Telling Travel Stories Through Video

July 13, 2011 No Comments »

A Mongolian boy watches television in his ger in the Gobi Desert

We are seduced by video.  It’s everywhere – your tv, the internet, your phone, and in your car.  You can’t escape it.   And I’m willing to bet that most people want to be a part of video, behind the camera or in front of it; we are fascinated by it.  In my world of travel writing and blogging, video is becoming more and more prevalent.  Seeing a place, hearing a place, watching the people move around a place has an impact much greater than words.  It supplements the words and sets expectations about a destination.

If you are looking to learn more about how you can take your amateur travel videos up a few notches to well-produced, effective videos which really impact people, then I’ve got the ebook for you.  Lisa Lubin is a Emmy award winning television producer and I’m proud to call her my friend.  She has taken her television production talents and turned it into a consulting business.  Video is the largest growing component on the web. LLmedia video consulting will help elevate the level of your video to get your business where it needs to be to compete in today’s market.  In addition to offering one on one consulting  at LL Media, she also recently came out with a new ebook for the beginning video enthusiast:

Video 101:  Tips and Tricks for Awesome Visual Storytelling.

video 101 ebook

The first thing that struck me about the book was the cover.  It was a book about video story telling and here was Lisa with her Canon SLR camera.  That seemed odd to me; but it just goes to show you how behind the times I am when it comes to video.  People today shoot high quality video on their SLR’s.  I of course own an old SLR that doesn’t have this feature and now of course I want one.  Damn you Lisa!

The 2nd overall thing that struck me about the book was how many similarities there are to photography, or at least the kind of photography I like to do – photo journalism.  It’s about telling a story – whether that be with still shots or moving picture…the goal is the same.  To provide the viewer with a story and knowledge that goes beyond what they may initially see.  This also explains why Lisa is such a great photographer!

The Book

The book is organized into 4 main sections:

  • Story
  • Shoot
  • Writing
  • Editing

And a bonus section on the Top 10 Commandments  of Visual Story Telling

A Glossary of terms is also provided so not only will you shoot like a pro now, you’ll sounds like one too when you start to infuse words like “B roll” and “natsound” into your vocabulary!

Within each section there are Tips sprinkled in like this one,

“You do not want to ever completely pre-interview a subject. You want the on camera interview to be as natural as possible. Pre-interviewing can take away any  spontaneity to their answers. Of course give them an idea and ask them some things, but do not ask them everything.”

At the end of sections she provides a ‘tear sheet’ that you can easily print out and take with you to make sure you have all of your bases covered.

My Thoughts

I enjoyed the book and even though I haven’t shot much video yet, it helped me really think about how to tell a story to my audience.  It made me think about my photography and journalism.  But it also introduced me to new concepts around interviewing and editing that I hadn’t come across before.  Lisa studied journalism in school, I studied accounting…nuff said.

For those of you who travel and want to capture a high quality video story of your travels – this will certainly give you the tools and theory to get you started.  Or if you simply want to improve your journalism, it will provide tips that apply to writing, photography, and video production.

Whether you shoot video to sell a product, inform, promote yourself or your blog, spread your ideas, entertain, or porn (ok…I just threw that one in to see if you were reading) – then Lisa’s book will be a great jumping off point to give you direction and ultimately get you making good, effective videos.  Yeah…and it probably does apply for porn too come to think of it.

Click here to view more details and purchase the Video 101 ebook.


Lisa working as a television producer before her travels

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