travel film

5 Reasons Why You Should Start Making Travel Films

5 Reasons Why You Should Start Making Travel Films

We’ve all experienced a moment of envy for those beautiful travel videos you see on YouTube and Vimeo. I’m not talking about Instagram Stories or those crappy home videos we’ve all made with our GoPro and selfie stick. I’m talking about the kind of travel videos that transport you to another world with jaw dropping cinematography that captures the authentic beauty of the exotic locations, local people and cultures. Wouldn’t it be awesome if on your next vacation you could make something worth sharing? Here are 5 great reasons why YOU need to step up your game, and start making travel films on your next trip:


1. PRESERVE YOUR MEMORIES

We are living in a golden age of travel. More than ever are people are realizing the value of experiences over material things. After all, things will come and go, but experiences will stay with you forever… or at least we hope they will. But even if they stay with you for a while, eventually memories can fade. So why not capture your experiences in a way that will not only preserve the most important visual moments of your life, but might also inspire others to do the same?

Preserve your most precious travel memories.

Preserve your most precious travel memories.

2. GIVE YOUR TRAVELS PURPOSE

Whether you’re heading out on a two-week vacation or doing what I did, leaving your job for a long term adventure, creating travel films gives your experience a whole new sense of purpose. It’s easy to get side tracked, especially the longer you travel. Having that much freedom to do what you want and go where you want can actually become overwhelming and eventually, you can feel lost. 

3. CONNECT WITH LOCAL COMMUNITIES

Creating travel films gives you a focus that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Sure, you can always be making your list of next “top 10 temples I need to visit”, but a film just about temples is something few want to watch. So what if you don’t just go to the temples, but you go there and meet with the monks? What if you go there to film daily life at the temple? Suddenly you have a greater purpose that will not only carry you outside your comfort zone of just sightseeing and reading informative plaques, but connect you with the local cultural community, which is what travel is really all about. Ten years from now, good luck remembering temple #23. But that monk, who invited you in for tea after filming him, and told you his life story, while you told him yours, is something you will remember forever. 

Making travel films brings you closer to the people and places you visit.

Making travel films brings you closer to the people and places you visit.

4. MAKE LAYOVERS AND LONG RIDES MORE FUN

Shooting travel films also gives you “busy work” when you don’t know what else to do. There can be a lot of downtime when you travel. From overlays at airports to 14-hour train rides… at times you need something to do! So why waste your time watching reruns on Netflix for the 100th time, when you could be busy creating your own incredible visual masterpiece to share with the world?

Give yourself something to do on long rides and layovers.

Give yourself something to do on long rides and layovers.

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5. DISCOVER NEW OPPORTUNITIES

Making travel films might not just give you a new hobby. It could also lead to new opportunities. You may discover a talent you never knew you even had and could lead to a career change. Sick of your day job? Practice videography on your vacations and who knows, maybe when you get home you’ll feel inspired to start a new career as a wedding videographer or local commercial production company. Even if you don’t decide on a complete career change, you never know what other opportunities could present themselves while you are filming such as exclusive access to events or monuments.

Filmmaker Nathaniel Connella capturing the opening shot to his National Geographic Short Film Showcase, ‘Rhythms of Peru’.

Filmmaker Nathaniel Connella capturing the opening shot to his National Geographic Short Film Showcase, ‘Rhythms of Peru’.

LEARN HOW TO MAKE TRAVEL FILMS

If you’re feeling inspired after reading this but don’t know where to begin, you’re in luck.

A+Beginner's+Guide+To+Travel+Filmmaking.pngA Beginner's Guide To Travel Filmmaking

Nathaniel Connella is an award winning professional travel filmmaker who has been featured by National Geographic, BBC Travel, Lonely Planet and more. His eBook titled, ‘A Beginner’s Guide To Travel Filmmaking’ is an easy, to the point read that explains all the essential tools and ideas you will need to take your travel films to the next level.

Available for purchase HERE

The Ultimate Travel Filmmaker's Kit

The Ultimate Travel Filmmaker’s Kit

The Ultimate Travel Filmmaker's Kit

Travel films are becoming ever increasingly popular these days (See 5 Reasons Why You Should Start Making Travel Films). With technology getting cheaper and better every day, the choices are endless and sometimes, overwhelming. There really is no right or wrong combination of gear as it just depends on your style and needs.

But we are often asked what’s in our camera bag to help us make our growing list of award winning and internationally featured travel films. Therefore we’ve created what will be a constantly updated list of what we are currently using.

DISCLOSURE: As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

  1. SONY A7III - This mirrorless DSLR camera is the perfect balance of price, size and features. Its small size makes it a less obvious target to thief and gives you the perfect balance of performance, features all in a packed into a small, lightweight body.

