I first met Captain (Chris Staudinger) and Clark (Tawny Clark) of Captain and Clark at the first ever Nomading Film Festival this past June in NYC. Lets say I had a “travel video blogger crush” on them after immediately meeting them. This adorable duo who met while traveling are my 16th interviewees in my interviews with “Fellow Travel Video Bloggers” series. I hope you enjoy!
Who: Chris Staudinger & Tawny Clark
You should watch: Eating Live Octopus (Editors note: eeeewwwww)
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your website and what got you motivated to start traveling?
Chris: I have the stereotypical story of traveling young and getting addicted. I was born on the road. On a stormy night even. At a young age, I traveled to New Zealand with my mother and Guatemala with my father. I couldn’t stand the idea of a conventional college life, so I took a year and spent it at sea. I sailed to 22 different countries, swam across the equator, and came of age.
Tawny: I’m the opposite. While my family and I took many vacations stateside, it wasn’t until I was in college that I experienced my first trip abroad. It started with a month in Martinique and then another in Bolivia and Peru. Before I knew it, I found myself on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, getting sak yant tattoos in Thailand, finding witches in the Philippines, and in many other precarious situations around the globe.
Why did we start our travel website? Well, we feel that we have the privilege of seeing these magical places in the world, and the obligation of sharing them with people who don’t. Traveling is one of our biggest passions and we want to inspire others to get out and experience our world- whether on their own, or through our eyes.
2. Everyone loves a good love story! How did you two meet?
It all started back in January of 2008. We actually met while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. We had never met before that, but it turned out that we actually attended the same university. It’s hard NOT to find someone attractive when they’re bathing with wet wipes and projectile vomiting all over the summit. (Chris: I myself, never vomited.)
We started dating shortly after we returned from our trip and have been traveling together ever since. We lived and taught English in South Korea for over two years and traveled to places like Thailand, the Philippines, Bahrain, and the Galapagos. We pretty much seek adventure wherever we go.
3. Why did you decide to incorporate video into your blog?
We actually started with the videos first. We had started making videos to send home to family and friends while we were in Korea. They were small videos showcasing the activities we did and what Korean living was like. We enjoyed making them so much that we decided to start a little youtube channel which evolved into a website. Tawny kept a separate blog depicting our day-to-day lives. It wasn’t until we returned from Korea in June that we decided to meld the two and have a travel blog with videos.
4. 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?
Oh man. This is going to sound sooo creepy, but it’s about time we told you anyway. We actually followed Travel Yourself while we were in Korea. It was like meeting a celebrity when we met Cailin in New York- she didn’t know any of this until now. We also really enjoy Mike Corey’s (Kick the Grind) videos and how engaging they are- and his transitions are mind blowing! Our newest guilty pleasure however is Natalie Tran. Her Lonely Planet travel videos are not only hilarious, but informative and they leave you wanting more.
(Editors Note: AND THIS IS WHERE I CUT THE INTERVIEW SHORT…..creeeeeeepy….. hahaha ;) Thanks for the kind words!)
5. What has been your favourite travel video that you have made to date?
That’s like trying to pick a favorite child, when you don’t even like any of your children. For me, I like to distance myself from the video once it’s made or I just keep obsessing. Still, if forced to pick… I’d say either our Pider Cress video or our Sak Yant Video
6. Did you have any previous filmmaking experience?
None. Aside from the home videos that Chris made when he was little, we’ve just been learning as we go. We’ve played around with it for a while but have had no formal training. It wasn’t even something that crossed our minds until we left for Korea. Chris had the foresight to buy a video camera and things just kind of took off from there.
7. Do you have any tips for other people who are wanting to start making travel videos?
Don’t quit your day job. While you can be successful at making travel videos, it most likely won’t happen overnight and honestly, you probably don’t want it to. You need that down time to develop your signature style. Take your time, have fun, and produce content that you would want to watch.
