Maybe you can't land a triple cork or drop a 15-meter cliff, but making a great GoPro video is still within your grasp.
As Candide Thovex’s wildly successful “One of Those Days” series has so awesomely demonstrated, the point-of-view (POV) edit has become an indispensable staple of today’s ski media. But for every awesome POV edit out there, there’s twenty mediocre throwaways. So what goes into a high-quality POV edit?
Not all of us can land triple corks and drop 15-meter cliffs, but an edit can still be good without all the crazy trickery. It’s about finding the right perspectives, knowing how to use your camera, your editing skills, creative ideas, and atmosphere. Here’s a little guide to improving your POV edits.
Successful videos use a multitude of perspectives (unless your name is Candide Thovex). Besides the well-known helmet and chest mounts for your GoPro, there are many other mounting options. And with a little spit and duct tape (or more specifically, some good glue) you can mount your GoPro just about anywhere.
One example is the VuPackPro. This backpack give you an interesting new angle, like someone looking over your shoulder. If you play around with the angle, you can capture shots that don’t only show yourself, but also your friends and the terrain that you’re moving through. In combination with a helmet-mounted GoPro, you can include cuts in your edit between the over-the-shoulder perspective and the helmet cam, going for some slow-mo to show that faceshot going up your nose.
If you’re tired of the standard old helmet mount, you can take it a step further with the so-called “unicorn” mount, which is sort of a selfie stick for your forehead. And if that’s still too static for you, you can try the rotating version that spins around your head like a satellite. Rotormount has a cool platform that you can try out.
Of course, the good old selfie stick is not to be underestimated when it comes to creating cool photos and videos. But to really get the craziest, most unexpected perspectives, experimenting with your own mounts can yield great results.
Your GoPro gives you the possibility to choose between several different film formats: 4K, Full HD, HD ready and so on. Learning the advantages and disadvantages of these different formats can help you step up your POV edit game in a big way, particularly with regards to frame-per-second rates (FPS) and the use of slow motion.
The higher the FPS rate (the Hero 4 goes as high as 240 FPS) of your recording format, the better you can employ slow-motion effects afterwards without being a post-production pro. What’s important is knowing what you’re going to film, and what you want it to look like afterwards. For simple landscape shots, you can ignore the FPS rate and increase the resolution, all the way up to 4K! But when it comes to action shots, you can turn down the resolution in favor of a higher FPS rate. If that all sounds too complicated, just take an image resolution of 1440 and a framerate of 60 FPS – a great all-around setting.
A creative timelapse is always a great way to pimp out your video. Night timelapses of the Northern Lights or the starry sky are always well received. With a separate timelapse video function, your GoPro will combine a sequence of photos directly into a video. You get to choose the interval between captures, from half a second up to sixty seconds. For an easy motion-lapse effect, tape your GoPro to a simple rotating egg timer and see what happens!
Shaky video footage is never good video footage. But it’s not so hard to capture recordings that don’t give you a feeling like you’re bouncing down a cobblestone road in a car with no shocks.
Possibly the most cost-effective method of video stabilization is that discovered by Youtuber MicBergsma. While filming, push your GoPro gently against your lips, and you’ll notice the difference—sounds weird, but it works.
An alternative to the “face gimbal” is the model from Feiyu. A gimbal is a gadget that electronically compensates for movement to help balance your camera. What a Steadycam accomplishes using weight, length and height adjustments, a gimbal performs with a motor that controls three axes of movement to optimally balance your camera. If you’re a fan of the ski-pole GoPro mount, you may find a friend here.
To make a banger GoPro edit, the most important elements are creativity and mood. Good light is a big factor in mood. The best light is morning and evenings, the so-called “Golden Hour” lifestyle shots as well as funny or exciting moments that can add that extra little something to your edit. But your music choice is perhaps most important.
When you’re looking at how to get music for your videos without crashing into GEMA, just take a look at all the online video portals. Vimeo and Youtube both have music stores where you can get music, at cost and even for free. It might not be the newest Taylor Swift album, but if you take your time, you’re sure to find something that you like.
Being creative is significantly more difficult, and original ideas unfortunately don’t fall from trees. In that regard, you’re own your own — find some inspiration, from wherever it is that you like to look!
You can find more GoPro tricks and tips here.