  2. SONY A7SII - This has become my backup camera. If you can afford it, I can’t stress enough the importance of traveling with two cameras. If one gets lost or breaks you will be left with nothing to capture your memories or finish you film. This camera is called the “king of low light” for its superior low light performance over any other DSLR. Although it lacks the drastically improved AF-C of the A7III, this camera is still a professional industry standard and my go to in low light situations.

  3. SONY 16 - 35mm f/2.8 GM - This is probably my most used and versatile lens. With a great focal range and a fast f/2.8 aperture, the lens rarely comes off my camera. If the price tag of the f/2.8GM is too intimidating, an alternative is the cheaper f/4 version.

  4. SONY 55mm f/1.8 - This is probably my second most used lens. Fantastic for portraits and great bokeh, it’s just enough zoom for some compression but also wide enough to be useable in most environments.

  5. Batis 85mm f/1.8 - This lens is an absolutely beautiful b-roll and portrait lens. Rarely do I use this on a gimbal as the telephoto is too extreme but portraits and bokeh look absolutely beautiful with this lens.

  6. Ronin S Gimbal - The Ronin S is my current gimbal of choice for it’s features and weight limit. Although larger than I’d like and not the easiest gimbal to fit in your camera bag. It’s easy customization via the app and build quality are outstanding.

  7. Zhiyun Crane v2 - This was my main gimbal until I got the Ronin S but now it spends most of its time at home. It has a lighter payload which can’t handle heavy lenses like the 16-35mm GM but it’s smaller than the Ronin S and will fit in my camera bag.

  8. Mavic Pro - Although I still travel with the Mavic Pro, I recommend you get the new and drastically improved Mavic Pro 2. If you need to save a little, the Mavic Pro is still a phenomenal drone that will fit in your camera bag.

  9. Accessories

    1. Batteries - You MUST have extra batteries. Be wary of third party batteries as they can often times be deffective or even cause harm to your camera. OEM batteries cost much more but it’s not worth the risk of damaging your camera going with generics.

      SONY: Thankfully the battery life has improved on the newer Sony camera’s but you should at least have one backup to get you through the day.

      MAVIC PRO / MAVIC PRO 2: I’d recommend having at least two extra.

    2. Fireproof Battery Bag - Some airlines have battery restrictions so placing your drone batteries in a fireproof bag can insure they aren’t taken away.

    3. ND/UV Filters - Cut down on light and protect your lens.

    4. Microfiber cloths - These are a must to keep your lenses clean

    5. USB Card Reader - If you have the Mavic Pro you’ll need a card reader to download the footage.

    6. Travel Hard Drive - Don’t forget to have a place to backup your footage. I’ve been using these hard drives for years and have yet to have one die on me.

    7. Sony Battery Quick Charger - If you have one of the newer Sony Alpha’s that use the NP-FZ100 batteries, you’ll want a quick charger as these things can take up to five hours to charge internally using USB.

    8. Power Converter - It’s not just about adapting to the right country plug, it’s also about converting to the right voltage (220v, 110v) so you don’t blow your gear!

  10. CineBags CB25B Revolution Backpack - This has been my main camera bag for years now. With room for two camera bodies, multiple lenses, my Mavic Pro, a gimbal (depending on model) and my 15” laptop, means I can fit all my expensive gear in the planes overhead and not risk anything being stolen or broken.

 
The CineBags CB25B fits a lot of gear. Featured here: 2 Sony Alpha cameras, 3 lenses, Zhiyun Crane v2 gimbal, and DJI Mavic Pro drone, plus room for batteries, accessories and 15” MacBook Pro.

The CineBags CB25B fits a lot of gear. Featured here: 2 Sony Alpha cameras, 3 lenses, Zhiyun Crane v2 gimbal, and DJI Mavic Pro drone, plus room for batteries, accessories and 15” MacBook Pro.

 

LEARN HOW TO MAKE TRAVEL FILMS

A Beginner's Guide To Travel Filmmaking

Want to make travel films but not sure how to begin?

Nathaniel Connella is an award winning professional travel filmmaker who has been featured by National Geographic, BBC Travel, Lonely Planet and more. His eBook titled, ‘A Beginner’s Guide To Travel Filmmaking’ is an easy and to the point read that explains all the essential tools and ideas you will need to take your travel films to the next level.

