The Noisy Travels
Noisy Creations’ non-business side and how we do travel videos.
It looks like the last week or so I was really all about journeys, travels and adventures. Well, that’s only partially true, and most of it wasn’t about the actual travelling, but more about the timeline of our business and all the things that happened on the way. But luckily, we got to the moment where we are only 24 hours away from our flight to Europe (!!!) and what’s better than a last-minute text about a passion for voyaging and making videos? Now, travel videos are actually the non-business-part of Noisy Creations, but that doesn’t make them less important, and as you may remember from the last week’s text, our ‘Costa Rica” video from two years ago was a trigger and a reason for the business to turn towards video production. As we’ve officially entered the “reisefieber” mode, let’s have a quick look at our travel video-making.
And for the record - just because Aneta and I are going to Europe for a while, it doesn’t mean Noisy Creations is taking a break! We’re still there for you to make some kick-ass videos! Just a message away.
On the road
It’s probably not the breaking news, that Aneta and I love travelling. Given that we’ve literally done 16.000 km, which is almost half of the globe to relocate and explore the southern hemisphere, we come off as people who rather don’t mind being on the road. And for both of us, it’s been always like that. Funny enough, we even met a couple of years back in Italy, sailing with a group of friends on a boat around the Tuscany Islands. So you could say it was destiny, to add a romantic spin to this story. Jokes aside, the truth is, that travelling together is awesome, and it’s even better when you do some content with someone. Imagine carrying all that equipment around all by yourself! (Aneta giving me the “you’re in trouble, mister” look as I write these words). In some way, every time we’re planning a trip, thinking about the photo and video content is always part of it. And no, we’re not famous Instagrammers (thank god) who are only seen with their phones and doing selfies. All that we capture with our cameras is mostly for us, to save the memories, and document our stories - and let’s be honest here - mostly for our friends and families. This whole travel-content generation is also simply about mastering skills and being creative, experimenting, and showing our vision of the world. Even though we’re prepared and have our gear handy most of the time, it’s often a case that we’re coming back home with very little or even zero material. And THAT’S OKAY! When we’re ‘on the road’, we try to make the most of the experience of travelling itself, learning, exploring, and getting totally fascinated and stunned by new places. But hey, I’m just a human being who’s also passionate about what I professionally do, so there are times when it’s hard to draw the line.
The filmmaker's holiday dilemma
When you’re away and enjoying your free time, it should be mostly about that. Given that we can easily capture every moment in a photo or on video, that became a part of travelling too. And it’s all good. It might get a little annoying, though, especially if what you’re doing on a daily basis is video production. I’ve caught myself many times being torn between experiencing and trying to shoot too much. And maybe it’s only because I’m only doing it a couple of years, but I had this conversation with fellow videographers, and it’s often a case for everyone. The dilemma is: should I shoot, or should I observe and experience, doing ‘mental pictures’ only? Luckily, it’s not a black-and-white scenario and there are ways to go about these things without going actually crazy and making your holiday miserable. The bottom line is that nobody likes doing their job while being on holiday and I strongly believe that nobody should! So I’ve changed my thinking about shooting while being away. First of all - unlike the client’s work - I don’t have to do it. Treating it as a hobby justifies every second spent with the camera and doesn’t make me feel that I’m working. And for me, it does the job. On the other hand, I still really appreciate the quiet time, being close to nature, and listening to the waves, wind and surroundings. The sweet medicine I’ve found to cure my torn self is to plan some dedicated time for shooting and limit it to the minimum. Wow, now that sounds like a super organised itinerary, with nothing spontaneous allowed to happen. That’s obviously not true and it’s only a general rule of thumb I made for myself. I know how quickly time can fly with my nose in technology, especially video gear. It’s safe for me to have and idea of what and when I want to shoot, just for the sake of my own mental comfort. And I still can enjoy all those spontaneous moments and randomly awesome frames. As long as I’m enjoying the moment and not feeling forced by myself to do something - I’m absorbing every second of every new adventure.
