Travelling as a Videographer –
Last month was a month of firsts for me. But in particular I’d like to mention how towards the end of our first month of trading, I took my first paid trip abroad, with my first hired freelancer (it was also my first time staying in a 5* hotel but that’s another story).
(Filming surgeries in the trauma hospital. Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo – Photo by Ant Tran)
Putting in the hours
Now, being a travelling videographer (10 trips abroad so far this year) is an incredibly rewarding experience, new cultures, amazing sights, meeting a whole load of awesome people. But it’s also WORK! Last month I spent 2 weeks in Dominican Republic and boy did we work. Often waking up at 5am in order to be on location for 7am, filming for the whole day and getting home after 10pm. At which point you need to charge batteries, back up and review footage, if you’re lucky send a kissy face emoji to someone special and then try to sleep for midnight. Rinse. Repeat.
But long days are no stranger to a film-maker and these go along with any labour of love, but the single most important thing I’ve learned on these trips is to be social. Nothing makes someone more comfortable on camera than how you treat them before you point the camera at them, and nothing gives me more job satisfaction than becoming friends with the people I’m filming – or becoming friends with the people I’m filming with.
(Filming in an orphanage. Dominican Republic, La Romana – Photo by Ant Tran)
Choose your company wisely!
This brings me on to the second point – hiring a freelancer. Being the director of CTK, I can be quite cagey about my ‘art’ and who I trust to collaborate with. Don’t get me wrong, collaboration is what I love about film making, but not all media professionals are created equal and I like to work with the right people. Especially when trusting them to represent our brand and the brand of our clients. When done right, it can be the best cherry on top of what is already a wonderful travelling videographers (cruelty free) cake. In this case, I hired Ant Tran and I couldn’t be happier! It was like having my best friend on the trip and made every aspect immediately less stressful and more enjoyable.
(Enjoying the finer aspects of travel videography. We didn’t touch the mini bar. Santo Domingo, La Romana – Video by Kallum Richardson)
When it comes to choosing your pick of the litter, try to choose someone that you can trust not to have to look over their shoulder and micromanage, so that you can focus on your work and let them do theirs. Which brings back to the earlier point, social skills are a huge plus. Finding someone that can make people feel comfortable on camera and wiling to co-operate if you ever need to ask for another take, can make all the difference to a successful shoot. Done right, it can enhance an already amazing profession.
Following this I went straight to the French mountains for another, completely different style of shoot. But that’s for the next entry.
Stay tuned! – Kallum Love