Russ Malkin, adventure television producer extraordinaire, rose to fame behind the camera on popular TV series Long Way Round and Long Way Down, starring adventurer Charley Boorman and actor Ewan McGregor. He’s currently working on a new project, Charley Boorman’s South Africa, which hits screens in the new year.
Russ hosted an event, “How to Film Your Own Adventure”, in the London Intrepid My Adventure Store this week, and gave us his ultimate hints and tips on how to record your travels on film. Here, we give you the lowdown on the best way to immortalise your experience on cellulose (or, more likely, hard disk. But that doesn’t sound half as romantic, does it!).
First up: be prepared
Malkin suggests that when choosing your equipment, be aware that big, bulky cameras may intimidate people. If you want your subjects to feel natural and at ease, the smaller the better. Russ himself is a big fan of Go Pro, who specialise in “wearable” cameras for action shots. Get to know your equipment before you leave home – practise makes perfect, so run a test shoot before you set off. And whatever camera you end up with, don’t be caught short – always carry at least two spare batteries.
What to shoot?
Russ’ tip: “If in doubt, shoot it. At the end of a trip, you’ll always wish you shot more.” He encourages always shooting the action as it’s happening; re-enactment never does it justice – and remember the 5-second rule: no shot should be shorter than this. Use your travel filming time to test your creativity, with new and unusual angles – shooting from a moving vehicle is a particular favourite of Malkin’s style.
Don’t forget the details
If you’re serious about your film, make sure you take people’s names as you are talking to them – have them spell them out so that you can create an accurate production. Invest in a sturdy tripod, a good case and a separate audio input for your camera.
At the end of the day, you want to remember this adventure of a lifetime, and what better way than by having fun while creating a memorable, creative documentary of your experiences!
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* photo by Michel Grigon – Intrepid Photography Competition