How To Make GoPro Videos
The fear of learning how to make GoPro videos prevented me from buying one for five years. I knew if I did, I would feel bad storing footage on a hard drive rather than editing my video footage.
Well, I bought one. Making GoPro video takes effort, but it has been so rewarding. Our videos capture the best moments of our life. After a vacation, we relive the trip together as we edit our GoPro videos.
In this post, we’ll help you make great GoPro videos that are meaningful to you. Whether you’re a beginner, ready to dust off your GoPro, or if you’re hoarding footage that you need to edit, that’s amazing! We’re excited for you to help you make a GoPro video.
how to make gopro videos
Why We Love Making GoPro Video
At Ryan and Alex Duo Life, we do a significant amount of adventure travel. We left our corporate engineering jobs in 2018 and have been traveling South America using TrustedHousesitters while building our online business ever since. When it’s time for a vacation, we look for the most challenging adventures we can find. I am so glad I got my GoPro and started making video back in 2017.
From before investing in a GoPro, we have hundreds of travel photos. Organizing and consolidating these photos was daunting and unfulfilling when completed. What’s more, is the pictures usually ended up buried and rarely seen again.
If a picture says a thousand words, then a video says at least a billion, right? When we first bought our GoPro, we were beginners, with no filming, editing, or valuable tech skills. Making and editing GoPro video is still a daunting task, we understand. But do it. It’s so rewarding.
These videos are the most enjoyable and worthwhile way to celebrate and relive the best times of life. For us, that’s mostly our travels. We love to film, edit, and pick the soundtrack for our GoPro videos. While filming and editing, we focus on the story that we want to tell with our video.
“The most honest form of filmmaking is to make a film for yourself.”
– Peter Jackson
When To Make GoPro Videos
So, what life event warrants the creation of a GoPro video. Currently, we are working remotely and living abroad. Therefore, the majority of our videos capture our travel experiences, hikes, or us doing our hobbies. If you’re passionate about it, make a video.
We look forward to making GoPro videos when we have kids. Here are some video ideas:
- A hiking and camping video capturing the trails, scenery, morning coffee, and campsite.
- A Spartan obstacle race that you completed with your wife.
- A vacation in Colombia with your in-laws.
- A first anniversary video to celebrate your first year of marriage (use your first dance song).
- A mountaineering excursion or a thrilling trip into the Amazon rainforest
How To Film GoPro Videos
The following are our best preparation and ‘in-the-field’ tips for filming your GoPro video. More information and further explanation are included in our Beginners Guide To Making GoPro Video.
- Film your video with an LCD style GoPro (this is the one I have). If you haven’t purchased one yet, the screen will save you tons of time and yield higher quality video.
- You only need this one accessory. Don’t spend your money on a drone or stabilization handle yet. First, practice the basics of filming, editing, and telling a story through video. Buy this handle with a built-in tripod. Other selfie stick handles lack capability and quality.
Tell A Story:
- Before you start filming, think about what story you want to tell. Is it an intense event story? Challenging physical feat story? Or a story highlighting a bunch of happy memories?
- Will the video be in chronological order, like this one? If so, make sure you capture a variety of experiences along the way, like a fruit stand or a refreshing swimming hole. Or will the video be a highlight reel of memories that fit the music and storyline well? An example of that is this video.
Filming Best Practices:
- Film short video clips (unless it’s a time-lapse or a video clip that will be in fast motion). In your edited GoPro video, each clip should be 1.5-3.5 seconds.
- Get close to the action since GoPros make things appear further away. That’s really important for wildlife footage like in this video.
- Try not to shoot directly into the sun, or you might get sun spots.
- Make sure your screen is clean of water droplets, mist droplets, sunscreen, bug spray, etc.
- The best way to make a GoPro time-lapse is to set up the GoPro on your tripod and film. You can speed it up in editing.
- Shut off the GoPro between every use to preserve battery. We share the best ways to charge your GoPro on a long, off-the-grid adventure in our Beginner’s Guide To Making GoPro Video.
- Shoot footage fast, so it’s less shaky. For example, to capture a panoramic view of a mountain range start at one point and move the GoPro quickly to the other. You can always slow it down in the editing process.
How To Edit GoPro Videos
Editing is where the work begins. The following are our best tips to help you edit your GoPro videos. More details are included in our Beginner’s Guide.
- Upload your footage from your 64GB sim card to your computer. Don’t use the GoPro Desktop app.
- Store all your footage on an external hard drive (or on two for safety) and run your editing software on the same external hard drive.
- I dislike the GoPro video editor software and much prefer iMovie. But, whatever you are used to is best.
- Get to work somewhere comfortable. Editing takes time. I prefer to work at a standing desk so that I have better focus.
- Finding GoPro video songs or music for your stories soundtrack is tricky. If you don’t care about making money off the video on YouTube or having the video muted when you post to Facebook, pick any song. The music makes the video, so I always opt to choose the best song, royalty-free or not.
- If you want to find free royalty-free music, it’s on YouTube. Search “Royalty-free ____ music,” (insert, country, intense, acoustic, etc.) and convert the YouTube video to an MP3 format. Or, you can buy Copywrite free music, but it’s not cheap, especially if you’re only a hobby filmmaker like me.
Editing Best Practices:
- Now that you have your music start editing to the beat of the music. You can trim the clips or make them slow motion to fit the beat better. Make sure you arrange your video clips so that they tell the best story and the exciting videos should align with exciting parts of your song.
- I usually mute all recorded audio.
- When your video is 75% complete, review it with your partner or a friend and get their feedback on which clips are best.
- Don’t watch other people’s videos. Be confident with your style and let your personality show.
The Beginner’s Guide To Making GoPro Video
Our Beginners Guide To Making GoPro Video is free for download and will help beginner filmmakers get the right equipment and learn how to make awesome GoPro videos!
The Beginner’s Guide Includes…
- All our of our recommended equipment, tools, software, and accessories
- More insight to capture your adventure and tell the story
- Tips on how to create and implement your storyline
- My order of operations to upload GoPro videos and editing to the music
- How to choose music and where to find it royalty-free
- Time-saving technical tips
- Reminders on how to not ruin great GoPro video clips due to errors in the field.
Sneak Peek Tip #1: You need to have this GoPro 3-Way Grip, Arm, Tripod for your adventure! We’ll teach you all the different ways you can use it in our Beginner’s Guide.
Sneak Peek Tip #2: Our WD 1TB My Passport External Hard Drives are great for storing video. We even run iMovie of the hard drive to avoid bogging down our computer storage.
Beginner's Guide To Making GoPro Videos (PDF)
Our GoPro videos bring us more happiness as a trip memento compared to the photos we leave on our hard disk drive, untouched.
Get insight not only into the equipment that we use to create our GoPro adventure videos, but a process on how we to film, edit, and tell your story through video.
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Hey we’re Ryan and Alex
The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “lifestyle engineers.”
After eight years working in the corporate world, originally as engineers, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — helping couples engineer their best lives.
The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship, as a couple.