Capturing the beauty
Nowadays, making a good holiday photo or video doesn’t seem like something that requires being a videographer. And I couldn’t agree more! We can take this even further and say that beautiful places will always come off beautiful on videos, without any skills. Again, more often than not, that’d be true. But being a filmmaker drives me (crazy😉) to look for something more than just a nice frame with a nice view. I usually think through the prism of themes, styles, or subjects. If it comes to that, Aneta and I dig totally different things. She likes landscapes, nature and views, and she’s basically more into stills rather than videos. And that’s great, cause I’m not only a video guy (Captain Obvious!) but I also like filming people, and lifestyle. Somehow, that comes together in perfect harmony! What’s really awesome about photos and videos in general is that observing the world through the lens can be totally different to reality. And it’s always just about this single moment, and in that very moment, you have only one chance to capture something. One moment - thousands of possibilities.
If you’ve been reading my articles in the past, you know that I’m a little crazy about super-detailed shot lists for every production that I’m doing. Before you tell me that I actually am crazy, I’m not trying to say that I’m making shot lists for my holiday travels! What we came up with when thinking about the travel content is to really pay attention to what is specific to the particular place or culture and think about themes. People, temples, clothes, landscapes, plants, dance - you name it. That’s the moment when experiencing and creating content actually come together and complement each other. Because thanks to making photos and videos, you start to look at things a little differently, and in ways you probably wouldn’t without it.
There is hype about making all video content cinematic lately, including travel videos. It kinda seems though, that for many people, cinematic equals beautiful and of high quality. To me, that’s not everything. Sometimes the things we’re shooting are just everyday life, sometimes ugly or ordinary, definitely not Insta material ;) But it’s not only the quality that makes a video cinematic, but the approach, point of view and story. And I guess our videos are just showing our story which is all about absorbing every detail of the cultures and places we’re visiting. At the end of the day, the truth is that you can make a great video with your phone, and a shitty content with the latest RED cinema camera. Beauty isn’t always in the shiny package but can often come in a simple form.
Our travel video from Bali 2022
As I said earlier, your phone is probably everything you need these days to capture your beautiful trip. Hey, almost the whole video we did in Costa Rica two years ago was made with our iPhones and a gimbal! And I’m definitely of the opinion that gear is secondary to ideas and creativity. But if you’re gear/teach savvy like me, once you start exploring these waters, it’s hard to stop. And I don’t mean that you constantly need more and better, but being skilled with video gear can really make a difference. Especially if it comes to drones! It’s hard to imagine a travel video (but not impossible!) without a good drone shot. I love flying drones and it’s always with me when being on a journey. What I love the most about it is that it obviously gives totally new perspective, that you can’t capture with any other gear - well, unless you have a chopper. But I don’t have one yet, so for now, I’m good with my DJI Mini 3 Pro which is basically perfect for being on the move. Small and light, it complies with drone flying regulations almost everywhere. Pro tip: no matter how small, light and potentially ‘not-disturbing’ drone you think you might have, ALWAYS check the local regulations to avoid being fined. And first of all, learn how to fly safely and explore all the awesome shooting possibilities. Other than a drone, I usually have two cameras in my travel bag (I will get back to my lovely bag in a few sentences), one set up for photos and one for videos. The first one is an old but gold Sony A7III and the videos are covered with Sony FX30. They come with a set of prime and zoom lenses; zoom and tele lenses are usually very handy for landscapes and nature, while primes are awesome for people, lifestyle, and more documentary-like style shots. When shooting outside, especially when it’s sunny, it’s a good idea to have ND filters in your bag. I usually have them for both cameras and drone, so I can have more control over the exposure. I’m hyper-OCD when it comes to keeping my gear clean and safe from even the smallest scratch. It’s a real challenge when you deal with sand, salty water and wind. Pro tip: electronic gear and salty water don’t come together! That’s why I always have my gear well-protected, and have the cleaning kit handy, especially the brush and blower, to avoid any scratches.
