Hey Tolt! I was wondering, how do you film people in your travel films?
Are you serious?
Can't you see I'm in the middle of something?
Are you serious?
I was filming her!
Okay, let's get this over with.
Hey GlobeTolters! Welcome to the first part of the making of "Don't go to Taiwan."
If you haven't seen the video yet, make sure you click right there.
Before I share some basic tips on how to film people in your travel films, I think it's essential to talk about gear.
So for this project here is all the gear we used: A Sony A7III and a Sony A7RII filming me right now, on which we mounted a 2470 G master, and a 1635 G master, and a 24 mm 1.4.
These cameras and lenses are pretty great.
They can pretty much adapt to any lighting conditions, and the image quality is really amazing.
For filming, we mainly used the 2470.
This lens is so versatile it can probably cover 90% of your needs.
You can shoot close-ups, wide shots, and held following shots, and even extremely close-up shots that kind of look like macro, even though it's not really macro, provided you have ND filters of course.
The 1635 is also great for filming, but we mainly used it for landscapes and some face cam vlogging shots even though you can also use it for medium shots and get a very nice bokeh.
We didn't use the 24 mm so much except for low-light shots for which it's wide aperture can be very handy.
We also have a Sony alpha 6300 on which we mounted a 1018 mm.
We actually only use this one on a crane plus gimbal because it's important to have a light and compact setup when you're traveling and having long-day shoots.
Last, we did our drone shots with a Parrot ANAFI.
I really like this drone because it's very compact and easy to fly.
And now let's get back to the first question: "how do I film people in my travel films?"
The first thing you should know before you film someone is whether you want the fourth wall to be broken or not.
For those who are not familiar with the concept, it basically is a performance convention in which an imagined wall separates actors from the audience.
For filmmaking, a performer ignoring the camera means the fourth wall is not broken.
Do you want people to be acknowledging the camera?
Or do you just want to steal natural moments?
I personally like to mix.
Traveling is about discovering customs, so I like to capture locals in their spontaneous daily lives.
But traveling is also about meeting and bonding with people, and looking into their eyes is probably the best way for the audience to experience this feeling.
Sounds pretty obvious, but filming someone without him or her knowing is the best way to get a candid reaction.
But don't get me wrong, I'm saying you can get it afterwards because unless you're using a telephoto lens the person will eventually notice you're filming her or him.
And when she or he notices, a smile is generally sufficient to get an implicit consent.
If you're not comfortable with filming sneakily, don't be afraid to ask.
Depending on the country you're visiting, you will probably have people saying no.
But it shouldn't break your confidence.
It's better to get a no than waste a potential yes just out of fear.
And trust me, a big smile usually convinces most people.
If you're filming someone who actually agreed to perform for you, the best way to get a natural performance is to have your actor forget that they're being filmed.
And this works with both amateurs and professionals.
To do so, you only need to have your performer distracted by making him focus on an action.
It doesn't have to be complicated. A simple direction like "grab this,"or "keep doing what you are doing" usually works pretty well.
Imperceptible expressions can say a lot, and to make sure you get those tiny facial gestures, you need to shoot as much as possible and in slow motion.
The good thing with Sony cameras is you can switch custom settings very quickly.
So whenever I'm about to film someone, I switched to my slow-mo setting. That's how you get those essential eye blinks, frowns, and smiles that give character to your film.
Don't forget that you're not filming an animal or an object.
So even if the language barrier makes it harder, take the time to actually share a moment with the person.
You can explain what you are doing, you can say where you're from, and try to learn about the human being you're facing.
It will not only help your subject to relax and treat the camera as a person, but you can also end up with a very nice story to tell on your other social media.
The portraits I post on my Instagram tend to have way more engagements when I tell the story of my subject.
And of course, it will make your travel experience way better.
That's it for my tips on how to film people in your travel videos. Make sure you like if you enjoyed this video, and feel free leave a comments to share your tips.