So you've been watching too many Chris Harris on Cars and \Drive+ video and think you can create an exhilarating cut of your weekend drive? Well folks it ain't as easy as it looks, but you don't need a drone nor an entire support crew to make it work. Below is a few pieces of advice I have learned first hand in trying to produce half decent car footage.

Step 1 - Have a Plan

I cannot the stress the importance of thinking through things in advance. Figure out the roads you want to drive and general sequence of shots desired. Where are the vantage points for shots? Where should the camera or cameraman be? Its tough to piece together quality stuff with a smattering of random shots once you hit the editing stage.

Step 2 - Come Prepared

Charge your GoPros, bring extra batteries, cables, mounts etc and have things ready to switch out of the fly if need be. I recommend a phone or computer to quickly review footage as well to see what is working (and what is not).


Step 3 - Shoot Footage of Anything and Everything

Once more. When it comes to the editing stage you likely do not have a second chance to get more footage of the same car, same location, same lighting, etc. The more the better. A 3 minute video can equate to an hour of footage from my GoPros. B-reel footage is always good too, you never know when it will come in handy.


Step 4 - Angles

Angles, perspective, vantage points. Perspective is your friend, and vary it. I learned right away that transitions from the same perspective are jarring to watch and hard to keep smooth. If you switch to an entirely new perspective it is easier on the viewer and more appealing.


Step 5 - Keep it Simple, Stupid

If you are like me, you have no real background in video editing and took it up as a cool way to document an experience or vacation. Start with the basic in a simple software like GoPro Studio (or similar). iMovie HD works great, but it often gives you more tools than necessary up front and can result in a worse product.


Step 6 - Time. And Patience

Editing is a slow process, best picked up for a few hours and then left for another day. It takes time to get things right. I have been making small videos for about a year and only recently has the end product turned out promising enough to show the general public.


Step 7 (Courtesy of Andrew Collins) - Use Your Own Audio

Note to self ! Don't use music you don't own the rights to if you're planning on posting to YouTube! Finding usable music is a big pain the amateur video game... but your video's days on YouTube are numbered unless you have permission from whatever record company XYZ musician works for. Google's software automatically combs uploads and at some point will just remove your clip/send you a wrist-slappy notice.


There's my 2 cents, feel free to chime in with pointers and your own experience. For your viewing pleasure, a quick teaser of my past weekend spent in a 991 911 Carrera S (MT). This video is very much a work in progress and I am still learning myself.