You and your buddies have a great time out in the snow, carving, jumping, and sometimes faceplanting. Snowboarding is your life and you love it, and you’d like to share that love with as many people as possible. You want to show off your passion, and post it on the internet for everyone to see.
But just clamping a camera to your helmet and shooting a POV isn’t necessarily going to be interesting to anyone who’s not you, not even if you’ve just pulled off one of the fastest, hairiest moves of your life. You have to invest a little to be rewarded with positive attention.
What’s in your toolbox?
First things first: what will you be recording with? You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get great footage. Even a smartphone built in the last couple of years will shoot 1080p video. You just have to use the tools you have strategically.
If you have just one camera, you don’t have to film just once. Take the time to shoot an overview of the course you’re going to be riding, along with commentary. Shoot reaction shots. Shoot before and after pieces, where you talk about your board or your experience. Digital space is almost unlimited; the more footage you have, the better.
See what you’re shooting
It’s easy to just point the camera at something and hit the Record button. However, what is being filmed is not always what you’re seeing. Get clear, unobstructed shots of what you’re aiming at. Don’t shoot directly into a bright light source, like the sun; it’ll turn your cool video into a big white blur.
Try to create a contrast between the subject and the stark white of the snow to create some visual interest and make them stand out. A video is obviously a visual medium; while almost everyone has picked up the basics of video from the thousands of hours of TV and movies we’ve watched, it still pays off to pay attention while you’re filming.
People respond when they see other people having fun. If you can put that passion and excitement into your video, that’s going to make it much more interesting for potential viewers. Do you and your friends have an ongoing competition? Put that into the video! Explain it a bit for someone who isn’t familiar with the backstory, then show off the back-and-forth.
Your own personal touches are what makes your video stand out. Find ways to work them into any video that you shoot. Try to tell a story; think about a beginning, a conflict or challenge, and then shoot how you overcame it. People have been telling stories since our prehistory; trust your instincts and go for it.
Fix it in post
You’ve got tons of great footage of the slopes, your friends and rivals, your gear, and some epic runs (and crashes). Don’t just toss it all up on YouTube. Sit down on your computer and edit it into a tale worthy of being told. Think about who’s going to watch this. Do you want to add music? How about using closed captioning services, in case your audio is a little muddy? Add some title cards to explain who’s who and where you’re at?
A narrative, in it’s purest form, is about someone who wants or needs something, and what they go through trying to get it. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Take that idea to heart, look through what you’ve filmed, and put the parts that fit a story into one video. It doesn’t have to be a three-hour blockbuster; you can tell a story in just a few minutes.