life. As opposed to just reading a blog post or reading the manual seeing someone go through the effort to help you learn the DSLR is quite good.
There are some other channels I could mention but honestly I think this blog post is getting a bit big and I have probably lost about half my readers already. Needless to say you can find out a lot by just using youtube. Should you bother creating your own video course? That really is up to you to be honest.
Learning from others is probably the only way to really learn anything. It is true that if you want to get better at anything you should practice it and with the amount of information supplied from the channels above it is clear you will have plenty to practice. Now, the next step is just to get out there and actually do it.
The argument for taking a structured class
These videos are all well and fine but they don’t give you immediate feedback. One of the benefits of taking an online course, or a in person classroom course is that you can get instant feedback. No youtube videos are going to be able to give you constructive criticism and unless you want to hear from know-it-all youtube commenters about how you should improve your videos you won’t get any immediate feedback.
That is one of the compelling reasons to take a course offered by MatadorU is that they can give you feedback on their assignments that they give out on a weekly basis. You can then go back and redo these assignments to see if you improved. This kind of feedback loop is what is going to help you become better at your craft, and as a result get more viewers and hence more revenue on your channel.
Now, creating some compelling images and a story would dramatically help you get more views. However, as many people don’t expect a huge budget on youtube you shouldn’t always try and impress your viewers with some flashy videos. It seems as though the best channels have a mixture of both low budget “real” films and some good travel videos with some great shots, good music, and good narration.
Ultimately what story do you want to tell? What is that you want your viewers to learn from you? That is going to get you to be more focused on what is in the content of your videos and by and large that will help you create better videos in the future.
There is something to be said of writing a script and telling a narrative over a bunch of B-Roll to give you the impression of something more “professional”, this is going to take time and honestly may not be something you want to do right off the bat. Do you really want to replicate what you see on the Travel Channel or even National Geographic? If so, then you may have to practice a lot at home before venturing out into the wild with your camera and your editing skills.
What I didn’t include was some classes or even books on screenwriting or even software to use when trying to come up with a story to tell. The reason for this was simply because I believe that this may be better suited for a blog post of its own. In the future I may very well review some books and pieces of software on this subject so be sure to keep a look out for that, it will be worth your time.