8. What equipment do you use? Camera? Editing program? Type of computer?
We love talking about our babies. Camera-wise we use a Canon Rebel T2i and a Canon Vixia HF10 for the majority of our shots. For underwater and “high risk” shots we normally head for our trusty GoPro or our Samsung WP10. We also use our trusty Rode shotgun mic.
Chris edits using Final Cut Express and iMovie on our Macbook Pro. We just crossed over to our Mac this year and really, really like it. To let you in on a little secret- we usually edit with iMovie as opposed to Final Cut and it hasn’t failed us yet.
9. Vimeo or Youtube?
I guess you could say we use vimeo because it’s more formal. It’s great for sending videos to future clients and/or others that might want us to do some work. Youtube is great for putting ourselves out there and providing an easy way for our friends and family to find us.
10. How do you go about promoting your videos? Do you have any suggestions for other people to promote theirs?
We started showcasing our blogs on youtube, but it wasn’t until we found Tripfilms that we felt our videos were really being seen. They not only host travel videos on their site, but they often give a heads up on film festivals and contests to enter. In fact, because of them we got into the first annual Nomading Film Festival. They also told us about a contest that we eventually won. We ended up road tripping across the U.S. for 3 weeks for free!
Also, networking is key. Get out and get to know the online travel community. It’s a fun and easy way to get your content out there and we’ve learned so much from the friends that we’ve met.
11. How long do you suggest a video should be 2min? 10min? A good length to keep people watching but not bore them?
One minute and 30 seconds- which is nearly impossible for us. We try to aim for anything under 3 minutes. We’re working on keeping our videos short, with good narration, and interesting shots.
12. How much advanced planning do you put into your videos?
Planning? What’s that? It sounds terrible and we by no means recommend it, but we do little to no planning before we shoot our videos. Chris is an actor and has performed improv for years which is definitely an advantage when he steps in front of the camera.
We usually go out in search for adventure and film whatever we find. Sometimes we’ll talk beforehand about the kind of shots we want to get, but we have yet to make a script or even map out a storyboard. It’s something we should probably try sometime soon.
13. Music is often a difficult thing to find for videos, do you have any sites that you recommend for people to get free music from?
Gah! We can’t really help ya there. We know of a lot of sites, but we’ve never actually used them ourselves. (www.jamendo.com, www.soundcloud.com, www.magnatune.com) We’re lucky to have a lot of talented musician friends who lend us their music for our videos. Bart Budwig is the main man behind our tunes and we’re so grateful for his kindness!
14. Do you find it easy to edit on the road?
Chris: Yes. I think my biggest barrier to editing is procrastination. When I’m on the road I can use the tight deadlines, the lack of power, and the cramped situations as a huge motivator to make content on the fly. That’s my sweet spot. My best videos are cranked out in a rage filled moment, soaked in scotch, at 2am. What art isn’t though?
15. Do you think you will continue to make videos once you stop traveling? Will you ever stop traveling?
We doubt that we’ll stop making videos IF we stop traveling. We’re currently on a brief traveling hiatus right now as we fundraise- but we’re still making videos. We figure that at the worst, we’ll stop doing one of these things… maybe. Probably not though.
16. I know you guys are currently fundraising for the Maverick Expedition, how is that going? Where can we donate?
Fundraising the second time around got off to a slow start. Our first fundraiser was amazing and we earned above and beyond what we expected. It’s been tougher this time as we’ve been so busy doing other projects that we haven’t been able to get enough attention on our IndieGoGo campaign. While the campaign is ending in a few days, you can still go to our website and spare a few bucks via our donate button that comes alongside with any of our posts.
17. When do you expect to start the Expedition?
We want to embark on the 2nd part of our expedition this winter- hopefully in mid-December. Tawny wants to be in the States for Thanksgiving since we missed it the last two years. We have just a little more planning and more fundraising to do before we take off. It looks like we might be delivering a letter in Canada first before we head off to Iceland.
Thanks for the interview guys! I hope I get to see you when you venture to Iceland and if not definitely in New York next June at the second Nomading Film Festival? :)