How many times did you go out with your camera, saw something worth capturing and realised that you forgot your SD card? Bursting with anger, right? Although it hasn’t happened to me in any important situation, it’s supper annoying. I always make sure to format my SD card before and have enough of them for my peace of mind. It goes without saying (or at least it should) that the same rule applies to batteries.
And finally, last but not least, THE BAG 🖤(round of applause) Beautiful yet heavy-duty guardian of the precious realm of gear! I must admit, it took a while to find the perfect camera bag, but after months (literally!) of research, I found the one. A huge shoutout to WANDRD for designing the absolutely perfect PRVKE collection and making me the happy owner of the PRVKE 31 Pro Photography Bundle backpack. It has absolutely everything I’m looking for in a camera bag: I look cool and my gear is super safe.
Pro tip:never underestimate the importance of a camera bag.
Procrastination & Editing Nightmare Combo
When my gear and I are safely back home (Aneta too, of course!), it’s time to get to editing. Or 6 months later. The reasons for not getting to your footage right after the travel are countless. Seriously, there’s no cap on them! The good thing is, that the main reason is usually prioritising the clients’ work. But even when there’s a gap for personal projects, the material has to spend a particular amount of time untouched on the drive. Something like a dirty pan in the sink, it just has to sit there for a while. When I eventually get to work on the footage, it’s not getting any easier. The first step is probably the most painful one and it is going through all the clips to select first the usable ones, then the best ones, then the best of the best ones that are actually still more than enough to fit in the actual video. Now, imagine, how much easier would that be if done right away, when your memory is still fresh and you can navigate through the frames easier. If only… After hours of organising the clips, I usually take a little break from looking at the footage and focus on the very important part of travel videos - music. And there’s no rule if it comes to this aspect. Sometimes I know what track I wanna use while I’m shooting, but sometimes I can’t get my head around it for days (!) and the project gets postponed even further. But that’s the way it is, and that weird chemistry between vision and music just has to feel right, and yep, it is about the feeling, and the feeling only. When you know, you know. Once I’ve organised the clips and chosen the music, the editing itself is actually what I like doing. When I have the vision in my head, it’s great to see how the whole picture comes to life. A little bit like with shooting, there are endless possibilities if it comes to editing. Cinematic, dynamic, jump cuts, filled with effects, the list goes on. It all should be considered and decided to serve the story. In a way, with travel videos I wanna create an opportunity for whoever is watching them, to “feel” the place, “feel” the vibe and make that person wanna go there. I like simple edits, with not too many effects or transitions in this type of videos because they’re not really a part of the story. Colour grading on the other hand is something I like to spend a little more time on. I shoot most of the time in LOG, and I’m not gonna explain here what LOG is (see the link if you’re curious), but in practice, it means that when I look at the footage on my working station, it looks as if greyed out and not saturated at all. Thanks to that, I have more data saved in the clip and the footage is more flexible for colour grading. When grading, I usually tend to play around with colours in a more cinematic way, but to a certain extent. At the same time, I want the colours to look natural and like in real life, cause at the end of the day, that’s the general rule of thumb for travel videos. But I’m not afraid to push them a little more and play with textures and film grain, still maintaining the natural element. And no, colour grading is not lying! It’s just another, very sophisticated (and hard!) form of art and a way of telling the story.
As for now, there are no overdue video projects from our adventures sitting on my drive, yay! That’s why I’m going to Europe, to generate some backlog 😎
Our travel video from Jervis Bay, NSW
In circa 50 hours from now, we’ll be landing in London and after a couple of days there we’re headed to Poland. Another trip, another adventure, seeing old friends and families, and I bet - heaps of content. I can promise you now, that any video from this trip will be ready as soon as 6-12 months. Jokes aside, I really want to keep you posted and stay in touch not only on the business grounds but as Simon the traveller too. If you’re keen to see how we’re doing enjoying the beautiful European summer, keep an eye on Noisy’s Insta or Aneta’s and mine new baby @wineboxing_travel. Please remember that Noisy Creations will run as normal and we’ll reply to any enquiry, so go ahead and don’t be shy! 🙂
Off we go, and see you soon!
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