The fifth Travel Video Blogger featured here on Travel Yourself is the lovely Kim Mance. Currently in the travel blogger/writer world I would say Kim is most known for being the face of TBEX however I first came across her stuff from her Travel video series “Galavanting.tv” and her website of a similar name “Go Galavanting“. Below I ask Kim how she became a traveler, ask why she decided to add the element of video to her travels and more. Enjoy!
Who: Kim Mance
You should watch: Time Travelers: Robert Reid & Kim Mance
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your website(s) and what got you motivated to start traveling? How did you get the travel bug?
– Honestly what motivated me most to make a website about traveling was the fact that travel saved me. It saved me from a surreal upbringing by religious folks who thought they could save everyone else in the world. Oddly enough, at fourteen years-old I was able to travel — sans parents — to very far-off lands and learned that everyone else wasn’t quite as lost as I’d always been taught. I fell in love with the world, exploration, and learning. I babysat, ran bake-sales, and saved my pennies so I could keep going somewhere new every year. And I’ve never stopped. I realize I’ll never see and learn everything there is to know in the world, but I will never stop trying. And that’s where GoGalavanting.com comes from. We choose folks with that same inner-burning and publish them — regardless of whether they’re travel writers. Passion trumps previous clips.
2. Why did you decide to incorporate video into your website and blog?
– I actually decided to incorporate a blog into our videos. Creating video content has always been the goal. And indeed, quality writing and storytelling walk hand-in-hand with a great travel video, so the two work together quite well. …And see answer #9 for my total lack of respect for anything I’d ever seen broadcast on the behalf of women travelers (some episodes of PBS’ “Globetrekker” excepted).
3. Aside from yourself, do you have any favourite people that make travel videos? Anyone that has inspired you or whom you just enjoy good content from?
– Along with many others, I quite enjoy things coming from Alex Berger at Virtual Wayfarer. And of course Lonely Planet’s Robert Reid and his “76-Second Travel Show” makes all of us in travel video feel inadequate and thoughtless, thanks to his wit, humor and research. Plus, Matador Network does a great job of doing quality travel video round-ups if you’re ever hankering for some wanderlust and nice visuals.
4. What has been your favourite travel video that you have made to date?
– My favorite travel video to date is probably our episode with hobos and blues in the Southern USA. It was a really fun trip and it’s the longest of our episodes — thus likely the most unwatchable on the internet. But that probably means it’s right: No one gets kicked in the nuts or falls of a cliff. There was a lot of pretty great travel happening, however.
5. Did you have any previous filmmaking experience?
– I made videos in junior high and high school with a friend of mine — a lot. We used a humongous VHS camera and edited the ‘short films’ with a VHS tape player. It took forever, but we pretty much thought everything we did was amazing and world-changing. A long while later, I found myself working in external relations/communications for non-profits and political NGOs, and hiring crews then creating video messages was part of the job. It was my favorite part of the job.
I’ve taken some classes here and there, but most of the best experience comes from experience. Being out in the field capturing amazing footage and later learning the audio was completely unusable is priceless education that only needs to be learned once.
6. Do you have any tips for other people who are wanting to start making travel videos?
– Yes: DO NOT pan the camera, please. A video camera doesn’t have peripheral vision or the capability to perceive 3D imagery. Count to ten (silently so you can keep some natural sound in case you need it) when you see something interesting. If something is equally interesting to the left, count to ten while you film it steadily on its own as well. Then cut them together while editing. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT pan the camera until you’ve made at least 10 edited videos. Take it from someone who has learned the hard way. Please. Stop. Panning.
7. What equipment do you use? Camera? Editing program? Type of computer?
– The latest addition to the Galavanting camera fleet is a Sony HXR MC50U. Two wireless Sennheiser mics have also proven to be a handy (yet pricey) investment. I sometimes hire an editor and always hire a motion graphics artist. Then I use a MAC and Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 to fulfill my OCD tendencies and do a final cut for our episodes.