Available for purchase HERE

I Dream of Ecuador

This film was made as a proof of concept for a tourism campaign that never came to be. Compiled from b-roll from another shoot, a script was made and the film was edited to hopefully reshoot, with better logistics, storyboarding and planning. Despite its non-perfect execution, I like this film because I love Ecuador and I think a lot of people don't realize how much this country has to offer. The script was crafted as a love letter to this country and is supported by imagery that hopefully shows this as well. Music for this film is provided courtesy of our subscription with MusicBed. Almost all of the songs to my award-winning films have come from them. If you need music for your own videos, get a free trial here using this link! http://share.mscbd.fm/thetipsygypsies

"Live a Better Life"-documentary featuring travel director Karl Rhainds

This 20-minute documentary short introduces Karl Rhainds, an independent director on a quest to live a better life. In order to find his greater purpose, Karl quits his job as a director in a large company and takes off traveling for 6 months through several countries. While on this adventure, he encounters many inspiring people, exploring his query with them in an effort to understand their vision of what makes a happy life.

Check out more work by this great filmmaker on his blog Rain & Sunshine

TEMPLE OF THE SUN & MOON

We had a private tour of the amazing Temple of the Sun & Moon in Trujillo, Peru. No one had any interest in excavating these important archeological sites until private funding came along in recent years. They’re still restoring and discovering new things here although a lot was lost to colonial treasure hunters centuries ago. The Temple of the Moon was used primarily for religious purposes including human sacrifice and has these beautiful colorful reliefs throughout. The before and afters of this project are pretty amazing. You never would have known any of this was here...

HOORAY FOR CHILE!

Who loves Chile?!!! Noooooo, we don't mean the food you hungry dumb dumb (although we're always down for a nice bowl of those tasty beans😋). We mean the country!!! Wine, llamas, beaches (umbrellas included!), volcanoes, unbelievable martian landscapes and so much more! Our only complaint was that our 10 days there wasn't enough for this fabulous land. If you haven't been, the worlds narrowest country is a must for your next SA visit!

THE MAGIC WATER CIRCUIT

Lima has an amazing fountain and light show that goes on three times a night, five nights a week. In fact, this park holds the Guinness Book record for the largest fountain complex in the world! At about a $1 for the ticket, this evening activity is a must for any Lima visit!

Music provided by our talented Peruvian friend and musician, Tayta Ed Bird Please check out his SoundCloud page as his music is fantastic! https://soundcloud.com/taytabird

RHYTHMS OF PERU

From the heart of Lima to deep into the Sacred Valley, 'Rhythms of Peru' takes you not only to Peru's most iconic, but far beyond to experience Peruvian life off the tourist path. Filmed over the course of a month, and in collaboration with several local organizations, my wife and I were able to meet some really amazing people and participate in some really fun events. Although we visited some really amazing places, this is by no means an all encompassing portrait of the country. We did not make it to the north or the amazon this trip. I would love to go back and film a part 2 at some point. I'd like to give a special thanks to Kuoda Travel whom without their help, this film would have not been possible. 

A STROLL THROUGH GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

Even the smoke from the largest active wildfire in the U.S. (at the time) couldn't completely hide the vies of Glacier National Park. We had a lot of fun exploring this awesome place (aside from almost getting eaten by a bear and her cub!)

A Year in Review

After one year on the road complete, it's time to take a look back on some of the amazing experiences we've had. This video also takes the form of a demo reel for Nate as a director. 

HONG KONG

We spent 4 days in Hong Kong and although the rainy weather was beautiful in the city, it made shooting a bit difficult so I didn't get as much footage as I hoped. Regardless, we had an amazing time and can't wait to visit again.

RICKSHAW ROADTRIP

The Tipsy Gypsies decided to buy, paint, repair and drive an old auto rickshaw over 1200km from Kochi, Kerala to Malvan Maharashtra. Unfortunately we didn't film as much as liked, (we were too busy driving and fixing things!) but here are a few shots from our adventure along the way.

UNDERWATER LOVE: VIDEO

2 days on a liveaboard, diving off the coast of the Similan Islands in Thailand. What an amazing experience! Special thanks to Pirate Divers in Khao Lak (piratediversinternational.com) for the great deal.

The Fisherman

Over the course of several days while staying at the beach town Malvan in India, we befriended some local fisherman. It was fascinating to watch them work. Therefore I made this little short of their process from launching the boat at sunset, to returning at 5 in the morning to pull their catch in and carry it off to market.

Original score composed and performed by: Shahruz Moshtael

RAJASTHAN - The Family India Tour

Nate's sister and her boyfriend Kion came to India to visit us for two weeks. Our tour was Mumbai - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jaisalmer - Jaipur. Unfortunately we all spent more than half of the trip sick. So we missed some sites and opportunities. Luckily in the end everyone got better and we still managed to have some fun. Here are a few random clips I managed to get between trips to the restroom...