I collected hundreds of hours of video footage shot in the most exquisite locations around the world, sadly most of it was below average. Where do I start? How should I tell my story? I had no idea at the time why I was shooting all this footage but at the time it felt like the right thing to do. As I began working on the video after returning ,I began questioning myself and saying would be easier to go back there and shoot it all again. Secretly I would love to do that.
I am an amateur at video editing, and for that matter at telling stories. Hats the challenge, I suppose that I had to overcome. An ordinary adventure can make for a great story, while an amazing adventure can produce a dead story if you don’t find a way to share it with your audience captivatingly. I believe a good story show all hardships faced and triumphs, fear and openness, humility and arrogance. Hats what makes a great story.
Before I left Canada in September 2011, my friend gave me some tips to help me. He stressed that I should take a good quality microphone because even if you get the best shot in the world but the audio is bad then you might as well not us that shot.
“Make sure let your video footage tell the story”, he explained. “And make sure to get perspective shots to fill the scene “He explained to me common photograph concepts like the rule of thirds and explained to me that I should not mess with zooming without a stabilizer like a tripod. However those words did not click whole on my journey. I ended up with shaky footage and single hand profile shots. “If only I had remembered” I thought as I sat in my apartment editing.
I lugged my huge Canon Mark III D video camera, with its equally irritating fluffy microphone accessory half way around the world from Canada, across the Indian Ocean, to North Asia, Nepal and then India. I crossed the “Red Sea” followed by the Silk Road through Dubai and finally reaching Europe. Amazingly, all of it was done by bike. “Barely surviving in the process”
When your whole world fits on your bike, coming in at 55 kg- including life essentials to survive in the remote Gobi desert in northern China – that extra 1 kg can mean a difference between life and death.”Thank god I had my most reliable pair of cycling shorts on.
I had to take every shot twice just like one of my favorite youtuber “Casey Neistat”.I would set the camera up, cycle back to the entry point ,then cycle across the shot, turn back and retrieve the camera, check and then rinse and repeat until I got a shot I liked. I got to admit it was a little challenging taking care of business single handedly. In the five thousand mile pass through Nepal-in frigid mountain conditions – starved and energy deprived the thought of leaving my camera behind did cross my mind. Thankfully I did no such thing.
As an amateur, I started with the most basic editing program, Windows Movie Maker. I sat for a couple of days holed up in my apartment trying to tell my story. I clipped here, cropped there, inserted a little bit of animations. I used still images and panoramic to fill in the blanks and slowly I could slowly see my story coming in to fruition the way I wanted it told. I recorded a dozen voice overs before I became comfortable with my final pick.
In the end, what became extremely clear was not the beautiful Mother Nature I had captured cycling across the Nepalese mountain tops that told the story, but the amazingly beautiful and inspiring people I met on this journey. It was the people I met that affected me and changed me .They were the story.