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Old 06-28-2011, 02:41 PM   #1
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Any tips for better motorbike videos?

we've been doing bike vids for a while and got heaps of tips from googling around and just working out how the really good videographers go about doing their vids. we ain't that good but are on a steep learning curve.

there are plenty of other threads for posting a vid. this thread is more for tips from videographers on making interesting bike vids, and maybe imbed or throw in a link to the vid concerned and saying what you think worked or didnt work.

here's some of the stuff we've picked up over the past few years but still got a lot to learn, so very keen to hear from others. updated this list with tips from others in this thread.

ZOOM IN ON THE BIKE
our first vids had the bike way off in the distance, you could barely see it! nowadays we try to have the bike at least half filling the frame, if not completely. with the gopro, this usually means riding really close to other bikes because of the wide angle lens. with the movie camera, just zooming in.

MINIMISE CAMERA SHAKE
on board footage often looks terrible because the bike is getting bucked around so much. helmet cam mounts are the most stable but can still be too jarring to watch... try absorbing the shocks more with your legs while the camera is on.

when doing hand held camera work, triangulate! hold the video camera with two hands and tuck your elbows into your body... your arms and body form triangles that anchor the camera firmly to reduce shaking. don't ever swing the camera around fast, you need to pan slowly and smoothly if taking in the scenery.

BE VICIOUS AND GET RID OF MOST OF THE FOOTAGE
early on we felt every second of footage was precious but the vids were largely boring and way too long (for others at least), nowadays we edit out about 80% of it so we are just left with the interesting bits. this wouldn't apply to vids just for your own viewing of course, or where you are showing others a complete section of track etc. otherwise, get vicious in editing! deliberatetly tyr to remove as much as you can and only leave bits in that are just too good to throw out.

AVOID LONG TAKES
most tv shows and movies only have takes of about two to four seconds before they change camera angle. we gradually learned to do this as well, and try to keep each take under five seconds. dropping in still photos seemed to help too. if youve got reasonably advanced software you can use zoom or movement on the still photos to give a sense of action. say you have only four bits of raw video footage that are quite long, try chopping most of it into five to ten second pieces then just jumble them all up.

VARY THE SPEED
we drop in bits of slow motion here and there, sometimes we'll speed things up, other times it might be a combination - say, speeding the bike up toward the corner, then slow motion through the corner, then speed up again on the exit. one of the guys below suggested not doing consecutive slow motion segments though, keep it mixed.

AVOID LONG BORING INTROS.... YAWN
we started with these long intros e.g. title, driving out to the riding area, kitting up, etc. but realized when we watch youtube clips if they don't grab us within five seconds we usually dont bother. so nowadays we just jump straight into it, figuring you've only got five seconds for the short attention spans of anyone under 45 years of age nowadays.... even experienced videographers often get this wrong and have all sorts of long shots of logos and headings at the beginning. double yawn.

INTERESTING ANGLES
we used to just leave the gopro camera mounted to the one spot and film all day - ho hum. now we vary it throughout the day. top of helmet, side of helmet, handlebar, the side of our boots, swingarm, bottom of the bashplate... on hill climbs, get someone to stand there and so some static filming to mix in with all the helmet cam footage.

AVOID MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF RAW FOOTAGE TO EDIT
used to come home with about two hours of footage and it would take all day to edit it down to three minutes. now we try to be very selective and only film stuff that we think is worth keeping. much easier to edit 30 mins of raw footage down to 3 minutes! we also keep each take short now, maybe five to 20 seconds long max. editing is much easier than if you have to trawl through a 10 minute long clip just to find that one water crossing or jump!

TELL A STORY WITH YOUR VIDEO
If your camera records audio well, try narrating while filming (assuming you are off the bike and helmet off ). Or add narration afterwards, even the very basic video editing programs usually let you plug a microphone into your PC to record comments during the video editing. Narration, titles or some on location sound make any vid more interesting. Based on a tip from Motoriley below, he has a link to his vids for examples).

NARRATION
fits in with the above. we all hate the sound of our own voice on film, but here and there ask other riders in the group a question, or say something while filming. or get ambitious and add it in afterwards. the gopros actually record very good audio if you put a bit of foam over them to avoid that breathy spitting sound on the letter "p". examples below.

if you really don't want to talk, just put some text in here and there that tells a bit of a story through the video.

HUMOUR
riding is fun, so personally i think plenty of humour is a good move. it is a cultural thing though... i've noticed the australian piss take sometimes doesn't go down well in other countries.