8. Vimeo or Youtube?
9. How did Galavanting TV come to be? What made you take the big leap into professionally creating your travel videos?
– Travel is the one thing I could always point to as my absolute passion, and I thought there were far too few (as in ZERO) independent women travelers being represented in any sort of widely broadcast format. I just couldn’t watch anymore dyed-blond mousy, vaguely scared, smiling women on TV being amazed at waffles in Belgium. Those were not the women I met on the road (even though we can all appreciate those Belgian waffle stands — am I right?).
Plus, I love filming and editing. So it seemed like an undeniable fit and sometimes there’s just no choice in life — you must go with what fits. I’m pleased with the choice.
10. How long do you suggest a video should be 2min? 10min? A good length to keep people watching but not bore them?
– If not episodic in nature, every white paper on the internet (and some books sold on Amazon by ‘YouTube phenomenons’) say it’s “two minutes to fame”. And that’s likely true since people click away fairly quickly if things don’t remain interesting and fast-paced on the internet. Or — just put a thumbnail image of some fair maiden with huge cleavage and nothing to say about travel. That’ll guarantee a huge ‘following’ regardless of platform.
Create quality content and try not to be too indulgent (which is the most difficult part of editing). And remember quick little montage here and there never hurts either. And don’t forget a beginning, a middle, and an end (seriously). Plus, music is important — and don’t steal it, use places like musicalley.com.
11. Do you find it hard to create new videos all the time?
– Oh yes. Creating videos is very hard even though I truly love making them. I pour way too much of myself into our episodes than I probably should — and I notice all the little glitches no one else likely gives a crap about. But maybe that’s okay. As George W. once said, ‘that’ll be up to history to decide’ (did I mention I like to joke around?).
12. We haven’t seen a new video since November (please correct me if I’m wrong) has TBEX taken over your life? and/or are we waiting for big exciting new things to happen with Go Galavanting? The next new stars of the Travel Channel?
– Actually, we’re just about to put out a new episode in which I get to wield a chainsaw while a Guinness World Record-holder teaches me to make an ice sculpture. Also … yes, you’re correct, TBEX has somewhat taken over my life and that’s why episodes are so slow, of late.
Though people should totally check out our Colorado winter adventure in (my home state) because not only was it fun and interesting, but it turned out my best friend Maren’s favorite activity was NOT the day spa, but ice climbing up a frozen waterfall.
Too bad Travel Channel ended up saying they were “slightly male leaning”. Ahem. (This isn’t still 1962, is it?) It’s often reported that women make 70% of household travel decisions — too bad so many TC advertisers are sorely losing by not figuring that out. But hey, at least we get to watch a bunch of white males eat tons of food items during the programming lineup. Win. Since only hungry dudes watch TV.
13. Do you use any crew for your videos? Like a camera man or is everything shot by yourself and the people you are traveling with?
– Sometimes we use crew, hire a film student, or I sucker a friend into being on camera duty. Other times everything is shot with whomever is on the trip. Regardless, having an extra 720p Flip cam (or better), plus an X-Shot extender thingy is absolutely necessary to attempt to capture everything. And though I really like high-quality web video, I always like to mess it up with a bit of a ‘user-generated’ feel.
14. If there was one place in the world that you could go to right now to make a travel video of where would it be and why?
– I would immediately go to Bhutan. And I have no excuse for not having done that already — except that I worry I’ve built it up so much in my mind the altitude, long flight and change in food/culture/water/accommodation will be too realistic and it won’t be the fantasyland I’ve created in my head. Still, I will go. And I’m sure I’ll love it.
Thanks for the awesome interview Kim! I think I can say there aren’t “too” many female travel video bloggers out there, so it’s great to hear your thoughts on it all and you are definitely inspiring for me as I am trying to create great travel video content too.
If you have any questions for Kim or comments or think you know who the next featured Travel Video Blogger should be, please leave a comment below!