What’s the secret to turning raw GoPro footage into an inspiring video? The Bucket List Family dad and video editor Garrett Gee shares his top tips to help PADI Divers win $2,000 US or a GoPro package in the PADI® | GoPro Evolution contest.
PADI | GoPro Evolution Contest Part 3 CAPTURE+EDIT
Get enough footage to tell a story
Garrett recommends filming the entire dive. “We start shooting before we drop in (and we usually film the drop in). We film the whole dive and everyone surfacing. Underwater we film everything: small creatures, big animals, our reactions and us having fun with the camera,” Garrett said.
Topside footage is important too, “Sometimes the weather stinks, you don’t have any wildlife sightings, or the kids are not in a good mood. But it’s always good to have a camera around to capture the random, unplanned, or funny things that happen,” said Garrett.
Filming reaction shots can give viewers an emotional connection to your video, “Share the joy or excitement, the raw emotion someone experienced in a particular moment,” Garrett said.
Organize your footage into sections
“The easy part is filming. The hard part is telling a compelling story with a beginning, middle and end,” Garrett said. “I start by pulling all the clips into iMovie and then break it into sections. If you look at our Tonga video, you’ll see it’s broken down into: us swimming with mothers and calves, the family swimming in caves, and a section where my wife gets stung by a Portuguese Man o’ War (it was nuts!). We save the most epic experience, a heat run, for the very end. The whole video has differing emotions, highs and lows, and it builds to a climax.”
“I work tirelessly on one section before moving to the next. Often times, I will pull footage from multiple dives into one section just to make it extra powerful,” Garrett explained. “Next I add music and cut even further down to make sure I have the very best footage that matches the moment. Then, I do one final review of the entire video before exporting.”
Garrett’s Top Editing Tips
- Have a beginning, middle and an end
- Match your edits to the music
- Keeps clips short unless it’s a critical part of the story
- Show what you care about most
Find the purpose in your video/story
“Especially with diving, people don’t just want to see pretty pictures and clips, they want to know the how and why. Videos do better when there is a purpose or a story,” said Garrett. “For me, I like to have my kids in as many shots as possible. I try to keep the kids between me and the object, whales, dolphins, fish, etc.”
Garrett also recommends making the video personal, something for you not just your audience. “When it comes to editing – there’s a fine line of sharing what you think will get the clicks, likes and view times versus what you want to remember. For us, our videos are first and foremost a family journal.
The more you practice, the better you’ll get
“For many people, it’s difficult to capture good, steady, focused video while being in the moment; but the more you shoot and the more you edit the better you’ll get,” Garrett said. “Keep the camera rolling and you’ll at least capture something, and you’ll do better next time! One tip when diving with a GoPro, don’t use the head mount! You’ll see a video full of bubbles. Haha, learned that the hard way!”
Visit The Bucket List Family’s YouTube channel to learn more about their 4+ year adventures as a traveling family – exploring the world above and below. Follow @thebucketlistfamily to see where they go next.
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Did you know PADI Club members receive a free three-month subscription to GoPro’s video editing program, called GoPro Quik? Sign up for PADI Club today to start using this benefit. You’ll also get discounts on PADI eLearning courses, PADI Gear and Scuba Diving magazine!