VIDEO LENGTH
if you want people to watch your vids the whole way through, you probably won't want them much longer than two minutes. four minutes is generally seen as the upper limit for youtube vids, and only if they are very gripping and well done.

CHOICE OF MUSIC & AUDIO ISSUES
put in whatever you want if it's just for you, or you and your mates. but if you want others to watch your stuff, don't just slap in your favourite tracks especially if they are metal, dub step, or something fairly narrow in appeal. it might sound boring, but if you've got good quality footage and a good story to tell, you can just use muted background type music as as free music loops. a small but vocal minority don't want any music at all, but they usually seem to not mind a subdued backing track.

the majority of viewers want to hear the bikes, preferably as loud as the backing music if possible. watch any video where it's just the music and no bike audio and you'll see what we mean.

wind can play havoc with audio if the camera is out of its case. a bit of foam over the mike will stop that roar caused by wind.

CUSTOM MOUNTs VARY THE ANGLES
Gopro cameras and the like have various mounts, but you can always mess around with homemade mounts for more angles, although it pays to have a safety cable tying your camera on in case of it falling off. We've messed around with the "bootcam" mentioned below, and putting the Gopro on a long stick so we could film riders looking down from ten feet or so. Varying the camera angles a lot during a clip seems to make it more interesting too, especially when our riding skills arent really impressing anyone.

YOUTUBE ADS
some guys want to build up an audience to then let youtube plaster ads all over their vids and try to make some money... almost impossible to do this as you really need hundreds of thousands of views on each video to even start a part time income. frankly i don't even bother sitting through a 15 second ad to watch a video. if you want to make money i'd suggest getting an outside sponsor and don't let youtube vandalise your vids for almost nothing in return.

QUALITY OF THE CAMERAS?
you don't necessarily need good cameras. someone applying all the above tips could still stitch together very appealing vids even if using crappy $50 helmet cams. but generally you'll want some decent cameras like the gopro or contour so that high definition viewing is a pleasant experience. handycams are quite good nowadays, we bought a new canon legria for only $220 that has a great zoom for long shots and does a good job although obviously not broadcast quality.

Examples
as mentioned earlier, none of us are experts but have tried to put the above stuff into practice and here are some samples....

a vid that has done the rounds quite a bit. a mix up of photos, text, gopro footage, handycam footage and narration.




a video with narration for trials australia.





so keen to learn more from anyone who really knows what they are doing with video cameras, or just any tips or things you've discovered.

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Old 06-29-2011, 09:19 AM   #2
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I've just bought the Go Pro and beginnning. One of the mounts i liked of yours was the footage provided by what looks like a boot top mounting. How did you secure the GOPro there????

Awesome job and looking to see what other tips surface in this thread.
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:58 AM   #3
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Tips

Very nice videos. My biggest tip is that the video should tell a story. A POV shot for 15 minutes with a speed metal sound track is not a story. Narration, titles or some on location sound that tells you what is going on goes a long way to creating interest.
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:42 PM   #4
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motorbike videos

Quote:
Originally Posted by team ftb View Post
One of the mounts i liked of yours was the footage provided by what looks like a boot top mounting. How did you secure the GOPro there????
hehe, we call it the bootcam. just bashed some alloy tubing flat and stuck the gopro mount on it. i filed all the edges smooth and wrapped some foam then tape around it, you don't want it gouging your leg in an accident. the longer it is, the less it will jiggle around in your boot. then it doubles up nicely for handheld shots. we've got some footage of riding alongside other bikes and the camera is only an inch away from the other rider, without endangering anyone as the second bootcam mount we made was quite long. great for filming your own bike too, as per the intro on this vid above.

Photobucket

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoriley View Post
A POV shot for 15 minutes with a speed metal sound track is not a story. Narration, titles or some on location sound that tells you what is going on goes a long way to creating interest.
totally agree, had a look through your vids and it makes a huge difference, nicely done. tried the narrative thing on a few vids, especially a very silly one here when i visited some mates in new zealand years back.

great intro on your vids too, nice and quick. i'm keen to try the split screen so you've inspired me now. with the logo, did you insert that as a gif with a transparent background? that's the only way i've found to get transparent backgrounds in sony vegas editing software.

also, your voice over sounds like pretty good quality. did you have to upgrade your sound card? even with a decent mike i find the PC makes for crappy recordings and i've usually resorted to just recording voiceovers on the movie camera and delete the video part. the voice over in the second vid above is great though, as the guy who stitched that one together, strummer, has a full on recording studio at home and even does all his own music and vocals.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:55 PM   #5
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Hints

I use a decent mic with a pop screen. On my software (Avid) I can bring in a QuickTime movie with and alpha channel for transparency. The opening itself was done in Adobe After Effects. I will be building my own boot cam shortly! You guys seem to have fun and have a great attitude.

