The travelog is nothing new, but of the various projects i find myself doing, the travelogs are quite possibly the most fun. As a product of the film school environment you often find yourself swamped by 'higher than thou' guidelines from the artistic masses that insist good movies are like 'this'. Travelogs, for me, are a complete escape from that . . . copyrighted music? of course i'll use it.
It's not that i don't count my vacation vids (or VVs) as 'real' projects though, because based on the effort that goes into them, they're not really homevideos anymore. At best they're polished recollections of various destinations, events and experiences, and at worst they're just snappy music videos. However, for those who have travelled with me and have found themselves watching one of these VVs years later, you'd be hardpressed to find someone who wouldn't agree that the video became an essential piece of memorabilia in giving face to the experience. Better yet, with the varied soundtracks, it hasn't been uncommon for people to tell me that they'd hear a song on the radio and remember the place it was used in the video. Of course, this is a little bit of shameless promotion, but it's positive feedback like this, that proves the VVs are more than just masturbational endevours (even though they may start out as such).
Most recently i completed Rushmore, shot at the beginning of May on a road trip to Mount Rushmore and the surrounding area. Now we've likely all taken in the view of the open countryside from the passenger seat, but armed with my camera and a few hours of tape i captured a lot of scenery. It wasn't until i was back home that i realized how much i could do with the footage. Snappy editing between locales reveals a landscape of changing colour, texture and size. You can't really 'document' the trip the way you experience it, but the fun of it for me is trying to create that sensation of discovery by building up to what the audience expects to see. On the rushmore trip it was timelapsing the landscape to physically contrast the change on the drive down. In Vegas it was a buildup to a night landing showing the glowing strip from the seat of the plane. In California it was a series of long steady zoom outs from the beach, hollywood blvd, and amusement parks to reveal the energy and life of the locales. Like all my projects, seeing people react to them is the best part. And when someone can get excited about the way you organize images, and in turn, relate the project to their own experience or vacation without being there, it becomes more than just pictures of the place you've been. It becomes a conversation starter, something to share and reminisce over, and perhaps more than just a still photo, encourages a more immediate emotional response.
So here's hoping the trend can continue. Rushmore: The 2007 Road Trip is complete and i can't wait to share it. Of course, i'd love to see any videos or pictures that any of you have taken on your trips. Since i've used up all my money and won't be travelling for a while, it's the next best thing to being there, haha. I can't deny it though, after a month of editing this last project it's great to move on to something new.
Here's a preview from Rushmore.