video: bessy bell hike

Over the last 6 months or so I’ve been watching progressively more on YouTube. I’ve become a regular follower of quite a few channels, some cycling but mostly outdoor – hiking, wild camping and bushcraft. A while back I made my first YouTube video and shared it here. Since then the idea of making this a more frequent thing has been rattling around in my head.

One thing that has held me back is the worry of ridicule. Putting myself out there in film feels pretty pretentious and there is the fear that I could be making a complete arse of myself. However, on my Bessy Bell walk this week I took along a tripod and did some filming as well as photography.

I have to say I did enjoy the filming. Looking for shots and compositions as well as sharing the sights and sounds brought a different dimension to the day. I also enjoyed the post filming editing and production, finding the right footage and mixing in music, commentary and photos. It’s a bit like writing this blog, just a different medium.

Below is the finished article. It’s far from perfect and I learned a lot from this first proper attempt but at least I’m happy to share it.

11 thoughts on “video: bessy bell hike

  1. unironedman

    Rosie is ready straight out of the traps… humans; not so much!
    Nice work. It’s a fun thing to do all right. I certainly learned the importance of continuity very quickly as regards sound, whether that’s backing music, recorded ambient sound or dialogue. Really helps the flow. Not that film students would be surprised by this revelation of course! And when you are your own cameraman, you have to set up all those ‘walking past the camera shots’ yourself and run back and pick up the camera… was there a shot there where you walked past, snuck back and panned the camera around? If so, nice move!
    Just on the pieces to camera: are you using a camcorder or camera with a flip-out screen?

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    1. idlecyclist Post author

      Well spotted on the walk past and then panned ๐Ÿ˜† Spotted it on another channel where the guy had some fancy remote controlled and motorised tripod. I had to fake it.

      I’m using my mobile phone camera for everything. Would appreciate your comments even if they are harsh ๐Ÿ˜Š

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      1. unironedman

        Harsh? Jaysus, no. I think all this creative stuff is great. I had a few false starts when I tried to make a short piece about my local park (unfinished) and then another when I ran Connemara100. It’s a pity because had someone shot enough footage, it would have made a fascinating documentary about someone having a total physical breakdown over the course of a day ๐Ÿ˜‰ The problem was I was trying to do a race and shoot footage at the same time, and it’s just not a runner (pardon the pun).

        So when I finally got around to finishing a piece last year (The Royal Canal Triathlon), I had already understood some of the pitfalls, so I made sure to get as much footage as possible. The big problem for most of us amateurs is sound; hard to get good quality sound on location, and a dedicated film crew of even just two people can make that happen. So that’s not an option. You did well did avoid wind noise. Dropping the recorded sound level helps, in favour of music, though you can lose the ambience too, I suppose.

        For us folks, it’s exactly as you have it there: make do with what you have, and get around some of the other limitations with little cheats. All possible with a little planning, but certainly not for an event where you are trying to compete and film on your own. Even with a GoPro, 90 mins of shaky footage from a headcam of a sprint triathlon or adventure race? No thanks!

        I mentioned the piece to camera stuff because you seemed to be looking away from the lens at something else, and I guessed it was a fold-out screen. I don’t suppose there are any rules with this stuff, but I would normally expect the guy talking to me on the screen to be looking at me too, I guess. That was all. The only thing is that we all need a good editor. Along with doing the actual hike, you are trying to set up shots, pan, get on location sound, nice filler shots of plants… you are the cameraman, the sound man, the dolly grip, the animal wrangler (!) and even did your own catering ๐Ÿ™‚ Probably the bit where all creatives need some help is with editing.

        A documentary film maker read my voiceover script from a pilot I was involved in years ago. No filming or anything, I was just in front of camera for continuity shots. I can’t recall the exact words, but it was basically cut it back by about half. Then cut it back again. Do that once more, and we might have something. He could have just said ‘less is more’, the fecker ๐Ÿ˜‰

        What are you using to edit? I’m using HitFilm Express and it’s certainly more than enough for my efforts. The new GoPro 7 will come in handy too, but also the iPhone 7 is good quality. As long as I remember to have them both filming at the same size, quality, frame rate, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. idlecyclist Post author

        I was using the camera in selfie mode. It’s possible I was looking at myself on the screen and the camera at other times. I need to work out which gives the best view for the audience and focus on doing that. Some of it could be lack of confidence in front of the camera too, I was a bit nervous and uncomfortable at times. I also think I have a habit of looking off into the distance when I’m thinking of something inspirational to astound my audience with ๐Ÿ˜†

        All great feedback, thank you ๐Ÿ‘

        Liked by 1 person

      3. idlecyclist Post author

        Also I used an Android app called InShot for editing. Must give HitFilm Express a go. My laptop is quite basic so may not have the power to run it but worth a look at least ๐Ÿ‘

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Another Day, Another Bike Ride | A Dude Abikes

  3. unironedman

    Ah yes, the camera in selfie mode – that makes sense now. Must be a good quality camera, coz my front lens is not great (on the iPhone 7). So you’re editing on the phone… that’s some dedication. I don’t think my eyeballs would hold up long enough. At my delicate age, I need to be about 3 feet from the screen ๐Ÿ˜‰

    HitFilm Express is free, and user-friendly. It certainly helps with cuts and overlapping shots, and just taking audio tracks, etc. Give it a go.

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