Cheers

Riley





totally agree, had a look through your vids and it makes a huge difference, nicely done. tried the narrative thing on a few vids, especially a very silly one here when i visited some mates in new zealand years back.

great intro on your vids too, nice and quick. i'm keen to try the split screen so you've inspired me now. with the logo, did you insert that as a gif with a transparent background? that's the only way i've found to get transparent backgrounds in sony vegas editing software.

also, your voice over sounds like pretty good quality. did you have to upgrade your sound card? even with a decent mike i find the PC makes for crappy recordings and i've usually resorted to just recording voiceovers on the movie camera and delete the video part. the voice over in the second vid above is great though, as the guy who stitched that one together, strummer, has a full on recording studio at home and even does all his own music and vocals.[/QUOTE]
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Old 07-01-2011, 05:00 AM   #6
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[QUOTE=johnnok;16282425]hehe, we call it the bootcam. just bashed some alloy tubing flat and stuck the gopro mount on it. i filed all the edges smooth and wrapped some foam then tape around it, you don't want it gouging your leg in an accident. the longer it is, the less it will jiggle around in your boot. then it doubles up nicely for handheld shots. we've got some footage of riding alongside other bikes and the camera is only an inch away from the other rider, without endangering anyone as the second bootcam mount we made was quite long. great for filming your own bike too, as per the intro on this vid above.



/quote

I love it. Do you just shove it down the inside of the boot or do you fasten it with anything? Has it worked better for you on the front or side of the boot? Awesome idea.
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:03 AM   #7
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slow mo is good but not in consecutive scenes
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by team ftb View Post
I love it. Do you just shove it down the inside of the boot or do you fasten it with anything? Has it worked better for you on the front or side of the boot? Awesome idea.
yeah, it's not exacly hi tech! inside the boot, it shouldn't wobble too much if your boot is tight. only the side, if you have it at the front your boot you get less view of the terrain in front. for variety you can mount it backwards too, and put on the other boot too, so four different angles.
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:12 AM   #9
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Video Editing Software

What video editing software do you use?
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Old 07-03-2011, 01:20 PM   #10
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What video editing software do you use?
sony vegas. not because it's necessarily the best, but its what we use at work. i've probably used about 5% of all the stuff it offers so its probably too complicated to learn if someone was just doing basic videos.
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:45 PM   #11
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Great post johnnok.
The problem I have editing is I make the videos for me. I show them for all to see but I know they won't be nearly as interested.
I can't seem to make a shorter version for a wider audience, especially if the trip is more than a day.

All of mine are here, http://www.vimeo.com/user2346252/videos
if anyone wants to kill a couple of hours...
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:55 PM   #12
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Great stuff!!! You're on to something there!
I added you to my favorites and I only have a handful.
LMK when you have a 30-60 min DVD you can send me of various terrain and such. It could handle watching it many times over the cold winter on the big flatscreen. The more cute females in it the better!
Seriously, I'll take one!
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:37 AM   #13
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Whats the least complicated video software to learn to do the basics on? I'm just looking to splice, overlay some text and maybe a bit of music. Lets put it this way, for pictures I use Lightroom instead of Photoshop as its easier and less complicated to accomplish the basics. I need the same parameters for video editing software, so whats recommended? Either to stay away from or utilize?
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:18 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by team ftb View Post
Whats the least complicated video software to learn to do the basics on? I'm just looking to splice, overlay some text and maybe a bit of music. Lets put it this way, for pictures I use Lightroom instead of Photoshop as its easier and less complicated to accomplish the basics. I need the same parameters for video editing software, so whats recommended? Either to stay away from or utilize?
Without a doubt: iMovie.
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:48 PM   #15
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Without a doubt: iMovie.
imovie definitely the way to go if you have a mac.

on a PC, the windows movie maker that comes with XP or Vista. if you are on windows 7 just get the free download Windows Live Movie Maker 2011.

i had a look at it, very simple to use. once you get the hang of it and want to do more complex stuff just buy a better video editing program.
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