The first step to not sucking is knowing what sucks….

Photo:Photo: Divine Harvester.

NEVER FEAR, every rucksack travel vlogger has been guilty of these video crimes at some point.

The overall elements of suckage fall under several categories, including:

Redundancies

Don’t show us anything that is already known implicitly if it doesn’t add anything new to the story or to you as a character. Kudos for taking the time and effort to document your adventure, now fight the urge to make a cookie cutter travel video.

Time Wastage

Cut to the chase & mind our fickle attention spans. The average time spent on most web pages is mere moments, make good use of your nanosecond of my waning concentration.

Snore Induction

Your experience traveling is unique, intrigue us with the peculiarities of travel by offering us only the best, most intriguing aspects of your journey. Your new video editing mantra ~ “All Killer, no Friggin Filler!”

Lameness

Shitty “windswept” audio, awkward narration, cliches, cultural insensitivity, shots of people who clearly don’t want to be filmed, bad transitions…the catalog of lameness is long and lame.

5 WAYS TO SUCK

Within these general categories, here are some specific ways people mess up their travel videos:

NO PACKING!

We all know that you have packed your bags and you have brought extra underwear and Imodium… let’s not beat a dead horse.

NO AIRPORTS!

Yes, it is your first video in your “series.” Yes, you are catching a place to [wherever] and you are uber excited. But spare us the airport, airplane, baggage carousel and get to the meat.

NO CAMERA OUT THE WINDOW DRIVING SHOTS!

You are in a car/bus/tuk tuk and are stoked for the rolling hills/jungle/plains rushing past, but trust me, this shot is not going to turn out. It will be skewed, shaky and probably focused on the smear of mosquito on the window and not the gorgeous dusk parallax.

Pull over and get a shot.

NO HOMERIC EPICS!

Short and sweet, that is what your travel vids should be. Keep them hovering around 5 minutes at the most and if you can get them down to 2 minutes you are a champ.

We want snacks; short & easily digestible travel vids that don’t take all day to load and watch.

Less is more. I had someone forward me their travel video that clocked in at 48 minutes last week. My god, if your name is Sir David Attenborough, then OK. If your name is Joe Blow, spare me!

NO AWKWARD MOMENTS!

Remember your mom swinging the over-sized camcorder in clumsy arches, telling everybody to “Say hi” and asking awkward, camera shy siblings “Where are we?”

It wasn’t cool then, and it certainly isn’t cool now.

EVEN MORE WAYS TO SUCK

NO MUSIC: Tunes that add to the flow and feeling of your vid are a must. Go one further and use only artists you have permission from or Creative Commons beats.

NO CREDITS: If you are using music or have had help filming / producing / editing your video, credit those that have contributed either at the end of the video or in your description.

PHOTOS: Going from video to a montage of still photos is a video killer. If I want to peep your photos I will follow the links to your Matador gallery.

COMPRESSION: You have a dope video but didn’t compress it in high quality… why??
Say it with me; 1280 X 720HD

You don’t have to suffer from sucky travel videos. Reclaim your travel vid and treat the symptoms of suckage with attentive practice and an unwavering eye for awesome.

COMMUNITY CONNECTION

What else sucks about sucky travel videos? Or, if you please, what doesn’t suck about great travel videos? Share your thoughts on suckage in the comments.