In a minute and a half, Luis Mendes—founder of MiniMov— creates a memorable video postcard of Rio. But even more exciting–for those of us who want to document our travels, “Short Weekend” offers a comprehensive lesson in what makes a travelogue that’s worth watching.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet into what this remarkable movie–shot entirely using an iPhone 5s teaches:
1. KEEP IT SHORT. You’ll get a lot more interest in a compressed travelogue than one that goes on and on.
2. COVER A LOT OF GROUND. Mendes’ video captures half a dozen locations. Paradoxically, while each one gets only a fraction of a minute, the impact is great. There is power in brevity.
3. SHOOT AT DIFFERENT TIMES OF THE DAY. Changing light adds interest and beauty.
4. VARY THE ANGLE: While the novice often shoots everything straight on, notice how Mendes’ camera is sometimes shooting from above, and other times at ground level.
5. INCORPORATE SPECIAL EFFECTS: While overdoing slow motion and other tricks can be distracting, using them judiciously can add interest.
6. MOVE THE CAMERA: A travelogue is, after all, about motion. While you’ll usually get the best results by keeping the camera still and allowing subjects to move, look for opportunities to include the camera in the action as in the shots taken from the plane and from a car.
7. EXPERIMENT WITH LENSES: The advent of attachable lenses has markedly increased the flexibility of shooting with mobile devices. Near the end of his travelogue, Mendes has fun with an OlloClip fisheye lens placed at foot level.
There’s more to learn from “Short Weekend on Rio.” It’s definitely worth repeated viewing. And that’s another plus for the short-form video.